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If you’re undergoing cancer treatment, you may find yourself having trouble sleeping. Don’t worry — you are not alone.
As high as 59 percent of all cancer patients have trouble getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.
How can you tell if it’s a problem? You may have a sleep disorder if you:
A personal or family history of insomnia, presence of depression or an anxiety disorder, advanced age, or being a woman may put you at a higher risk for developing a sleep disorder during cancer treatment. These factors can also contribute to difficulty sleeping:
It’s no surprise that sleep is important, but it is especially important if you are receiving treatment for cancer. Aside from making you feel tired and irritable, insomnia can often worsen other cancer-related symptoms like pain, fatigue, depression or anxiety. It can also make it more difficult for you to cope with the disease and cause feelings of isolation.
The National Institute of Health says adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well-rested. Making small changes in your routine, like avoiding caffeine before bedtime or choosing a quiet setting for rest at the same time each day, can improve the quality of your sleep.
To treat your insomnia you need to figure out why you can’t sleep. Are you taking a medication that is affecting your ability to stay asleep? Are you taking long naps during the day that are causing you to stay awake all night? If you can’t figure it out, talk to your healthcare team. They can help you manage your symptoms and good a better night’s sleep.
Learn more about cancer care at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Learn more about our sleep centers or take our free, online SleepAware risk assessment.
Lack of zzz’s got you down? Learn how to manage cancer-related insomnia.
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