Both medical groups and integrative experts provide recommendations for Sleeping Well.
Learn more about the approaches and meanings of recommendations: Integrative Oncology Programs and Expert Guidelines ›
Recommendations from medical groups
A consensus statement from these groups makes these conclusions:
- Sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes.
- Sleeping more than 9 hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt, and individuals with illnesses. For others, it is uncertain whether sleeping more than 9 hours per night is associated with health risk.
- People concerned they are sleeping too little or too much should consult their healthcare professional.
The Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends regular sleep after curative treatment for colon and rectal cancer.
These guidelines recommend getting 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep on a regular basis, with consistent bed times and wake-up times.
The 2020 guidelines for survivorship care for healthy living recommend getting enough sleep.
Integrative programs, protocols and approaches
These integrative medicine experts use or recommend sleep as part of their programs and approaches for people with cancer.
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella
Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts. 2010
Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. 2013.
Approaches are described for certain cancer types, or along with certain conventional therapy treatments, or for particular conditions such as insulin resistance.
Keith Block, MD
Block KI. Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Care. New York: Bantam Dell. 2009.
The integrative Block Program has recommendations to people who are at different places along the cancer continuum:
- Those who’ve been recently diagnosed
- Those in treatment
- Those who’ve concluded treatment and need to remain vigilant to prevent recurrence
Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, and Alison Jefferies, MEd
Cohen L, Jefferies A. Anticancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health with the Mix of Six. New York: Viking. 2018.
This book introduces the concept of the Mix of Six, which is identical to six of our 7 Healing Practices ›
Dr. Cohen and Ms. Jefferies explain that while each plays an independent role, the synergy created by all six factors can radically transform health, delay or prevent many cancers, support conventional treatments, and significantly improve quality of life.
Jeremy Geffen, MD
Geffen J. The Seven Levels of Healing. Audio CD – 2002
Geffen J. The Journey Through Cancer: An Oncologist’s Seven-Level Program for Healing and Transforming the Whole Person. New York, New York: Three Rivers Press. 2006.
Geffen J. The Seven Levels of Healing. Presented at Cancer as a Turning Point Conference in Seattle, Washington in 2006.
Dr. Geffen developed a healing program based on what he calls The Seven Levels of Healing. It is a program of body, mind, heart, and spirit for healing and transforming the whole person.
Barbara MacDonald, ND, LAc
MacDonald B. The Breast Cancer Companion—A Complementary Care Manual: Third Edition. Self-published. 2016.
Naturopathic physician Barbara MacDonald provides information about breast cancer, its conventional treatment, and natural approaches to enhancing treatment, managing side effects, reducing risk of recurrence, and healthy living after cancer treatment is completed.
Traditional medicine systems
Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medical systems see each individual as composed of the primary elements of nature, in varying degrees. After carefully determining your basic composition and your current state of balance (or imbalance), a traditional medicine professional may prescribe Sleeping Well to bring your elemental energies into alignment.
Learn more about traditional medicine and how to find a practitioner: Finding Integrative Oncologists and Other Professionals ›
CancerChoices Senior Clinical Consultant Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS: Getting adequate sleep and rest is considered an essential lifestyle strategy to include in an integrativein cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care, and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care plan. Integrative cancer care specialists such as Keith Block, MD; Gary Deng, MD; Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO; and Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO, all emphasize the importance of balancing your biorhythms (also called circadian rhythms) to create an internal environment that is hostile to cancer cells while also promoting healing and health. The sleep/rest/activity cycle is one of those rhythms. Dr. Deng considers sleep as one of the 6 Pillars of Good Health (the others being exercise, diet, stress management, relationships and meaning).