Research shows that women with cancer are more restless at night and the body’s basic circadian rhythms that control our sleepiness and wakefulness aren’t different enough, meaning you can often feel a little asleep and a little awake. Here are some techniques that may help battle this inner confusion.
Warm Bath – A warm bath feels lovely but also has an impact on your hormones. Take a 20-minute bath or shower about one hour before bed. Too-hot water is going to dry out your sensitive skin, so keep the temperature moderately warm. As your body cools down it releases melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.
Sleep Master eye mask – This wraparound mask minimizes the invasion of light and muffles sound as you calm your body for sleep. Cool satin is soothing to the skin and breathable fabric will handle any internal temperature fluctuations.
Moisture-wicking pillow case – Moisture-wicking isn’t just for daytime wear. Maintain your cool and counteract the effects of hot flashes and night sweats with this specialized pillowcase.
White noise – load your iPod up with a few tracks so you can discover which soothing sounds quiet your mind and body. For some people, instrumental music, either classical or from different cultures can be calming. Others prefer white noise such as the soothing sounds of nature to help them tune out and shut down for a much needed sleep.
There are a few sleep aids that your doctor may prescribe, but almost all are short-term and lose their effectiveness over time. Explore the use of calming rituals. Ask for help to make your bed as comfortable as possible, and your sleep environment personalized to your needs and preferences.