A close-up of an older man napping in his bed, which in one of many irregular sleeping habits.

Irregular sleeping habits can greatly affect your health.

People could trade an endless number of stories, detailing their long nights working and the lack of sleep they receive because of it. While some of these stories might be in good fun, they are also very telling. Overworking can lead to irregular sleeping habits, which is not good for your health. A recent study has found that this is especially true in men.

Research Into Cancer

Scientists at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China looked into the sleeping habits of Chinese workers. They examined interviews and data from 27,000 retired workers at the Dongfeng Motor Corporation. For their research, they wanted to know how specific sleeping habits affected a person’s risk for cancer.

Irregular Sleeping Habits and Its Startling Effect in Men

Late-night work, lack of daytime napping, and night time sleep. These are the irregular sleeping habits found in many of the workers at the Dongfeng Motor Corporation. Sometimes, many of them reported having more than one of these habits.

For over 20 years, these people have worked late nights or night shifts, dictating when they slept – hence the need for daytime naps. Scientists discovered that late night’s working had increased male workers’ chances of cancers. Even worse, men who slept too long (more than 10 hours) increased their risk of cancer and those who did not take a daytime nap, the risk of cancer became more than doubled.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of unknowns involving this study. For example, why was the risk of cancer increased in the male workers, but not females? How does a lack of sleep affect the rate of cancer in general? The study’s leads feel like this is just the beginning of their research. They want to follow-up to see if their findings were accurate or not. Obviously, more research needs to be done in order to learn more and possibly find a solution.