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How To Sleep Better During Cancer

How To Sleep Better During Cancer

Reasons for Insomnia in cancer patients

Every now and then, everyone has difficulty sleeping, it's not uncommon for someone with cancer and is undergoing treatment to have trouble sleeping. Apart from the mental stress and confusion, there are other reasons for Insomnia in cancer patients. Side effects of treatment, medications they are taking, extended hospital stays, anxiety, and other things can all contribute to sleep issues and according to studies, up to half of all persons experience sleep issues while undergoing cancer treatment.

It is critical for a patient's physical and mental well-being to get enough sleep. A good night's sleep will improve their ability to think clearly, lower their blood pressure, increase their appetite, and enhance their immune system. Sleep disturbances that persist for an extended period of time may raise the risk of anxiety or depression. Talking to the patient's health care provider about their sleeping problems can help them get the support they need. The patient and their health care team can make efforts to assist them in getting back to sleeping comfortably.

The habits of disturbing sleep and causing insomnia

It's like waking up in bed and spending a lot of time watching TV or playing games. You don't have to sit in a dark room an hour before bedtime, but it's important to avoid or minimize the blue light from your device. Also, some people with insomnia have no downtime. Patients may try to make an hour or two hours of buffer to do something relaxing. Alcohol doesn't help. It may make you fall asleep sooner, but it can confuse your sleep.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy incorporates cognitive and behavior modification techniques to address a patient's dysfunctional attitudes and sleep patterns. It's a psychotherapeutic treatment that focuses on how our thoughts affect our overall mood and emotional state of mind.

It is in use to treat many mental disorders since a long time. Recently, it can be useful in treating the pain associated with cancer, the treatment of various types of cancer, and their overall psychological burden.

Components of CBT-I

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a multi-component intervention. It target the specific cognitive, physiological, and behavioral aspects that characterize insomnia. CBT-I contains five elements such as stimulus control, sleep restriction, sleep hygiene, cognitive remodeling, and relaxation training.

Sleep Restriction: This protocol aims to control how much time you spend in bed to accurately match your sleep time, and to improve your sleep quality by increasing your sleep time. Sleep restriction helps to get quality sleep, make the time you spend sleeping more efficient, and aim for a sleep efficiency of 85% to 90%.

Stimulus control: These are situations in which the presence or absence of a particular stimulus triggers a particular behavior. For example, if you eat while watching TV, you will be hungry every time you turn on the TV. Stimulus control techniques are unlikely to work well unless practiced consistently. Reconditioning can take a long time, so each technique should take at least a week or two before you notice any changes in your sleep.

Cognitive Reconstruction: This is a psychotherapeutic process in which patients readjust their emotional responses to specific objects, resulting in all-or-nothing thinking (splitting), over-generalization, problem expansion, and emotions. You can recognize and challenge irrational or maladaptive thinking, such as thinking.

Relaxation training and education: This includes methods and activities that help a person relax, stay calm, and reduce general pain, anxiety, stress, and anger levels. We achieve this is through practices such as meditation and listening to soothing music. Individuals can train in different types of relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and passive progressive muscle relaxation. Patients should practice these techniques at home since they can help promote a state of rest to help the individual relax and fall asleep.

General tips for managing Insomnia

There are general tips that the patient can follow which doesn't involve third parties like the care team and doctors or medicines to be more comfortable and ease the Insomnia.

Before going to bed

Before going to bed, take a warm bath or shower to relax stiff muscles and make falling asleep easier. Gentle stretches are another approach to relieving muscle stress on a daily basis.

When you're exhausted, go to bed and switch off the lights. If you don't fall asleep in 15 minutes, get up and do something else. Read a book while listening to soothing music. When it gets tiring, go back to bed.

Use a progressive relaxation CD designed expressly to assist people in falling asleep.

Environment for sleeping

If you need to get up in the middle of the night, use nightlights in the halls, so you don't have to turn on the lights.

Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. It aids in the natural cooling down of the body during sleep.

Keep the sleeping environment as quiet as possible. Sleep is aided by silence. Use a fan or other steady or calming background noise to conceal noise you can't control, such as busy streets, trains, or aeroplanes.

Your bedroom should only be used for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or reading in bed. Moving any electrical equipment that emits light or generates sound out of the bedroom may be beneficial.

Every day, go to bed and wake up at the same hour. On weekends, don't stay up too late.

Create a daily pre-bedtime regimen and stick to it.

Your eating and sleeping habits

At least two hours before bedtime, consume your evening meal. To avoid waking up for bathroom visits, limit beverages and use the bathroom before bedtime. Before going to bed, take any incontinence medications you might require.

At the evening meal, stay away from fatty and spicy dishes. They can induce heartburn, keeping you up or waking you up too early.

After lunch, avoid caffeine-containing beverages. Caffeine is a stimulant that might cause you to become drowsy. Nicotine is a potent stimulant that can help you stay alert.

Drinking alcohol close to bedtime is not a good idea. It may make you tired, but it will also lead you to wake up too early or frequently during the night.

Tryptophan-rich foods aid in the production of serotonin, which induces sleep. Tryptophan is found in turkey, bread, cereal, and milk. Sleep may be aided with a glass of milk or a turkey sandwich.

Medical methods to manage sleep problems

Inform your doctor about any sleep-related issues.

Treatment for concerns like pain or other side effects, including urine and bladder issues, or diarrhoea, may help you sleep better.

CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and relaxation therapy (relaxation therapy)

These methods may be beneficial and might assist you in relaxing. A CBT therapist, for example, can help you in learning to transform negative sleep ideas and beliefs into beneficial ones. Muscle relaxation, guided visualisation, and self-hypnosis are some of the techniques that may aid you.

Sleep medicines may be prescribed

It's possible that you'll be prescribed sleep medication. If other methods fail, your doctor may prescribe sleep medicine for a limited time. The type of sleep drug provided will be determined by the nature of your problem (such as trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep)

It's critical that you discuss your sleep issues with your doctor. It's especially crucial to speak with them if your lack of sleep is affecting your ability to operate during the day. Preparing for questions about why you're having difficulties sleeping, which concerns should be addressed, and what activities may be made to improve your sleep can make the process go more smoothly.

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