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Sleep quality = Fatigue for Cancer Patients

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Sleep quality is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of a cancer patient’s life. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, etc. etc. can kill your cancer but it will surely cause side effects. You may have difficulty getting a full night’s sleep and therefore feel fatigued which can interfere with healing from your radiation therapy.

Thus the viscous circle of cancer therapies causing side effects which make it difficult to survive both the cancer as well as the therapies designed to manage your cancer.

While the study linked and excerpted below talks about sleep quality being negatively affected by radiation therapy to the breast cancer patient, the fact is that:

  • Sleep quality is negatively affected by a number of common cancer therapies and
  • Radiation therapy (radiation fibrosis) causes a number of short, long-term and late stage side effects

My cancer, a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, is very different from breast cancer. I hesitate to say that the type of cancer is irrelevant but I will say that it is the side effect- sleep quality- that we are focusing on here.

And, in fact, there are a number of therapies shown to help cancer patient’s get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep quality is remarkably important for the cancer patient- to learn more read the posts linked below-

Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Are you undergoing cancer therapies that make it difficult to sleep? Please don’t be surprised if your oncologist doesn’t help or simply prescribed a sleeping pill of some kind.

Conventional oncology’s job is to treat you with chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery. It is not tasked with helping you achieve a restful night’s sleep. Consider evidence-based yet non-toxic, non-conventional therapies for this.

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Yoga-Based Breathing Exercise Improved Radiotherapy-Induced Sleep Quality in Breast Cancer

“Integrating a daily short yoga-based deep breathing practice can improve sleep quality and decrease fatigue in women with breast cancer who are undergoing radiation therapy…

Fatigue and poor sleep quality are common adverse effects of radiation therapy, and can negatively affect quality of life for patients…

A pair of researchers in Turkey set out to evaluate the effects of pranayama and deep breathing exercises on fatigue and sleep quality in women undergoing radiation for breast cancer…

Patients’ fatigue was assessed using the Piper Fatigue Scale (PFS), a scale comprised of 22 items and 4 subdimensions with each item ranked on a scale from 0 to 10. Patients were also asked to conduct self-assessments using the 19-item Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)…

PFS score was significantly increased postintervention compared with preintervention in the control group…

Pranayama and other breathing exercises are easy-to-learn, easy-to-perform, and low-stress activities that can be performed alone or with others.

“However, patients need to be supported in learning and incorporating these exercises into their daily activities and making them a habit,” the authors wrote. “This includes teaching the exercises, facilitating their integration into daily activities, and supporting patients in making them a regular part of their routine.””

How Acupuncture Can Optimize Sleep Patterns and Free You from Insomnia

“Acupuncture is a technique that involves inserting needles into the skin to stimulate certain areas of the body.

The practice of acupuncture has grown in popularity as a treatment for a variety of health conditions, like allergies, asthma, stress, depression, and insomnia.

Here’s what the research has to say about the types and benefits of acupuncture for sleep, along with tips for finding a practitioner…

CBD as a Sleep Aid

“A good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend adults sleep at least seven hours each night. Proper sleep ensures you feel well-rested and haveenergy for the next day. A good night’s rest also contributes to memory formation, helps grow and repair muscle and tissue, and prevents sickness.

Unfortunately, falling asleep or staying asleep can be difficult for certain types of sleepers. As many as 70% of Americans Trusted SourceNational Library of Medicine, Biotech InformationThe National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.View Source report not sleeping the recommended hours, and nearly one-third of American workers sleep less than six hours per night . Solutions for better sleep and avoiding sleep debt vary. Possible approaches include improved sleep hygiene, prescription sleep aids, and natural sleep aids.

One increasingly popular strategy for sleeping better is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. However, the regulation of CBD in the United States is limited, and much more research must be done to determine the exact effects CBD has on sleep and other physical and mental health concerns…”

The 8 Best Breathing Techniques for Sleep

Things to remember before getting started

Although there are a number of breathing exercises you can try to relax and fall asleep, a few basic principles apply to all of them.

It’s always a good idea to close your eyes, which may help you shut out distractions. Focus on your breathing and think about the healing power of your breath.

Each of these eight different exercises has slightly different benefits. Try them and see which one is the best match for you.

Soon you’ll be sleeping like a baby…”






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