About six in every 10 people with cancer struggle with night-time sleep difficulties, and poor sleep. There are many factors that can contribute to poor sleep during and after cancer treatment. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your quality of life and make it easier to deal with the other issues you are facing.
Poor sleep has been associated with reduced emotional well-being and mental health (risk of anxiety, depression), worsening existing problems with concentration and memory difficulties, exacerbating your fatigue levels, lower quality of life, higher rates of pain, and increased use of sedatives and alcohol use.
Sleep is a complicated matter and there is a lot of information out there about how to improve sleep. We strongly encourage cancer patients to start with resources that recognise the specific issues that cancer brings to achieving better sleep, whilst also helping you under the importance of good practices around your night-time routine, having the right amount of rest and activity during the day and achieving consistency with your wake time.
CAN-Sleep is a self-help guide that has been developed specifically for people with cancer.
Prefer to listen to a podcast?
Sleep and Cancer is an episode that featured on the Cancer Council’s program “The Thing about Cancer” – that discusses the specific effects of cancer on sleep and understanding the science of sleep, with an expert Psychiatrist in the area of cancer.