Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. But, at times, pain can make sleep nearly impossible. Insufficient sleep can have a chain reaction effect on your wellbeing. In many cases, pain and sleep spin in a vicious circle. Pain keeps you from sleeping, and in turn, not sleeping makes the pain worse.
Often times, with cancer patients, it’s not just the intensity of the pain that leads to sleeplessness. It’s that some days the pain is worse than others. “Patients learn to cope with pain that has been constant for many months, but when pain is sporadic, it causes severe disruptions in sleep,” Dr. Bill Gai, of Danville Hematology and Oncology, says.
Lack of sleep can lead to many factors that cause fatigue. It’s best to consult your doctor with your sleep problems. Dr. Gai says, “With everything going on with patients, they sometimes forget to mention sleep issues, but not sleeping can have a very negative effect on a patient’s recovery.”
Suggestions to Promote Better Sleep
• Don’t exercise too late in the day.
• Set aside some “down time” before bed. Trying to sleep with a racing mind and no pain is difficult.
• Your bedroom should be soothing. Keep an organized, calming place.
• If you can’t sleep, get out of bed. Lying in bed will have you thinking of the fact that you’re not asleep. Read a book or listen to relaxing music.
• Set a wake-up time that you adhere to every day regardless of when you fall asleep. Routine is the key here.