Many people who have cancer experience insomnia. These problems can be caused by long periods without rest. Some things you can do to improve your sleep are:

  • develop a bedtime routine
  • keep physically active during the daytime
  • make sure your bedroom isn't overly warm, cold, bright, or noisy
  • have something to eat or drink before bed, but avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol

If worry and anxiety are keeping you awake, talking to someone or writing down your worries may help clear your head. Breathing exercises and relaxation can also help.

Some medications used in treating cancer may affect your sleep. Your doctor or nurse can give you more advice on how to manage this.

You may take sleeping pills to help you sleep. Sleeping pills may have side effects and are generally prescribed for just a few weeks. There are also some behavioral therapies that can help.