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You Are Not Alone A Practical Guide for Maintaining Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer You're Not Alone

Sleep Disorders - II. Symptoms and Strategies

Symptoms and Strategies

Cognitive Functioning


How important is sleep? Sleep disorders such as insomnia, multiple awakenings, and early waking can be attributed to many side effects of cancer or its treatments. These include depression, anxiety, stress, pain, and medication side effects.

Whatever the reason you suffer from prolonged lack of sleep, it is important that you put your efforts into learning techniques to sleep better. Lack of sleep can undermine your healing process and your ability to function. Developing good sleep patterns includes common sense practices such as maintaining a regular time for going to bed and waking up, and avoiding naps during the day. Exercise often promotes a better night's rest, while alcohol and caffeine are not recommended. Try keeping your bedroom as a sanctuary from work; use it only for sleep and intimacy.

If you are experiencing sleep difficulties, it may be beneficial to review your prescription medications with your doctor. Pain medications may cause daytime drowsiness, while some antidepressants cause insomnia.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting adequate rest. The physical and chemical processes that take place during sleep allow the mind, the body, and the psyche to replenish.

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