Sleep disorders that are related to cancer may be treated by eliminating the
cancer and side effects of cancer treatment. To promote rest and treat sleep
disorders the following may be considered:
Create an environment that decreases sleep interruptions by:
- Dimming or turning off lights.
- Adjusting room temperature.
Keeping bedding, chairs, and pillows clean, dry, and wrinkle-free.
bedcovers for warmth.
- Placing pillows in a supportive position.
- Encouraging the patient to dress in loose, soft clothing.
Encourage regular bowel and bladder habits to minimize sleep
interruptions, such as
- No drinking before bedtime.
- Emptying the bowel
and bladder before going to bed.
- Increasing consumption of fluids and
fiber during the day.
- Taking medication for incontinence before
Rest in patients with cancer may also be promoted by:
- Eating a high-protein
snack 2 hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding drinking alcohol or smoking 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding drinks with caffeine.
- Exercising (which
should be completed at least 2 hours before bedtime).
- Keeping regular
It is important for the patient to talk about sleep problems with family and the health care team so education and support can be offered. Some treatments help the patient change thoughts and behaviors to decrease anxiety and relax mentally, so sleep can happen more easily:
Drugs may also be used to help patients with cancer manage
their sleep disorders.