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What helps you sleep at night?

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

I have always struggled with sleeping and staying asleep, I will wake up at 2 AM and my mind won't stop spinning, usually it is stuff that I need to put behind me (like exes) and the stress of the cancer has made it so much worse. I have been taking Ambien, which helps a lot. They also gave me Lorazepam for my anxiety, which I never had until they removed 12 inches of my colon, stuck a powerport inside my chest and had me go through 12 chemos. Now I just freak out every time I do not feel well thinking it is back. And wonder why I am still alive and not my mom.

Yes I made a psychotherapist appt for this month. : /

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi, Christinecarl - You are not alone. Many of us are going through the same thoughts and lack of sleep. The things that help me the most are thinking good thoughts before I go to bed and listening to restful music. If I wake up, I have a small CD player in bed with light music. I take a bath before I go to bed too. That always makes my whole body and mind better. Affirmations are good all during the day. Say things that make you and others feel good (It is a beautiful day, what can I do to help someone else today, etc). You are not alone. Hang in there and keep positive thoughts going in your head. Then there is little to no room for negative thoughts.

angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

ativan helps me sleep ..


maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm with you, sleeping has always been a problem for me so stage 4, three surgeries and 3 rounds of chemo has not helped. I started yoga seriously this fall and I really really like it. Try to walk and get some fresh air everyday. Use soft meditation and relaxation tapes beside your bed and try to get that mind to slow down and off the black thoughts.

I too use lorazapam....one doctor told me recently that these sleeping aids sortof of wear out after prolonged use and you might consider asking for a change. I also started last year on effexor for depression and I think that helped sleeping a lot.

best of luck and wishes,

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

I still have difficulty staying asleep. For awhile it was the opain and discomfort from op; recently(like only the past two days) I've been able to sleep as many as 3-4hours in a row. Unfortunately I'm to restart chemo tomorrow(Wed)with the pump, etc . This time I'm going to insist on something stronger if 1 to 1 and a 1/2 mg of Ativan doesn't work (Used Xanax,Ambien and some others Ican't spell or pronounce). I've had difficulty sleeping since Dx with COPD in

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

use Ativan and Xanex, sometimes I awaken because of my bag turning into a balloon, lol..but otherwise, I seem to go back to sleep just as easy as I get up.


daydreamer110761's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2008

I hate to say it, but I use advil pm. My problem has never been going to sleep, it's staying there. I always seem to wake up about 2 or 3am and my mind keeps spinning, whether its about what I have to get done the next day, whats going on at work, thinking about the next dr appt, etc. I have a script for something (forget what it is) but didn't want to unless I really needed to. At this point, I hate to say it, but I drink a few glasses of wine, soak in the tub with some calm music and just before I go to bed I take just one advil, and I don't wake up til I smell the coffee...

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

I've always been a bit of an insomniac - normally running on 4-6 hours of sleep per night, and not able to get to sleep till after midnight. And waking at least once per night, if not multiple times.

It wasn't so much of a problem when I wasn't tired. But now I am so tired, and still have trouble getting to sleep, and staying asleep. I HATE taking drugs. I did take Ativan a few times, and I have it here if I want to take it. But I found even if it helped me get to sleep, it did nothing to keep me there.

Right now what has been helping me the most are CD's that my mother sent me. Two are music and wave sounds. Two are just the sounds of the ocean. I put them on and take myself away to the ocean, which is where I've always gone to heal emotionally and physically (but can't travel there physically right now). It really helps me a lot.

You might consider finding music or sounds that are soothing to you to play to help you get to sleep - and you can play them again if you awake in the middle of the night.

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Christine,

My Naturopath put me on melatonin for a sleep aid. I had the whole can't fall asleep and then stay asleep when I'd wake up at 2-3am. She had me work my way up to 20mg/night. It works like a charm and isn't a "drug" so no need for a prescription. Melatonin has also been found to shrink tumors if taken at night and grows them if taken in the morning. Don't ask me why.

In Chinese medicine, if you're awake at 2:00am your liver is detoxing which, if you've had chemo, your liver is trying to detox your body.

I have also found recently Bach's Flower Essences Rescue Remedy to put me right to sleep. (I'm no longer taking mellies). And then if I wake up too early in the morning (7am) I put a lavender eye pillow and off I go again to sleep.

Doing yoga breathing, deep breathing, helps me fall back asleep too. I'm obviously not into drugs so these are my natural remedies that work for me.

Hope this helps.

peace, emily

fighting for mom's picture
fighting for mom
Posts: 96
Joined: Jan 2009

My mom would not take anything prescription for sleep aid, so she started taking melatonin. She had already been using visualization cds that helped her to relax, visualize and get a 'routine' to sleep. It worked pretty good for a while and then when she added the melatonin worked fabulously for her.
I hope you get some ZZZZZZs.


shrevebud's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: Aug 2009

HI there:

I have had trouble sleeping before I came down with stage IV colon cancer about 2.6 years ago. I've taken everything there is to take except for Lunesta. I've also taken older medicines like phenobarbital and Restoril (temazepam). Right now, I'm on Ambien CR 12.5 mg, Trazadome (an older anti-depressant that is also used for sleep) 150 mg and OTC generic Unisom. I take all of this every night and still have problems falling asleep or staying asleep after I do fall asleep. I've taken Ativan too but not for sleep. You might want to ask about changing or going up on the amounts of what you are taking to see if that will help. After awhile our bodies get used to these medicines and the amounts so we have to make changes. Hope you are able to find the right combination of meds to help. Be well. Take care. Roy

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