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Improving Sleep
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02/02/2017
Probiotics improves immunotherapy
01/02/2017
Soy might reduce breast cancer risk for recurrence
31/01/2017
Acupuncture and arthralgia due to aromatase inhibi
30/01/2017
Acupuncture helpful in cancer related fatigue
27/01/2017
Additive homeopathic treatment in cancer
05/07/2016
Stress reduction- Does it affect survival?
01/07/2016
Exceptional patients- updated link
29/06/2016
Acupuncture in cancer care
31/05/2016
Stress reduction can affect genes
31/05/2016
Acupuncture in cancer related pain
30/04/2016
Fish oil and breast cancer
31/03/2016
Fatigue affected by Biofield Healing
29/02/2016
Fasting and chemotherapy
12/11/2015
Meat consumption and breast cancer risk
15/09/2015
The evolving field of integrative oncology
02/06/2015
Do cancer survivors use CAM?
30/05/2015
Ginger might have a role in Colon Cancer
28/05/2015
Acupuncture is helpful with hot flushe in patients
06/05/2015
Chemobrain and complementary therapies
01/04/2015
The Value of Presence
01/04/2015
Homeopathic remedies affect breast cancer cells
04/03/2015
Fish oil may prevent weight loss during cancer tx
04/03/2015
Integrative Medicine in cancer care
02/06/2014
Lack of sleep and breast cancer
27/05/2014
Soy might reduce lung cancer risk
18/04/2014
Hot flushes relieved with magnesium
01/01/2014
Integrating Dietary Supplements into Cancer Care
24/12/2013
Social isolation can affect mortality
21/06/2013
Nutrition and reducing risk of death
08/05/2013
Social environment can affect survival
07/05/2013
Nutrition and reduced risk of breast cancer
03/01/2013
Stress reduction affect genes
02/01/2013
Exercise can reduce prostate cancer death
30/11/2012
Does diet affect colorectal cancer?
30/11/2012
Protective effects of control beliefs
06/11/2012
Ginseng eases cancer related fatigue
20/07/2012
Selenium and prostate cancer
15/06/2012
Additional studies show effect of homeopathy on ca
05/06/2012
Guidelines for nutrition - physical activity 2012
15/04/2012
Mindfulness and stress in cancer
08/03/2012
The Benefit of Exercise
20/01/2012
Massage in cancer care
15/01/2012
Mindfulness and stress reduction in breast cancer
19/11/2011
Stress and cancer progression
28/09/2011
Qigong, cognitive function and quality of life
29/08/2011
Phone consultation is helpful in managing symptoms
24/04/2011
Rye and breast cancer
21/04/2011
Mindfulness in cancer care
13/04/2011
Omega-3 Formulation Has Antineoplastic Activity
31/03/2011
Long term effects of acupuncture on hot flushes
07/01/2011
Guidelines for Integrative Oncology
28/07/2010
Is sugar and soft drinks good for you?
25/07/2010
Broccoli and bladder cancer
17/07/2010
Nutrition in the prevention of colorectal cancer
15/07/2010
Managing Radiation Therapy Side effects
Improving Sleep

Learn how to battle restless nights and drowsy days.

 

                                             

Sleep is an important part of our life. Research shows that how well you sleep may determine how well your body can fight cancer. Insomnia or problems with sleeping are common complaints among cancer patients, yet is rarely satisfactorily addressed. Insomnia results in more severe fatigue, leads to mood disturbances, reduces the efficacy of the immune system, affects quality of life, and potentially affects the course of the cancer. How than should we treat insomnia and improve our sleep without medication?

There are multiple ways to confront this problem. By evaluating your daily habits you can pinpoint those that are hindering a good night sleep. A few ideas are mentioned to get you started.

Melatonin

To improve our sleep we need to be aware of a small gland in our brain called the pineal gland. This gland produces a hormone called melatonin. Many of its functions are unknown, but we think it might be related to improving the circadian rhythm of our sleep. This hormone is produced at night time when we are in a dark space, usually between 10pm to 3-4 am. If our body is exposed to light at that time this production is becoming disturbed. So,  we recommend to sleep in a complete dark room ( no TV in our room where we sleep) and targeting our sleep to cover those hours. By doing that we stimulate our own melatonin to be produced and gain double benefit, one, improve our sleep and second, gain another benefit as melatonin has some anti cancer effect. 

Prepare well for bed:

  • Don’t start anything that wakes you up near bedtime. Such as exercise, difficult conversations, stimulating mental activity, smoking and drinking coffee.
  • Create an Environment Conducive To Sleep. Invest in a good mattress, keep the room cold and dark at night and decrease sound in the room.
  • Use relaxing essential oils (lavender, geranium) in a diffuser or put a few drops on a tissue placed near your pillow.

Eat to Promote a Good Sleep:

  • Don’t eat a heavy meal 2 hours or less before bed.
  • Limit amount of caffeine consumption (especially after dinner). Try having no more than 2 caffeinated beverages during the day, even if you feel tired after a poor night’s sleep.
  • Alcohol may make you feel relaxed and seems to help you fall asleep, but it disrupts normal sleep architecture, leading to fractured or disrupted sleep.  Alcohol is NOT recommended.
  • Sugary or spicy foods before bed may be stimulating and interfere with sleep.
  • Eat a small snack containing foods high in carbohydrates or tryptophan (like turkey, tuna, soy, whole wheat crackers, yogurt, banana or a glass of milk) may increase a neurotransmitter in the brain making it easier to sleep.

 

A few additional tips to help your body associate your bed with sleep instead of sleeplessness and frustration:

  • Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy, even if this is later than your normal bedtime.
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and move to another room. Stay up until you feel sleepy again, and then return to your bed. If sleep doesn’t follow, repeat.
  • Get up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid napping during the day, so that you are very tired at night.
  • Use the bed only for sleeping and sex. All other activities (reading, TV watching, eating, etc.) should be done elsewhere.

Before you take a sleeping pill…Try Complementary Therapies for Insomnia

  • Relaxation techniques A racing or worried mind and physical tension is the enemy of sleep. Relaxation techniques that can help quiet a racing mind and ease physical tension. There are multiple techniques such as muscle relaxation, meditation, biofeedback and others.
  • Muscle relaxation - progressively tensing and relaxing your muscles starting with your feet and working your way up your body
  • Biofeedback – In biofeedback people use equipment that monitors and makes them aware of involuntary body states (such as muscle tension or hand temperature). Immediate feedback helps people see how various thoughts or relaxation maneuvers affect tension, enabling them to learn how to gain voluntary control over the tense state.  Biofeedback is usually done under professional supervision. While progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques or meditation — can be learned from a professional or from books, tapes, or classes.
  • How much sleep do we really need?  Depends on your age, open this link
     

 

© 2017 Moshe Frenkel MD

All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, for use by other websites, commercial entities or other entities that require fees for their services, without prior written permission from Moshe Frenkel MD.

 

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