There’s a lot you can do to improve sleep. It’s one of the most powerful and important healing practices. So if you aren’t sleeping, it’s worth focusing on it right away.
Sleeping well is fundamental for healing.
If you’re not sleeping well, it’s worth focusing on it right away. As with the other 7 Healing Practices, there are many ways to improve your sleep.
Getting good exercise, getting off electronic gadgets a few hours before bedtime, and staying away from stimulants like caffeine especially during the second half of the day are beneficial. Taking relaxing herbs or magnesium or melatonin or fish oil (in any combination) before bed may also help. Consult a good source on how much to take.
One important point about sleep is the power of dreams. Dreams are rightly called the royal road to the unconscious. Dreams are a powerful messaging system from the soul or the unconscious to our conscious minds. Keeping a dream journal is a truly beautiful way to learn to listen to the deep wisdom sources within each of us. It may take a while to learn to decipher the language of your dreams. But they can prove a powerful source of healing.
There’s a lot you can do to improve sleep. It’s one of the most powerful and important healing practices. So if you aren’t sleeping, I encourage you to keep working on it.
Wishing you well,
Sleeping Well at a glance
Sleep disruption is common in people with cancer. Anxiety, stress, and disruptions to your family, finances, and routines can lead to sleep disruption. Side effects and symptoms of cancer and treatments can also interfere with sleep.1Getting Help for Sleep Problems. American Cancer Society. 2020. Viewed January 2, 2022.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep regularly is one step you can take to improve your resilience and well-being. Adequate and quality sleep may help reduce side effects of treatment, cancer symptoms, and risk of recurrence, and may improve your treatment response. Several medical groups and integrative oncology experts recommend adequate sleep as part of your lifestyle approach to reduce cancer.
Both too little and too much sleep are linked to worse outcomes with cancer, although the outcomes are not always consistent across cancer types. Sleep disturbance is also linked to other physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. If you’re getting too little sleep, you may want to evaluate how you can get to bed earlier or wake up later to give yourself at least seven hours of sleep each night.
If you have enough time in bed but struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, refer to this handbook for guidance on promoting better sleep.
Sleeping nine or more hours may be needed to make up a sleep deficit, if you are ill, or for young adults. If none of these is true for you, but you regularly sleep nine hours or more a night, you may consider checking if an underlying medical condition is causing you to sleep so much. Mention your sleep schedule and any other symptoms you have to your doctor.
We emphasize that Sleeping Well by itself will not prevent, cure, or control cancer. Like every other therapy or practice included on this website, Sleeping Well is one component of an individualized integrative plan rather than a stand-alone therapy.