Cancer & Sleep
As we all know, cancer treatments take a lot out of you. Not only is being diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment an emotional roller coaster. You also have to deal with the many side effects of treatment. All of which make it very difficult to get the comfort and rest you need more than ever.
We are going to give our top tips on how to relieve your symptoms from treatment in order to get to sleep. Keep in mind that sleep is our specialty, however we are not doctors. Be sure to talk all potential ailments with your doctor before you try them yourself.
Sleep Disruptions Caused by Cancer Treatment:
Cancer treatments can come with a laundry list of side effects. Ranging from nausea, intestinal distress, difficulty breathing, hot flashes, night sweats, pain, chills, and so much more. All of these side effects can make it very difficult to have a comfortable nights rest, or truly to get any real rest what so ever.
It is important to talk to you doctor about what to except from your treatments as well as write them all down so you can let them know how you are responding to your treatments. Before you do any of these actions to relieve your side effects, it is important you talk to your doctor to ensure it won’t interfere with your treatment. If it can help, it also has the potential to hurt or disrupt. So always talk to your doctor first.
Tips for Relieving Cancer Treatment Side Effects:
Hot Flashes & Night Sweats:
- Bed Jet or other bed cooling systems
- Cool Breathable Pajamas
- Layer Blankets – So you can pull back blankets in order to cool off in the night.
- Natural Materials for Bedding – Cotton Percale sheets (Breath better and wick away moisture)
- Wool Mattress or Topper – Wool helps to regulate temperature. Keeping you from getting too hot or too cold.
You May Also Enjoy: Top Cooling Comforters For Hot Sleepers or Wool! Glorious Wool!
- Keep a Pain Journal – document your level of pain on a scale, note when you’re in pain, for how long, in correlation with which treatments, and at what intensity. Keeping this journal can help you communicate with your cancer team about the pain you’re experiencing.
- Talk to your cancer treatment team about a pain management plan
- CBD Products
- CBD Blanket
Struggling to ease your pain at night? You may enjoy: Best Sleeping Positions for Pain Relief
Nausea & Upset Stomach:
- Ginger Tea & Candied Ginger
- Eat 5-6 Small Meals instead of 2-3 Large Meals each day
- Take small sips of your drink periodically, never drink a full glass at one time.
- Avoid foods that are difficult on your stomach like fried, spicy, sweet, or salty foods.
- Talk to your doctor about taking Dimenhydrinate (Gravol) or Benadryl. These are non-prescription anti-nausea medications.
Sleep Disruptions Caused by Emotional Distress:
Being diagnosed with cancer and going through treatments can be a very distressing time. Many people struggle with bouts of depression, anxiety, and overwhelming stress. This can also be true for family members and loved ones as well. All of this emotional stress can make it difficult to get a healthy amount of sleep, even when your body is exhausted and in great need of rest.
It is important to face your fears and dark emotions head on. Talking to a therapist who is specialized in helping people going through cancer treatments can be very helpful. Having a safe place to let go of things and have a professional who can walk you through different ways to handle what you’re going through.
Learn more about relieving anxiety in order to sleep in our post: How To Sleep Better With Anxiety
How To Relieve Stress & Anxiety:
- Talk to a Licensed Therapist
- Weighted Blanket
- CBD Oil
- Relaxation Exercises
Meditation can be a strong tool for calming anxiety and healing the body. Learn more in our post: Meditation for Sleep, Anxiety & Healing
Comfort Is Everything:
Going through cancer is a painful, uncomfortable mess. There is no space for anything adding to any of that. Wear soft comfortable clothing and pajamas. Socks, snuggly hats, and blankets help to keep you warm.
We also suggest wearing layers and having layers of bedding when you go to sleep. This way if you start to get hot and sweaty during the night you can easily pull back those layers to get some relief.
Sleep & Cancer – Final Thoughts:
Cancer and cancer treatments can truly effect your entire body and make many regular functions, like sleeping, very difficult. We hope these tips help you to relieve some of these common side effects in order to sleep better.
When you’re going through cancer treatments there isn’t time for not getting the rest you need. These tips should help relieve these symptoms and help you fall asleep naturally and comfortably, so you can focus on healing.