Thursday 17 May 2018
Susan Long â€“ Maggie's
Cancer and treatment can cause problems with your normal sleeping patterns.
The information on this page will help you find out more about how sleep can be affected by cancer, ways to manage and how ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë can help.
Sleep provides rest and recovery which is important for both our physical and emotional wellbeing.
Sleeplessness (insomnia) can be when you:
Whilst the occasional lost nightâ€™s sleep feels manageable, ongoing sleeplessness can affect quality of life, and can lead to fatigue, anxiety, depression and poor concentration.
You may feel that itâ€™s normal not to be sleeping well, and be trying to put up with it but there are ways to manage it so you should let your doctor know.
Sleep disturbances when you have cancer are very common. They can also be complicated and it may be a combination of issues that are causing your difficulty sleeping.
Causes of a broken nightâ€™s sleep include:
You may also have a history of sleep problems that began before you were diagnosed with cancer that have got worse.
It may feel like making sleep better is impossible, out of your control and an additional burden on top of everything else. There are ways to make things easier.
Talk to your healthcare team
Problems with sleep are often physical, which your healthcare team can help with, so it's important to let them know.
Certain drugs like steroids, being in pain, feeling sick or needing to the get up and use the toilet are common issues that can affect sleep.
Your doctor may be able to review your medication and how your symptoms are managed to make sleep easier.
Create the best environment for sleep
Making changes to your sleeping environment can help to re-establish natural rhythms alongside changes to drug regimes.
There are several things you can try to help create the right environment for sleep:
Reducing stress and anxiety
There is a close relationship between sleep and how you're feeling and one can often affect the other.
Learning different ways to manage your emotions and reduce your stress can help to improve your sleep pattern.
Breathing and relaxation techniques can also help ease the body and body into sleep.
Your doctor may prescribe a short course of sleeping tablets to re-establish a normal sleeping pattern.
You can also buy over the counter remedies to help with sleep, but check with your GP or pharmacist if you're on any other medications which they might interfere with.
We're here to help you with your sleep.
Get in touch with us at your nearest ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë to talk things over with a cancer support specialist and find out more about ways to manage sleep issues.
We also run relaxation sessions and some of our centres run sleep workshops.
Our benefits advisors are here to talk through any money worries that may be adding to your sleeplessness.
Last review: Dec 2021 | Next review: Dec 2022
To find your nearest Maggie's centre, enter your postcode or town below.
Stay up to date with our news and fundraising by signing up for our newsletter.Sign up