Sleep has recently been recognized as a critical determinant of energy balance regulating, restoration and repair of many of the physiologic and psychologic processes involved in modulating energy intake and utilization. In addition to having an impact on obesity, sleep abnormalities, both quantitative and qualitative, have now been shown to have significant effects on obesity associated comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, premalignant lesions and cancer. Sleep problems and fatigue also constitute a significant challenge for the ever expanding group of cancer survivors. Moreover, circadian misalignment, such as that experienced by "shift workers" has been shown to be associated with an increased incidence of several malignancies including, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer, consistent with the increasing recognition of the role of clock genes in the metabolic processes. Of increasing concern is the accelerating incidence of sleep disorders in childhood, their association with childhood obesity and associated abnormalities of circulating cytokines, adipokines and metabolic factors, many of which are implicated as etiologic mediators of the connection between obesity and cancer.
Extensive studies have now been initiated to investigate the mechanisms by which disturbances in sleep duration, sleep continuity and sleep related breathing affect circadian rhythm, central and peripheral tissue oxygenation and metabolism, quality and quantity of dietary intake and circulating inflammatory cytokines and regulatory hormones. This volume aims to present the latest research on sleep, sleep disturbance and its correlation to obesity and cancer.