Instead of Counting Sheep, Try This to Sleep.

Posted: October 13, 2020








Mental Health

Instead of counting sheep, try this!

From the central lines and vitals checks, to the incessant beeping and creaky beds, sleep in the hospital is mythical. Often, the return home isn’t any more restful. (Anxiety’s a b*tch!) Fortunately, we’ve found a few ways to trick our brains into shutting down.

Are you struggling to sleep, bud? 

You’re not just sensitive. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there’s a connection between lack of sleep and having cancer. Insomnia is bothersome to most people during treatment, and it’s easy to see why. Seemingly, endless factors interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep: 

  • Digestive issues

  • Treatment side effects 

  • Depression

  • Anxiety 

  • Night sweats 

  • Hormonal hot flashes 

  • Pain

Just to name a few! And the hum of a busy hospital is not exactly a lullaby... 

What you may not realize is that insomnia can continue for decades after diagnosis. Research from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center demonstrates nearly one fourth of adults who had childhood cancer struggle with sleep. Besides being annoying, insufficient sleep is a barrier to your best health. Sleep deprivation interferes with healthy brain function, your emotional well-being, and even your safety. Sleep is also a critical opportunity for your body to balance hormones, boost your immune system, and repair your heart and blood vessels. 

So, how are you supposed to recover from cancer if you can never get a good night’s rest? 

Enter: Tried and true sleep hacks from your buds! 

We’ve divided our suggestions up into ideas to prepare your space for restful sleep and steps to take to prepare yourself to unwind before bed. Try a few or combine them all. 

Prepare Your Space

No More Netflix! 

Not forever, just for two to three hours before bed. Blue light, like what’s emitted from your TV screen, suppresses the secretion of melatonin more powerfully than other kinds of light, according to a Harvard study.

Instead of scrolling Facebook or binging on old episodes of Friends, try journaling about a positive event that happened during the day or reading a novel to pass the time before bed. Both options aid in sleep readiness and take your mind off of the stress of the day. 

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