Trouble Sleeping? Some Tips & Tricks for Better Sleep

October 22, 2021
Trouble Sleeping? Some Tips & Tricks for Better Sleep

Cancer treatments are painful and often disrupt normal activities like sleep. Depending on why you’re having trouble sleeping, these solutions might be helpful for you on your cancer journey: 

  • Changing Your Position: You might find that your typical ways of sleeping pre-cancer are no longer comfortable to you. Experiment sleeping in different positions to see if that solves the problem. If you usually sleep on your back, try laying on your side or belly. It could also be that you’re in need of a mattress upgrade or an adjustable bed that can change the elevation of your head or legs. 

  • Check Your Medications for Stimulants: Sometimes the medications your doctor prescribes include stimulants. Check to make sure that none of your medications actually ramp you up. If they do, talk to your doctor about changing the prescription.

  • Limit Daily Caffeine Intake. Although you may be used to drinking caffeine daily, this could be disrupting your sleep. Try cutting caffeine altogether or switching to teas like our partner Turmeric Teas which have less caffeine on average than coffee or energy drink beverages. Linden Flower Tea before bed can also assist with sleep because it has naturally calming effects. 

  • Exercise Regularly: Although it might be hard to maintain the same level of fitness you completed prior to cancer and cancer treatments, moderate exercise each day can allow you to sleep better. You’ll fall asleep faster and sleep better. Start with short walks and stretches and work your way up to more complicated exercises over time. 

  • Relaxation Techniques: Breathing exercises, meditation and guided imagery are some techniques that you can use to help you relax before bed if you find that anxiety is keeping you alert when you’re trying to sleep.

  • Create a Regular Schedule: Scheduling a regular bedtime and wake up time will help reset your inner clock. 

  • CBD Supplements: CBD is known to cause pain relief and lower anxiety. You can use it in the form of an oil or even gummies. There can be discrepancies with different products so it’s important to do your research before buying anything and also talk to your doctor about possible interactions with medications you’re currently taking.

  • Avoid Screens Before Bed: There are many ways screens are thought to interfere with your body’s ability to fall asleep quickly and deeply. By avoiding the phone or TV at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep, you’ll likely fall asleep faster. When you sleep, don’t forget to turn your phone to silent so that alerts don’t interrupt the deepest parts of your sleep. 

  • Melatonin: Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that assists with sleep. Some people find that by taking melatonin supplements, they are better able to sleep at night. As always, consult your doctor before taking any supplements because of their potential interactions with your treatments. 

  • Essential Oils: Essential oils like lavender and clary sage oil can have calming effects and can assist with better sleep.  

  • Benzodiazepines: If you find yourself unable to relax with fear and anxieties, doctors might prescribe benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” Benzos are a class of medications used to treat anxiety and insomnia. By impacting the effectiveness of the GABA receptors which shut down excessive nerve activity, they can calm you enough to sleep.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: If you’ve tried all of these tips and they are still not successful, a therapist can work with you to create an individualized plan including many of these strategies to assist you in getting the best sleep possible. 

Learn More About Trouble Sleeping With OneVillage

Regardless of where you are in your cancer journey, OneVillage is here to help. OneVillage is dedicated to providing the support, information, goods, and services that cancer patients need. Whether you’re wondering how to deal with trouble sleeping or how to find a community of people like you, OneVillage is here.  In addition to highly personalized recommendations and checklists to help you navigate your new normal, through our WishList feature we also allow supporters to contribute to a fund for  your medical trips and other expenses. If you have any further questions about what OneVillage offers and site features, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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