• Does anyone have issues with sleeping when it comes to their cancer? I take medicine for it but I am so stressed out that it doesn't work.

    Asked by spratt8687 on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Does anyone have issues with sleeping when it comes to their cancer? I take medicine for it but I am so stressed out that it doesn't work.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • wvgal68's Avatar

      Yes, I do. My husband used to say I was the "nappiest" person he knew. I always needed at least 8 hours of sleep, and could nap several times a week. I had a hard time staying awake until the kids went to bed, often going to sleep by 9 during the week.

      Now, I rarely go to bed before 12, I was getting up at 6, though I'm doing better, sleeping until 8. There are often nights I will wake up in the middle of the night. I find when I am in treatment, I sleep less also. I only take melatonin.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I had both problems my first time with hodgkins. First, I would sleep for a couple days after treatment, then I would not be able to sleep, too jittery. so I would take something, don't remember what, but it worked for me. Now when I can't sleep I just take tylenol PM. Works like a charn on me now. Nothing but benydril, I actually take the generic version.

      over 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      It really depends. When I'm on the prednisone part of my chemo, I am pretty awake and annoying. The doctor has me take Ativan to make some of the nerves go away. By the time the steroid roller coaster ends, I have the opposite trouble.. it's almost like I can't stay awake more than five hours a day.

      Are you napping any? Sometimes easing back on those can help you sleep more soundly at night. Sparing further medicinal intervention... perhaps some meditation? I know it's easier said than done, but sometimes thoughts can be trained and slowed down for a sweet, soft slumber.

      over 8 years ago
    • candy's Avatar

      A couple days after chemo I will sleep throughout the day, but after that I have insomnia, terrible. However, Tylenol PM does help and I try to take it at least an hour and a half before bedtime. You might want to try that. Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Totally had that problem.... Was sleeping maybe three hours a night. Exercise helps. Getting things done (work or family stuff or anything productive) helps. And .... Drugs. I took Xanax, and that helped a ton. Those three things in combination got me up to about six hours a night, which was a huge improvement. With the harsher portion of my treatment, I slept a ton because I was super tired... Now, I am finished with treatment, and I still have some anxiety. I'm trying to avoid meds... Sticking with exercise, some alternative things, a bit of yoga, and trying to keep other stressors at bay by being productive and work and so on... It's mostly working well. Except when it doesn't.

      Bottom line.... Insomnia SUCKS!

      over 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I had Thyroid cancer in high school and I am now 53, I have always had trouble getting to sleep. It seems like as soon as I start to relax my brain wakes up and gets into the worry cycle. You might ask for a sleep study, it turned out my family has a genetic problem with sleep apnea. I still have the problem of worry but I have several coping skills including hypnosis tapes that help me relax. Benedryl for the nights when its really bad but if you use it too often it becomes a problem. You are not alone, there are many of us awake at night worrying. Tracy

      over 8 years ago
    • spratt8687's Avatar

      Thanks everyone I don't feel so alone now when it comes to sleeping! I wasn't sure if it was me or what. But now that I read a lot of your comments I feel that I can relate to some of you. I haven't slept well in months and I know I still have a long journey. I am looking forward to the day when I can stop worrying and go back to my "normal" self".

      over 8 years ago
    • cutter's Avatar

      I sleep twice as much, but always have nightmares, never feel rested. Sleep is importnt for health but often not addressed by the Dr's

      over 8 years ago
    • Reel's Avatar

      I have advanced thyroid cancer. It's incurable, but one way to control growth of tumors is to be kept hyperthyroid, and a main side effect is sleeplessness. So I've tried everything. For me I've learned to avoid ALL caffeine - even chocolate, and sleep when I can. It's not always at night. There are some nights I don't sleep at all, but if I don't worry about it, I do much better. Taking sleeping aids only seems to throw things off, so I never take anything and do much better. If it's going to be a problem you've got to live with, accept it as something normal to you and adapt to it rather than trying to change into the stereotype you think you should fit.

      over 8 years ago
    • coffeenomore's Avatar

      I also had sleep problems right from the very start of diagnosis. All the worry and stress. At 1st I napped when ever I could. But during the night when I would go to bed and all the lights were out, my mind would go into overdrive with worrying about everything. I would sleep for maybe a 1 hr interval then wake up. That went on for a couple of months. I finally went to a followup with my family Dr. I mentioned all these symptoms to my surgeon and my oncologist. None of them suggested any med. Just said you need to sleep to heal. Hince napping when ever I could. My family Dr was a godsend. She put me on antidepresents and a sleep pill. It made all the difference. I was feeling more like my own self once I was able to sleep. The sleeping pills didn't make me feel like a zombie. Just helped me be able to get to sleep easier.

      over 8 years ago
    • KimberlyD's Avatar

      I also experienced issues with sleep after being diagnosed. The day I was diagnosed, my dr. prescribed Ambien to help my constantly running mind shut down. During chemo I was on steroids, which caused relentless insomnia so my Ambien combated this side effect. Please be careful if you start taking this drug. I was on it for over 6 months and developed a terrible addiction to it. Coming off of the addiction was difficult as I wasn't truly aware of how addicting this medicine was. While it is very helpful in putting you to sleep, and keeping you asleep, please don't use it as often as I did (every night). Have you talked to your dr. about this yet? I advise you do as rest is very important on your road to recovery. Hang in there girl!

      over 8 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      I used sleep meds sparingly because the effects seem to not work the more I took them. I would try and find that sweet spot. Then pop the meds and drift. I had an awful time trying to sleep naturally and it was very frustrating. I slept alot during treatment when they pumped me full of benedryl and zofran.

      over 8 years ago

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