Sleep Disorders (PDQ�)
This patient summary on
This summary is about sleep disorders in adults with cancer.
The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep (
disorders( sleep apnea).
Excessive sleepiness (hypersomnia).
Disorders of the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm disorders).
Disorders associated with
sleep stages, or partial waking ( parasomnia).
Pain or itching.
Fever, cough, or trouble breathing. Fatigue. Seizures.
Night sweats or
hot flashes. (See the PDQsummary on Fever, Sweats, and Hot Flashes for more information). Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or incontinence.
Long-term use of certain
Some drugs that help patients sleep (such as hypnotics and
For more information on managing
Patients may have sleep interruptions due to treatment schedules, hospital routines, and roommates. Other factors affecting sleep during a hospital stay include noise, temperature, pain, anxiety, and the patient's age.
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.
Using bedcovers for warmth.
Placing pillows in a supportive position.
Encouraging the patient to dress in loose, soft clothing.
boweland bladderhabits to minimize sleep interruptions, such as
No drinking before bedtime.
Emptying the bowel and bladder before going to bed.
Increasing consumption of
fluidsand fiberduring the day.
medicationfor incontinencebefore bedtime.
Rest in patients with cancer may also be promoted by:
Eating a high-
proteinsnack 2 hours before bedtime.
Avoiding heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
alcoholor smoking 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
Avoiding drinks with
Exercising (which should be completed at least 2 hours before bedtime).
Keeping regular sleeping hours.
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
hypnosisat bedtime. Cognitive-behavior therapy, in which the patient learns to change the goal from ?I need to sleep? to ?just relax.? This may help the patient relax enough to fall asleep.
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Changes to This Summary (11/04/2011)
Changes were made to this summary to match those made to the health professional version.
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