Sleep Disturbance

What is Sleep Disturbance 

Sleep allows your body to rest, recover, and reset for the next day. When sleep is interrupted or you are not getting enough sleep, it can impact your physical and mental health, as well as your day-to-day life. Disturbances in sleep is a common symptom and can be caused by physical changes caused by a brain or spine tumor, side effects from treatment, or cancer-related anxiety. 

There are five major types of sleep disorders that affect normal sleep: 

  • Insomnia: being unable to fall asleep and stay asleep 
  • Sleep apnea: a breathing disorder in which breathing stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep 
  • Hypersomnia: being unable to stay awake during the day 
  • Circadian rhythm disorders: problems with the sleep-wake cycle, making you unable to sleep and wake at the right times.
  • Parasomnia: acting in unusual ways while falling asleep, sleeping, or waking from sleep, such as walking, talking, or eating

Ways to Manage Sleep Disturbance 

  • Keep a log of your sleep (include your naps and amount of time you sleep at night), sleep disturbances, and what you are doing to manage it daily using  a journal. 
  • Good sleep hygiene is important for improving the quality of your sleep.
    • Have a dark and quiet sleep environment with a comfortable temperature.
    • Use your bed for sleeping and intimacy only, not for watching TV or working.
    • Stick to a sleep schedule so you so you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
    • If you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes, try a relaxing activity or getting out of bed and returning when you feel sleepy. 
    • Avoid naps longer than one hour and naps close to bedtime. If possible, nap somewhere other than your bed.
  • Relaxation strategies can help reduce anxiety and improve your sleep. 
    • Mindfulness-based stress reduction helps you recognize your current emotions, thoughts, and bodily feelings to better deal with stressful experiences. These strategies include yoga and meditation.
    • Other soothing activities can include reading or listening to music.
  • Ask your doctor about being referred for some psychological treatment that can explore conscious and unconscious issues your facing that may be causing sleeping disturbance.
  • Try to follow the a healthy diet  recommended by professionals. Limit processed foods, which are pre-packaged and contain added sugars and fat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eat a high-protein snack two hours before bedtime and six small meals throughout the day. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Avoid drinking fluids and eating heavy meals before bedtime. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. 
  • Avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime as it can lead to interrupted sleep. 
  • Corticosteroids and other medications may interfere with sleep when taken later in the day.  Possibly talk  with your doctor about adjusting any  medication schedule you are having to manage. 
Way to improve your sleep - Follow this Routine | Resolve sleep disturbance with Psychologists Gold Coast | Alegna Solutions