Up to 50 percent of cancer patients have problems in their sleeping, according to the National Cancer Institute. If you are in trouble with sleeping, you are not alone. This article will help you know about the relation between cancer and your sleep problems.
What are sleep problems?
The troubles with sleeping, or sleep disturbance, means that you have insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and fragmented sleep. Insomnia has been tracked the most common problem. It is because there is about 80 percent of cancer patients having difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. In fact, it is proved that cancer patients are twice as likely to experience insomnia as people without cancer.
What are the symptoms?
A cancer patient can have difficulty in falling asleep, multiple awakenings during the night, or early morning awakenings with the inability to get back to sleep. You may face with such situations at least 3 nights per week. And consequently, it causes significant impairment of daytime functioning or marked distress at last.
Researchers show that insomnia can lead you to fatigue, memory and concentration problems, mood disturbances and psychiatric disorders. In a long term, it can cause you have physical symptoms, shorter your lifespan, and immunosuppression. That is why you need to seek treatment for insomnia and also other problems of your sleep.
Why do cancer patients have sleep problems?
Being diagnosed with cancer can make you have emotional distress, which usually makes you not sleep well. Cancer is considered to be a serve disease, so it is understandable that you think about your illness as something can ruin your life. These negative thoughts then make you suffer from sleepless nights.
Emotional distress includes worry, anxiety, depression, and overall stress.Moreover, when you have cancer, you may have uncertainty and fears about your future and your family. Also, you have to face with making the decision about treatments that you don’t have any perspective about them. As a result, you are drowned in the chaos of stresses that can hamper your sleep.
Besides emotional distress, the side effects of cancer itself or its treatment are also the reason. These complications can result in psychological stress and make it hard for you to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. The effects of cancer itself and of treatments are the pain, nausea, incontinence, or hot flashes. They can also prevent you from sleeping. In addition, medications to relieve symptoms or to treat cancer can cause insomnia as a direct side effect. Inflammation caused by treatment and cancer itself also has been revealed to affect the ability to sleep. Radiation therapy can impact your circadian rhythms and REM sleep cycles, inhibiting the signals for wakefulness and sleepiness.
It is not a good sign if your sleep problems prolong, In case you fail to manage it at home, you must ask your doctor to find the real causes and prescribe medications for you to treat your sleep problems.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: June 21, 2018 | Last Modified: June 21, 2018
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