Sleep is essential to health and well being. Not getting enough sleep can cause a multitude of issues, affecting mood, motivation, decision making and the ability to cope with change, to name but a few. Sleep also plays an important role in physical health with ongoing sleep problems having been linked to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.
You may think that after a diagnosis of mesothelioma, problems sleeping would be the least of your worries, but a good night’s sleep could do you the world of good, particularly if you are recovering from surgery or chemotherapy.
There are many reasons why a mesothelioma patient might have trouble sleeping:
The most obvious reason is anxiety or stress. Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can completely flip your world upside down, causing stress and anxiety. There are so many decisions to be made with regards to treatment options that it can be difficult to switch your brain off when trying to get to sleep.
Some medications may make it difficult to sleep, particularly some chemotherapy treatments are known to cause sleeplessness.
While doctors will try to control pain as best they can, it cannot always be completely eliminated. Pain can cause a mesothelioma patient to struggle to get to sleep, or to wake up, causing disturbed sleep.
- Night sweats
Mesothelioma itself can cause sweating and chemotherapy can cause sweating and hot flushes. At night, this can cause discomfort as pyjamas and bed clothes can become sodden.
Unfortunately, people suffering with mesothelioma will struggle to avoid the causes of sleep problems, but there are some things which may help then sleep a little better:
- Anti-anxiety medication
This can help ease worry and stress, hopefully helping the mind switch off when its time to go to sleep.
A mesothelioma patient may already be on a lot of medication and prefer an alternative to anti-anxiety drugs. Meditation can help relax you, potentially eliminating the need for further medication.
- Avoid over stimulation
Drinking caffeine in the evening or doing activities that stimulate the brain such as watching television, can affect sleep. Avoiding these before going to bed can help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Change your bedding
Bamboo bed sheets and pyjamas can help with night sweats as they wick moisture away from the body, helping to reduce dampness and temperature.
While undergoing treatment those with mesothelioma may not have a regular eating pattern due to nausea. However, it has been shown that eating a high protein snack before going to bed could assist with sleep.
- Set a routine
You may be inclined to just sleep when you feel like it and get up when you want but establishing a sleep routine, keeping a bedtime and setting an alarm can help.
Although getting a good night’s sleep is not going to rid you of mesothelioma, it can potentially improve your ability to cope with the disease. If you are struggling to sleep, try our tips and speak to your doctor who may also be able to assist.
If you require assistance in pursuing a mesothelioma claim or believe you have a valid asbestos claim for any other asbestos related disease, then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.