In advance of World Cancer Day on February 4, Sleep Number Corporation and the American Cancer Society have entered into a partnership to embark upon foundational sleep research to inform the first-ever, cancer-specific sleep guidelines. Over the next six years, ACS will conduct research with contributions from Sleep Number’s proprietary sleep data and sleep expertise to identify the impact of quality sleep on cancer prevention and recovery, with the goal of improving sleep outcomes for cancer patients and survivors.
While ACS offers guidance on healthy habits for people with cancer around things like diet, exercise, and tobacco, guidelines for sleep have not been established. There is limited knowledge of the biologic mechanisms by which sleep may affect cancer risk or outcomes after a cancer diagnosis, and while poor sleep quality may be associated with the risk of developing some types of cancer, evidence to date is limited. Leveraging the over 13 billion hours of sleep data generated from Sleep Number 360 smart beds in conjunction with historical and ongoing cancer prevention studies, ACS will study the effects of cancer on patients’ and survivors’ nighttime sleep and biometric patterns. The collaboration between the two organizations will enable cancer research and prevention tied explicitly to quality sleep.
In addition, Sleep Number recently had made a commitment to ACS’s Hope Lodge communities, which provide respite, shelter, and care for cancer patients and caregivers. Sleep Number is providing sleep solutions to ensure Hope Lodge guests benefit from quality sleep to bolster their physical, mental, and emotional resilience.
“Our partnership with American Cancer Society directly supports our company’s purpose—to improve the health and wellbeing of society through higher quality sleep. We will utilize our 360 smart bed’s proprietary sleep data and sleep expertise, along with ACS’s tremendous body of research, to benefit cancer patients and survivors, and society at large,” says Shelly Ibach, president and CEO, Sleep Number, in a release. “Cancer is undiscriminating—it affects everyone. Sleep is also universal. Our hope is that sleep guidelines will help to eradicate this devastating disease and improve millions of lives. We are honored to join ACS in the fight for a world without cancer.”
The initial research will take place as part of an ongoing ACS cohort study, assessing individuals over the course of many years. Sleep Number’s contributions will enable targeted, cancer-related sleep science exploration, combining the magnitude of the ACS body of evidence regarding cancer prevention with the 360 smart bed’s longitudinal sleep data to meaningfully advance cancer-related sleep interventions.
“Sleep quality is a documented problem for cancer patients and longer term in cancer survivors, and the ability to formally study sleep’s impact on cancer has been limited. We plan to close that gap,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, ACS CEO, in a release. “Through our partnership with Sleep Number, the ACS research team will more precisely measure the impact of sleep quality, with the potential of developing evidence-based sleep guidelines. As such, this research endeavor is fully aligned to our mission to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.”