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A regular and high-quality sleep has numerous benefits for the body, noted Turkey Medicals member and hospital Biochemistry and Anti-Aging Specialist Doctor, “A good sleep of at least 7 hours a day prevents the formation of cancer cells. It also slows down the night work of those present. It even forces them to work like a normal cell,”  she said.

There is a rapid increase in cancer cases in the world and in our country. Unhealthy diet, stress, smoking, obesity, environmental and occupational exposures are among the culprits blamed for cancer. However, Biochemistry and Anti-Aging Specialist Doctor, who reminds that sleep problems are also among the risks that trigger the disease and  explained the relationship between sleep and cancer as follows.

How do cancerous cells turn into ‘normal cells’ at night?

In some types of cancer, cancerous cells act as a normal cell at night, while they are a cancer cell during the day. In other words, these are cancer cells that work part-time, that is, part-time. They sleep while we sleep. This condition is most common in types of cancer called solid tumors. For example, breast cancer is a solid tumor. In order to understand how cancer cells work part-time, I would first like to talk about their energy production. Normal cells produce 90-95 percent of their energy using oxygen. That’s the purpose of our breathing anyway. They can use both sugar and oil as fuel in this production. Normal cells produce only 5 percent of their energy from sugar, without using oxygen. A number of cancer cells reverse this ratio. They produce 90-95 percent of their energy from sugar without using oxygen. In normal cells, energy production is a real ‘burning’ event when there is oxygen. Energy from food is burned by oxygen. Not using oxygen, on the other hand, is not burning, but a kind of ‘pickling’, that is, fermentation. As a result, lactic acid is also produced. The purpose of a cancer cell producing energy in this way is that it can provide a lot of energy from sugar very quickly. He uses this energy to reproduce himself.

In addition, even if there is oxygen in the environment, it does not use it to burn food in the same way that a normal cell does. When he cancers a solid cell, he turns it into a self-replicating factory. It already grows like this and begins to metastasize. According to scientific studies, some of the cancer cells work in a state of oxygen-free fermentation when there is light during the day, while at night they return to work as normal cells in sleep. That is, it puts oxygen back into the work of producing energy while you are asleep. This means that the cancer cell is currently a ‘normal’ cell. Its self-reproduction stops, the capacity for metastasis decreases. These types of cancer cells are called part-time cancer cells. Our main question is why these cells decided to behave themselves at night, when they were bad children by day. The answer to the question lies in sleep…

How can the hormone melatonin be increased?

Melatonin is known as the hormone of the night, but the order for its production is given from the morning. For this, the body produces serotonin from the morning. Serotonin is the ‘melatonin of the day’. Because at night, serotonin will turn into melatonin. In this case, it is necessary to guarantee serotonin first for melatonin. Therefore, it is necessary to wake up with the morning sun every day.

It is necessary to come into direct contact with sunlight without glasses and not through glass. The sooner we do this in the morning, the more guaranteed melatonin production will be. For tryptophan, the raw material of serotonin, we should consume foods such as bananas, turkeys, dark chocolate, cocoa. One of the main places of production of serotonin is our intestines. In that case, the health of the intestine and the stability of the intestinal mucosa are also important for sleep. We made the melatonin raw material from serotonin, but we should not waste what was produced at night for nothing. If there is light, there is no melatonin.

Bright house lights, telephone, computer lights after 21:00 are the archenemy of melatonin. For example, if you wake up at midnight and look at your phone for half a minute, your current melatonin will instantly decrease by 40 percent. Turning down the lights in the house, changing their color to yellow, orange, turning on the night screen filter of phones retains melatonin for a while. The production of melatonin decreases with age. For this reason, melatonin should be supported in older people with insomnia problems.

What should be considered?

For a good sleep, go to bed every night before 23:00 without eating late or even eating at all. Make sure that your bedroom is ventilated and pitch dark. Let your bed, duvet and pillow contain healthy ingredients. If you are gritting your teeth while sleeping, take magnesium before going to bed. Spend the night breathing through the nose, not through the mouth. Wake up in the morning sun.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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