5 Tips for Mesothelioma Survivors to Get Enough Sleep

Health & Wellness

How did you sleep last night? It’s the million-dollar question. 

Proper sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. I’m sure you’ve heard your doctor say time and time again to be sure to get enough sleep. But did you know that getting good sleep is essential to your healing journey? 

While snoozing, your body is hard at work refreshing, replenishing and repairing itself. Your body makes new cells and tissues, eliminates waste and helps you remember things better. 

I personally find this to be true. Brain fog is prevalent throughout my day if I don’t sleep well. 

Sleep supports your immune system, which is particularly important when undergoing mesothelioma treatment. This can be challenging, though. 

Key Sleep Tips

Your sleep schedule may be off because of mesothelioma symptoms and treatment side effects. Insomnia can kick in and you can’t stay asleep. Fear and the stress of a mesothelioma diagnosis can make it hard for you to sleep. 

As a peritoneal mesothelioma survivor, I found there were some things I could do to improve my sleep quality and promote better rest. I hope these tips will help you, but please don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if you’re struggling to get the rest you need.

1. Stick to a Consist Sleep Schedule

Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body’s internal clock and promote better sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on weekends. 

This can be hard if you’ve traveled for treatment and are staying in a hotel near your cancer center or are staying in the hospital overnight. But trying to maintain a schedule whenever you can may help make those situations easier in the future.

2. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Getting a good night’s sleep is about creating a comfy environment. Keep your bedroom calm, quiet and dark. Get a good mattress and pillows that support your body. 

If you’re dealing with noisy neighbors, traffic sounds or anything disturbing your sleep, consider using white noise machines or earplugs. Sometimes playing soothing music can also help.

3. Manage Pain and Discomfort

Getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging when you’re in pain or uncomfortable. I remember how uncomfortable I was after my HIPEC surgery.

Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your pain, like taking medication or doing physical therapy. They’ll help you find a solution that works best for you.

4. Practice Relaxation Techniques

To get better sleep, try some relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing or yoga. Guided meditations designed specifically for relaxation can be helpful.

These can help you beat stress and anxiety, which can ruin your rest. Relaxing and calming down before bedtime can set the stage for you to drift off to dreamland more easily.

5. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption

This may be a huge hurdle for some, but caffeine and alcohol can both interfere with quality, restful sleep. It’s best to limit your intake of these substances, especially before bedtime.

Some experts suggest you can enjoy your cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but should stop drinking caffeinated beverages as much as 8 hours before bedtime. They also suggest a glass of wine at dinner, absorbed with food, for example may not disrupt your sleep, but recommend avoiding alcohol 3 hours before bed.

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Sleep Struggles

If you’re having difficulty sleeping, your doctor can provide detailed recommendations tailored to your specific needs. Depending on the cause of your insomnia, your doctor may suggest treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, medications or lifestyle changes. 

Don’t underestimate the power of good sleep on your mesothelioma journey. Though it may be challenging, there are simple things you can do to improve your sleep quality and nurture your body’s restorative powers. 

Taking steps to improve your sleep quality can make a big difference in how you feel overall and heal during treatment. When you prioritize your snooze, you’re giving yourself the gift of feeling good and having more energy. So go ahead and catch some zs tonight and let yourself recharge.

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