How Sleep Can Influence Cancer


Cancer treatment is an arduous process that takes time and hinges on several interdependent factors – the right treatment, a positive mindset, good nutrition and plenty of rest. Their combined effect determines one’s chances of overcoming this complex disease, and each component has its role.

Pain, fatigue, discomfort or just worrying, in general, can make getting a good night’s rest a challenge. Lack of sleep affects the immune system and can lead to poor mood, inability to concentrate, weight loss, impaired memory, and cognitive responses, or even worse reactions.

One 2014 study determined that men with insomnia were more “significantly at increased risk of prostate cancer”, while another article revealed that “individuals averaging less than 6 hours per night had an almost 50% increase in risk of colorectal adenomas”. Lack of sleep was also associated with breast cancer.

If you or a loved one are dealing sleep issues (or just want to improve your rest), has compiled a comprehensive list of tips, suggestions and additional resources to help you make the most of your night time. Here you will find solutions to some of the more common problems, like insomnia or restless leg syndrome, and even ways of dealing with sleep apnea (which manifests for about 80% of head and neck cancer patients).

Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the best ways of addressing insomnia. It’s based on a structures program meant to educate patients and promote healthy sleep habits.

Understanding your circadian rhythm or knowing how to organize your sleeping conditions will maximize your rest, keep you in good physical and mental condition, but also boost productivity.

Being informed, knowing how to better take care of yourself and those you find dear is essential in life.

Stay healthy (and well rested)!

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