The cause of cancer patients insomnia

The side effects during treatment, the effects of drugs, anxiety when detecting the disease ... make patients not have a good night's sleep.
According to the Daily Telegraph, research at the University of Oxford and the Royal British Public Health Association shows that insomnia can weaken the brain. Specifically, after 17 hours of sleeplessness, the brain's less alertness is similar to the effect of blood alcohol concentration. Feeling tired can affect your ability, reaction time, judgment when driving, causing poor concentration. All side effects similar to drunkenness can easily lead to hallucinations, mental meltdowns.

Getting enough sleep helps reduce stress levels, prevent the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Sleep disorders occur frequently with cancer patients. According to Oncolink (which provides information on cancer in the US), sleep disorders are common due to:

Medicines for treatment

Long-term use of the following drugs may cause insomnia:

Sedatives and hypnotics (e.g., glutethimide, benzodiazepines, pentobarbital, chloral hydrate, secobarbital sodium and amobarbital sodium)

- Anticonvulsants (e.g., phenytoin)
- Corticosteroids.
- Monoamine oxydase inhibitors.
- Methyldopa
- Propranolol
- Atenolol

Side effects of treatment

Side effects during treatment such as pain, night sweats, hot flashes, diarrhea, constipation or nausea), respiratory disorders, fatigue make it difficult for patients to have a good night's sleep.

Long hospital stay

Long-term stay in hospital can make it more difficult for patients to sleep, so it is difficult to have a normal sleep in the hospital because:

- Hospital environment: Patients are uncomfortable by beds, pillows, room temperature, noise or sharing a room with strangers.
- Hours in the hospital: Sleep can be interrupted when doctors, nurses come to visit, check, prescribe drugs ...


When diagnosed with cancer, the patient will be in a state of stress, worried about the condition, health, finance ... these problems cause sleep disorders. Besides, patients are also anxious, maybe even depressed when learning about the disease, receiving treatment.

Mild to moderate sleep disorders may experience discomfort, inability to concentrate, decreased resistance, which affects patient compliance with treatment regimens.

To sleep well, patients need to treat headaches, nausea, depression, hot flashes. If insomnia persists, patients can treat it with a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.

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