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Top tips for a good night’s sleep on chemo

Published: 11 Mar 2020

15th March is World Sleep Day: we thought it would be the ideal opportunity to take a look at sleeping issues - one of the most common side-effects discussed in the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group.

We all have trouble getting a good night's sleep at one time or another, but if you've been diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, it can be even more difficult.  A study by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that three-quarters of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy suffer insomnia or sleep disorders.

There are many reasons behind a sleep disorder. 

It could be the various drugs prescribed as part of your treatment regimen are making you feel drowsy during the day.  But if you nap too regularly in the daytime, you may find difficult to fall asleep at night.

Some drugs can make you feel nauseous, which doesn’t help when you’re trying to nod off. Whereas other medications such as steroids can make you feel agitated and overstimulated.  

And then there’s the worry and stress caused by cancer: just when your body is trying to rest, your mind is going into overdrive 

Whatever the reasons for your sleeplessness, it’s important to do everything you can to get a good night’s sleep.  Sleep is needed for your entire wellbeing – it gives you the strength to refresh physically and mentally, repair, fight, endure treatment and heal properly.  If you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience fatigue, lack of energy, mood swings and problems with your memory and concentration.

We searched the internet for some top tips from the experts to help you get a good night’s sleep: 

First the don’ts:

Now the Dos:

If you’ve experienced insomnia or other sleep-related issues and have found helpful ways of alleviating the problem, please join the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group and share your tips with over 7000 members.


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