Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 905-910

Oxidative stress, cancer, and sleep deprivation: is there a logical link in this association?

  • Juliana NogutiAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Federal University of São Paulo–UNIFESP
  • , Monica Levy AndersenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychobiology, Federal University of São Paulo–UNIFESP
  • , Chiara CirelliAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin
  • , Daniel Araki RibeiroAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Federal University of São Paulo–UNIFESPDepartment of Biosciences, Federal University of São Paulo–UNIFESP Email author 

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Sleep disorders are associated with various human pathologies and interfere with biological processes essential for health and quality of life. On the other hand, cancer is one of the most common diseases worldwide with an average of 1,500 deaths per day in the USA. Is there a factor common to both sleep disorders and cancer that serves to link these conditions?


It is a normal process for cellular metabolism to produce reactive oxidant series (ROS). However, when the production of ROS overcomes the antioxidant capacity of the cell to eliminate these products, the resulting state is called oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage may participate in ROS-induced carcinogenesis. Moreover, ROS are also produced in the sleep deprivation process. The aim of this article is to review pathways and mechanisms that may point to oxidative stress as a link between sleep deprivation and cancer.


Sleep deprivation Cancer Oxidative stress