How to Cope With Insomnia During Cancer Treatment

man having trouble sleeping

Coping with insomnia at any time is daunting, but when you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is even more important that you get the sleep you need. Let’s learn how to cope with insomnia during cancer treatment.

The Value of Adequate Sleep

Sleep comes easy when you are young, in fact, most young people can sleep for days. As we get older or when we are stressed, it can become harder to do so.

Adequate and restful sleep keeps our body healthy, and it is especially beneficial if you are undergoing cancer treatment.

Adequate sleep provides the following advantages:

  • It helps to lower blood pressure.
  • It improves appetite.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It helps you to think more clearly.

If someone has sleep issues that last too long, it can lead to anxiety and depression, already a concern with a cancer diagnosis.

What Causes Insomnia During Cancer Treatment?

It is believed that half of patients undergoing cancer treatment suffer from insomnia.

The consequences of the disease cause insomnia. Anti-nausea medications can lead to insomnia. The effects of chemotherapy and steroids make sleeping difficult. Physical discomfort like headaches, vomiting, and pain contribute to lack of sleep.

Medications for blood pressure, asthma, allergies, and depression can also cause sleepless nights.

Consult with your care team at New Jersey Cancer Care if you are experiencing a lack of sleep. Never stop taking a particular medication or change anything without talking with your doctor.

Ways to Manage Sleep Issues

Retire Your Devices

Turn off the TV, your phone, and all handheld devices 2 hours before bedtime.

Alter Bedtime Routines

Don’t eat, exercise, or watch TV before bed. Go to sleep and get up at the same time every night. Refrain from caffeine and alcohol for several hours prior to bedtime. Limit naps to 30 minutes during the day and avoid late afternoon naps.

Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and limit distractions. Be sure your linens are clean and comfortable. Listen to music or read a book that will help you relax.

Do some moderate exercise every day if possible like a 15 minute walk.

Try yoga, take a warm bath, and drink chamomile tea.

Keep a Diary

Keeping a sleep diary for a week or two can help New Jersey Cancer Care provide additional suggestions to help you get adequate sleep. Be sure to tell your care team what YOU think is causing your insomnia.

Contact New Jersey Cancer Care for recommendations to help you get the sleep you need and cope with insomnia during cancer treatment.