Sleepless and sleep hygiene
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Lack of a good nights sleep is annoying and distressing, leading to fatigue and restlessness. There are several reasons why sleeplessness may be a problem during cancer therapies. These are list below together with links to advice sheets to address these specific symptoms:
These symptoms aside, to help with a good night it is worth considering to following general sleep hygiene tips:
Sleep hygiene tips:
Discontinuing or reduce the use of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine especially after 3 pm.
Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids prior to bedtime
Avoid hunger or excessive eating prior to bedtime
Avoid taking daytime naps.
Establish a regular pattern of sleeping - set a time to go to bed & when to wake up.
Sleep only as much as you need to feel rested.
Go to bed only when you are sleepy
If you are unable to fall asleep within 20 - 30 mins leave the bed and perform a relaxing activity until drowsy and ready for sleep.
Exercise routinely but do not exercise within 3 hours of bedtime.
Engage in a quiet relaxing activity before bedtime
Do not watch TV or read in bed
Avoid temperature extremes, noise and light when in beds
Ensure the room is dark - use black out curtains if necessary turn off electric lights
If you get up at night try not to turn the lights on or use computers or other light sources as these stimulate the melatonin leves and upset the normal circadian rhythm
Links and further resources:
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