Sleep hormone can battle breast cancer

Forget Sleepless in Seattle. We're sleepless everywhere these days!

Americans from coast to coast are falling short on essential shuteye -- and when people do sleep, it's at all the wrong times.

The result? We're not just bleary-eyed in the morning.

Millions of Americans are chronically cranky and eternally tired -- all day long!

Ladies, if you're nodding (or nodding off!) as you read this... and if you KNOW you should be getting more sleep yourself... it's time to fix it.

Set a bedtime like you had when you were a kid, and enforce it the way mom used to -- because new research shows how missing out on sleep can give breast tumors just what they need to not only form, but also grow, thrive, and KILL.

The key to all this is melatonin, a.k.a. the "sleep hormone," because it's pumped out by the pineal gland at night, in part to help you sleep.

Melatonin is also a powerful natural cancer-fighter, in some ways stronger (not to mention safer) than any big-money Big Pharma drug.

In a series of lab experiments, researchers grew breast cancer cells... or at least, they TRIED to grow them, because when they added some melatonin to the mix, that growth slowed so much it practically stopped.

Even when they threw in chemicals known to speed the growth of breast cancers, melatonin slowed the process down.

This is a lab dish, not the real world.

But we have plenty of other studies that show the link.

For example, we know women who work at night -- especially nurses -- have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who sleep at night.

In studies of women who already have the disease, higher natural levels of melatonin usually mean smaller tumors; and lower levels boost the odds of bigger, deadlier cancers.

One remarkable study on mice even found that altering melatonin levels naturally by simply leaving lights on or turning them off caused breast tumors to either grow or slow.

And when mice had higher levels of the hormone -- by being left in darkness for extended periods of time -- breast tumor growth slowed by as much as 70 percent.

Obviously you're not a mouse.

But you DO need to maintain proper melatonin levels, whether you have cancer or are just hoping to avoid it.

Let me give you three tips on how to boost those levels at the right time.

First, turn down the lights in the last couple of hours before bed. The brighter the lights, the more confused your brain gets.

Second, avoid electronic devices, especially tablets and smartphones, as the light they give off is heavy in the blue wavelengths that confuse the brain into believing it's still daytime -- and that can delay melatonin production.

And third, consider a melatonin supplement, especially if you've been having trouble sleeping.