Why Lack of Sleep in Cancer Patients Needs to Be Taken Seriously

Up to​ ​75 percent of cancer patients suffer from sleep disturbances; sleep disorders can continue for years after cancer treatments have ended. Yet, sleep issues in the context of cancer are still largely underestimated and under-treated.

In the face of the seriousness of the disease, lack of sleep may seem like an insignificant side effect. The reality is that short-term and long-term effects have detrimental consequences on a cancer patient’s quality of life, on their mental and physical wellbeing and might even influence the outcome.

Sleep deprivation does damage and should be addressed in the very early stages of the diagnosis.

Lack of sleep impairs your ability to take decisions and worsens many cancer-related conditions and symptoms.

Stress levels and anxiety worsen when sleep deprived. Physically, symptoms like nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, fatigue and dizziness can also be exacerbated. Lack of sleep also strongly intensifies the sensation of pain.

Inadequate sleep drastically weakens the immune system​ resulting in elevated blood sugar levels, to increased inflammation, to the body taking longer to heal and recover from injuries. These are all aggravating factors for cancer patients. Simply put, the body’s ability to fight off any disease is highly debilitated due to lack of sleep.

Adequate sleep can be a powerful tool in your healing journey, if you are worried about your own sleep or that of someone close to you who is on their own cancer journey then talk to us and see how we can help.

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Written by James Walters

Head of Digital Marketing at The Cancer Coach, One-to-One Support From Cancer Diagnosis, Through Treatment, and Into Recovery.

May 11, 2022

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