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Did you get seven hours of sleep last night? Did you know that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to stay healthy every night? Most people get far less than this on average, and the lack of sleep can take a toll on your body and mind.
As a cancer survivor, getting enough sleep can help your body respond better to treatment and may speed your recovery. It may also help you stay well if you're exposed to other viruses, such as colds and the flu.
Researchers have discovered that during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines which can help you deal with stress, fight infections and decrease inflammation in the body. When you don't get enough sleep, these protective proteins and other important infection-fighting cells are reduced.
Your body needs adequate sleep to fight infections and inflammation. Long-term lack of sleep can not only put you at risk for a weaker immune system, but can also increase your risk for other chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Lack of sleep can also affect your mind. Sleep helps you rest your mind and prepare for a new day of activity, memories and experiences. If you're not able to sleep well on a regular basis, you may find that you have trouble with memory and concentration. You may also have more anxiety and low emotions.
So, it's important for both your body and your mind to get your zzz's. Mayo Clinic experts recommend 7 steps to healthy sleep, which include:
For more information on these strategies, visit the sleep center on MayoClinic.com
Follow me on Twitter at @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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My bf who had cancer said it is okay to sleep whenever he feels tired like very late at night and wake at 9am or so. I think that is not very healthy. Is there an exception for cancer patient or is normal 10 or 11pm to 6 or 7am a better and healthier alternative?
Ever since I had chemo in the fall of 2011, I awake after midnight and can't get back to sleep until around 3 am. It varies but it is rare that I sleep more than 4 hours in a row.
I hesitate to try drugs. Any suggestions?
I have spent 50 of my 68 years on a full time night so I learned to get my required sleep on days (off days included)...in 2010 my 2003 dx Kidney became mets. and I started oral chemo.& too many meds. to minimize SE of chemo. And now, Fatigue-Exhaustion-Insomnia-Depression are making my quality of life VERY limited and neither of my drs. can suggest anything...worse yet as a nurse nothing I've tried has worked either.
After going through brain surgery, the ONLY thing my body wanted to do was sleep. When I got out of ICU and moved to a hospital room I would sleep as much as I possibly could, even between therapy appointments when I may only have 15 minutes. I didn't even care if I ate if I could sleep instead. It was then that I learned how important and healing sleep is. Eight years later, I still love and need my naps!
Truly,sleep is essential.It is the best method of relaxation-pure and unadulterated.
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