Orienteers often combine exercise with sleep deprivation. 24-hour Rogaines, Night-orienteering, long travel to distant events....
Last month a paper on the effects of exercise and
sleep was presented at the Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention entitled Exercise and Rest Reduce Cancer Risk
. The study was conducted on women specifically, and found that
1. Regular physical activity can lower a woman's overall risk of cancer, but
2. Lack of sleep can undermine exercise's cancer prevention benefits.
Among women 65 or younger when surveyed, sleeping less than seven hours a day increased overall cancer risk, negating much of the protective effects of physical activity on cancer risk...
Unfortunately there has been no companion study done for men. But it appears that there is a link between poor sleep habits and cancer risk for all of us, beginning at childhood.
A/P has long allowed us to post the amount of sleep in our training logs. But I notice that very few take advantage of this option...most A/P'ers are more concerned about logging their shoes than their sleep. I don't mean to be a nag, but I wonder how many of us monitor the amount of sleep we get, and are just as diligent in correcting poor sleep habits (late bedtimes, excessive coffee, heavy evening meals, etc) as we are in setting PR's and exercising?