- Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid
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March 12, 2009
What If I Have Trouble Sleeping?
Sleep is a state of relaxation that restores your physical and emotional energies. Regular sleep is vital in order for you to function normally while awake. After cancer your usual sleep patterns can be upset by
• medications or changes in medications
•emotional stress, anxiety, or depression
• change in your daily schedule
Good-quality sleep is an important ingredient in recovery. Make changes to encourage regular, good-quality sleep, even if it means taking medication for a while. You can do many things to facilitate good sleep:
•Adjust the timing, dose, or choice of medications that may be keeping you awake, such as decongestants and other cold remedies or steroids.
• Eliminate dietary stimulants such as caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, and certain over-the-counter pain medications. This is especially important in the afternoon and evening.
•Do something relaxing to get ready for sleep.
•Arrange your pain medication schedule to control pain when you go to sleep.
•Avoid alcohol at bedtime (it may help you fall asleep but will impair the quality and duration of sleep).
What About Nightmares?
Nightmares, distressing dreams, occur irregularly throughout life. During periods of emotional tension, you may notice an increase in the frequency, vividness, or daytime recall of your nightmares. After cancer this can be related to
• your medications
• uncontrolled pain
•posttraumatic stress (emotional stress following a traumatic event or experience)
Nightmares tend to become more frequent after one’s survival of any traumatic experience. Now that your treatments are over, your subconscious is processing what you went through. Some of your surfacing fears and anxieties may express themselves in nightmares. Remember that they are just dreams, not reality. Nightmares do not predict the future or cause events to occur. If they are persistent or anxiety producing, discuss them with your doctor.
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