It’s common for cancer patients and their caregivers to have trouble sleeping. These disruptions crop up early on as scanxiety rears it’s ugly head and pain from cancer or side effects from its treatment interfere with your sleep. Today, guest blogger Amanda Lassater will be sharing tips for how you can get better sleep this year.
Sleep is an essential ingredient to any person’s healthy routine. Those who fail to get enough rest on a nightly basis have been shown to suffer from diminished cognitive skills, less ability to focus and concentrate, and are more prone to irritability and agitation. Proper sleep becomes even more critical when complicated by such things as disease or serious illness, as we will explore further:
Why is Sleep so Important?
In addition to the previously mentioned adverse effects of insufficient rest, there are a number of physical ramifications as well. Since our brain works to replenish and restore our bodies’ chemical balances, as well as heal and repair itself, lack of sleep severely impedes these processes.
For those who are battling serious health concerns, getting proper and consistent rest is crucial to their bodies’ ability to combat the disease and remain resilient. This is also true for their loved ones and caregivers as well.
Tips for Getting Better Sleep
To not only understand how important sleep is to the health and wellness of all people, especially those who may be living with a serious illness, but to also understand how to establish and maintain a healthy sleep schedule, we find that the following suggestions can be very helpful:
Develop a Consistent Routine
There is a reason that young children have a bedtime. Establishing a steady routine when it comes to sleeping and waking is essential for them to function at their highest. That doesn’t change once someone becomes an adult. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will condition your body to fall asleep and wake up when you want it to.
Avoid Lengthy Naps
While science has shown small, daily naps to be beneficial (and they can be particularly helpful to the elderly or those struggling with sickness), this is only true if those daytime sleep sessions aren’t interfering with your nightly sleep cycle.
Minimize Blue Light Exposure
The more technology we seem to have, the more people seem to want to use it. While there is nothing wrong with tech in and of itself, the fact is that blue light devices actually do interfere with the production of melatonin, an internally produced sleep aid. Avoid watching TV or looking at your devices less than an hour before bed.
Organize Your Bedroom in a Way that Promotes Sleep
Little things can help, such as lowering the temperature, using blackout shades or curtains, having cool sheets and comfortable bedding. Plants that produce a calming scent such as jasmine or lavender can also offer significant benefits for quality rest.
Cover or Face Clocks Away
Many people struggle with sleep anxiety. This is often compounded as they frequently glance at the clock and see the night slipping away a few minutes at a time. Turning the clock around or covering its face with a small cloth can eliminate the problem.
No matter whether a person may be fully healthy or struggling with serious health concerns and difficult treatments, the body and mind’s need for a complete and productive rest period on a daily basis is irrefutable. Practicing these and other techniques to improve sleep can make a huge difference in whatever challenges you may be facing.
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About the Author
Amanda Lasater is on the editorial and research team at MattressAdvisor.com, a mattress reviews site with the mission to help each person find their best sleep ever.