Suffering from Insomnia?

These expert tips will help you sleep

Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is common among cancer patients and cancer survivors. In fact, studies estimate that at least half of all cancer survivors struggle with insomnia.  

Sleep replenishes energy for our bodies and minds and is vital for health and wellbeing, as well as the ability to concentrate and solve problems in our daily lives.  

The physical side effects from illness or cancer treatment, along with stress and anxiety, can cause poor sleep.

If you’re having problems falling asleep or staying asleep, early morning awakenings, or excessive daytime sleepiness or napping, these proven strategies can help.
 
  • Regular exercise, including walking, has been shown to improve sleep and decrease fatigue — just make sure to exercise at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or a heavy meal before going to bed. Instead, opt for a high-protein snack two hours before bedtime, such as a handful of almonds or a glass of milk.
  • Give yourself a nice window of time to unplug before bed. Television and bright light stimulates brain activity, making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Try gentle stretching, deep breathing, meditation, soothing music, reading a book or dimming the lights to relax before bed.
  • Allow yourself time to clear your mind before bedtime by writing down any thoughts, concerns or responsibilities that could keep you up at night.
  • Create consistent sleep habits by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, and keep a predictable bedtime routine, such as reading a book or listening to calming music.
  • Sleeping in dark, quiet, comfortable space at the ideal temperature of 68 can slow you down physiologically and mentally.
  • Set aside enough time for sleep and plan your day accordingly. Getting a good night’s sleep means 7 to 8 hours a night for adults, 9 to 10 hours for teens and at least 10 hours for children.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping and intimacy, not for eating, working or watching TV.
  • Avoid napping during the day. However, if you feel fatigued and need to nap, limit your naptime to 20 or 30 minutes, no more than twice a day.