Sleeplessness (insomnia) is a fairly common sleep problem for those with cancer. The experience of it is having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the night. It may cause you problems during the day such as tiredness, low energy, poor concentration, and irritability.[ 1 ]
Unmanaged symptoms such as pain, depression, or anxiety can contribute to sleeplessness. This can often worsen other cancer related symptoms.
- Insomnia is the experience of having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the night.
- Unmanaged symptoms such as pain, depression or anxiety can contribute to insomnia.
- Several complementary approaches can help with sleep disruption.
Managing Sleep Disturbances
Several complementary approaches can help with sleep disruption. The Society for Integrative Oncology clinical practice guidelines list integrative therapies with evidence for usefulness in sleep disruption:[ 2 ]
- Mind-Body approaches such as these:
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
- Relaxation training
- Credit: BCCT: Sleep Disruption
- Lone Star Medical Group: Insomnia
- SIO clinical practice guidelines:
- Deng GE, Frenkel M et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009 Summer;7(3):85-120.
- Deng GE, Rausch SM et al. Complementary therapies and integrative medicine in lung cancer: diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2013 May;143(5 Suppl):e420S-e436S.
- Greenlee H, DuPont-Reyes MJ et al. Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2017 May 6;67(3):194-232.
- Block KI, Block PB, Gyllenhaal C: Integrative Treatment for Colorectal Cancer
- Integrative Cancer Review
- Martin L. Rossman, MD: Fighting Cancer from Within
- Barbara MacDonald, ND, LAc: The Breast Cancer Companion: A Complementary Care Manual: Third Edition
- September 2018 Issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
- Wayne Jonas, MD: Your Healing Journey: A Patient’s Guide to Integrative Breast Cancer Care
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: Cancer.Net
- Donald I. Abrams, MD, and Andrew T. Weil, MD: Integrative Oncology, 2nd Edition
- Keith I. Block, MD: Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment
- Lorenzo Cohen and Alison Jefferies: Anticancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health with the Mix of Six
- Michael Lerner: Choices In Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer
- Martin L. Rossman, MD: The Healing Mind