Have you experienced difficulty sleeping during your journey with cancer? You’re not alone. In this month’s Teal Talk, MOCA Community Support Program Manager Stefanie Gliniany shares helpful tips for better sleep.
It is very common for cancer survivors to experience insomnia during and after treatment. Getting enough sleep is a necessity for your body’s ability to heal, so it’s important to make rest a priority. Here are some strategies for getting a better night’s sleep.
Improve sleep behaviors:
- Avoid heavy meals and sugary items close to bedtime
- Skip TV and using electronics in your bedroom
- Consider wearing a sleep mask or earplugs
- Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bed and avoid alcohol
Improve sleep routines:
- Get regular exercise, but don’t exercise right before bedtime
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
- Sleep as much as your body tells you to, but try to limit nap time
Try relaxation techniques:
- Integrative therapies to consider: muscle relaxation, hypnosis, mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery, music, etc.
- Use breathing exercises to help you relax or gentle yoga
- Take a warm bath or sip chamomile tea
Make sure to talk with your health care team about any sleep problems or changes in sleep patterns. Medical providers may have other strategies that might be helpful to get a more restful night’s sleep.