Okay, it is known the importance of sleep; sleepfoundation.org has the following –
Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.
For the past several weeks or more likely about a month now; sleep has been difficult for me. What caused this and how do I get back to sleeping good again? Back in September in my post ‘The lab experiment‘, I wrote about having a medicine cabinet overflowing with medications I am unable to pronounce the names to. Since then, I have stopped taking many of those medications and only take the necessary ones that are needed during this time of chemotherapy treatment, recovery and a benefit to my overall health.
About the same time, my inability to have a good night’s sleep started. Could it be that these medications were helping me sleep? My guess is yes, they were helping. I have for most of my life had issues sleeping and for many years dealt with this by drinking. I have not hidden my drinking habits here on my blog; some of you may remember these posts I wrote about my use of alcohol:
Upon my cancer diagnosis and the treatment plan, I stopped drinking on a regular basis, and now with taking only the medications that are essential in my recovery – my sleep is affected. Without something to aid me, my usual sleep habit for most of my life is back – basically insomnia. Several weeks ago, my Oncologist Dr. D. prescribed me medication to help with the sleep. The medication did not help at all and I continued to have sleepless nights, so I stopped taking that medication.
Without alcohol and with the reduced medications; my body begin to respond not only with insomnia, but also it started experiencing internal shakes. After some research, I did find that for some people, chemotherapy treatment can have a side effect like Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). I feel this is what I have experienced in the evening specially when I go to bed, which aids my insomnia. My mom experiences RLS and with my dad having Parkinson’s Disease, there is a possibility I am experiencing something similar if not RLS itself.
I have spoken with my Oncologist Dr. D. about this and the result is an additional medication for RLS. I started taking this medication and it does help with the internal shakes but did not help with the insomnia. I then decided to also take the medication specifically for insomnia.
Another effect on my sleepless nights is the fact I prefer either total silence or a constant humming noise. I recently started using an app on my phone that makes the noise of a ‘fan’ blowing and now I use it by playing it all night.
I like the constant ‘fan’ sound and it along with the medications are helping me have a good night’s sleep, once again.