Proper Sleep Habits for Those Coping with Cancer

You may be having trouble sleeping if you are coping with a serious illness like cancer. But irregular sleeping patterns and insomnia can lead to other health complications that can put you at risk.

 Getting the proper amount of sleep improves your memory and problem-solving abilities, lowers your blood pressure, and helps the production of certain hormones that can be vital to helping you fight the disease. Here are some tips recommended by the Center for Disease Control, that can help you improve your sleep:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Consistency is key to getting a full night’s sleep every night. You can decide what schedule makes sense for you, but you should have a set bedtime every night and a set time you wake up in the morning, including the weekends. Having that consistency in your sleep schedule will make it easier to enter the REM sleep stage, which is vital to initiating the positive health benefits of deep sleep.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol 3 to 4 hours before bed: Large means, caffeine, and alcohol can all initiate body processes that make it harder for you to get quality sleep. Your doctor may recommend you avoid caffeine and alcohol altogether. But, in the interest of proper sleep habits, all three should be avoided at least 3 to 4 hours before you lie down to ensure that your body is in an optimal state to enter deep sleep.
  • Create a healthy sleeping environment: A healthy sleep environment means you should avoid any distractions that may keep your mind preoccupied – especially electronic devices. It also means you should create an atmosphere that is optimal to help you unwind, by turning off the lights, finding comfortable sleepwear and bedding, and maintaining a temperature in your bedroom that will help you drift off.
  • Get some exercise during the day: Exercise will help you work off any excess energy that may keep you wide awake at night. This could be something as simple as walking or jogging or it could be playing a sport you enjoy, like golf or tennis if you have the strength.

Cancer is tough to cope with, but it can be beaten if you stay positive and maintain healthy habits. Getting enough sleep is just one healthy habit you should maintain if you are battling a deadly illness like brain cancer or mesothelioma. If you or a loved one is struggling with mesothelioma, the Mesothelioma Cancer Network has resources to help you cope. Being diagnosed with cancer can be life-changing, but you can beat it if you stay positive and keep yourself healthy. Following these simple steps will put you on the right path to improving one aspect of your overall health.

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