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Post Treatment Insomnia

Posts: 18
Joined: May 2010

I'm fairly new here so apologies if this has been discussed before. I'm a year post treatment from Chemo and Radiation and Haven't had a good nights sleep since. If I'm lucky I get 4 hours in a night but I also have nights when I get less than an hour. My Oncologist, who gave me as much Oxycontin as I wanted during treatment (which he should) has been very reluctant to give me a sleeping pill saying that over time they will lose their effectiveness and I will will want more and more of them. I guess the question is does anyone have any kind of "home remedy" to help with sleep? I've tried Tylenol PM and it helps but leaves me with a terrible feeling in the morning. By the way, my PCP concurs with my Oncologist about the sleeping pill. Oh lucky me. :)
With everything I and you all have been through, this is a small issue which may improve over time but if I can speed up the process, I'd feel so much better and have much more energy.
Thanks in advance for any advice.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I have trouble sleeping myself post treatment. For me I think a lot comes from drinking a lot of fluids during the day. My mouth still tends to dry at night, so I wake every few hours take a sip of water, usually have to go get rid of a little excess and then go back to sleep....(for another few hours)

Posts: 18
Joined: May 2010

I went through just what you mentioned, that being the dry mouth and lack of saliva. That did cause me to wake often but I am past that fortunately so I don't know if I'm just used to not sleeping or what. Still looking for that home remedy or something else. :)

Greg53's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Apr 2010

I use Melatonin whenever I have the no-sleep issue. You might want to research it, but what I've found is no side effects for me and it usually works well. You might have to take it for a couple days before it is effective. You can get it over-the-counter at drugstores or health type stores.

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009


I was a chronic sufferer. I use a product called 'Tranquilnite' by Newchapter. it contains all natural herbs and works well. Ingredients: Valerian, Seditol* (*proprietary herb mix), Hops, Ginger, Lavender, Passion Flower, Chamomile & Peppermint.

Melatonin also works well as Greg says. It replaces your naturally produced melatonin because we don't produce much as we get older and sleep more from habit than by effects of diminished light (That's why kids go to sleep so well when you put them in a dark room).

You need to have a good bedtime routine for half an hour or so before you go to sleep: maybe doing the above natural tabs plus a bedtime tea (Chamomile), quiet, lowered lights and relaxed stress free moment ..... and ...then.... zzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzz

Hope this helps.

Posts: 18
Joined: May 2010

Thanks guys. It's nice to know that I was not the only one with this issue, though I don't wish more had it. lol. It's even nicer that you gave me exactly what I was looking for, that being, a non prescription "home remedy" type sleep aid.
I do have a good routine when hgoing to bed. I read. May have to change that though as because of the sleep issue I tend to read most of the night. We'll try another course but thanks again. Very much appreciated.


Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

I take Ambien most nights. I know it can be habit forming and all that but without sleep I'm not worth a darn. I need to be with it on my job and its tough 10 months out with chemo brain, tiredness anyway, nerve issues, and lack of spit. So if I don't sleep everything is amplified. After talking with my docs it is best that I sleep, even if drug induced, then not to sleep. This is a tough subject and I'm glad my docs are more concerned with my need for rest then with the medication.


pattyanny's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2009

So sorry about your insomnia, because I know how you feel! It is terrible to try to get through the day without a good nites rest - never mind heal. I take ambien also, and am not addicted after about 1 year. To add to my lack of saliva, drinking water so much day & nite, and getting up for bathroom visits - hubby shakes the house with his snoring! Ugh! I don't even take it every nite, but when I do, I feel fine in the morning. My PCP prescribed 10 mg, but sometimes I just take 1/2 to just relax me enough for sleep to take over. I had it filled on 5/15 (30 pills) I have 25 left. I think natural is the best idea, but using discretion, addiction should not be a problem. Good luck and sweet dreams!

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

But a big thanks to Scam and Greg for their info on the subject. Wish I had known about such years ago- struggled with sleep issues for decades. Dr. started me on the Ambien due to my suggestion, as I'd seen ads for it on tv. Don't really feel like the medicine does anything, but do know it has solved my sleep issues.


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