Coping with Sleeping Problems: Hypersomnia, Somnolence Syndrome & Nightmares in Childhood Cancer

SLEEPING PROBLEMSSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Cancer and Cancer Treatment can cause a variety of sleeping problems such as Hypersomnia, Somnolence Syndrome, Nightmares, and Insomnia.

Other factors that can also cause these sleeping problems include emotional concerns or medical conditions unrelated to cancer.

We will discuss Hypersomnia, Somnolence Syndrome & Nightmares in this article and will deal with Insomnia on a separate Page.

  • HypersomniaHypersomnia causes one to feel very sleepy during the day or want to sleep for longer than normal at night. Hypersomnia may also be called somnolence, excessive daytime sleepiness, or prolonged drowsiness.
  • Somnolence SyndromeSomnolence syndrome is a type of hypersomnia in Children with Cancer that is specifically associated With Radiation Therapy to the head.
  • NightmaresNightmares are vivid, frightening dreams which normally cause one to wake up and remember part or most of the dream. Most people have nightmares from time to time, but the frequency or vividness of nightmares can increase after a cancer diagnosis and during cancer treatment. Frequent nightmares can lead to a fear of going to sleep, restless sleep, and daytime sleepiness.

Hypersomnia is similar to fatigue, but they are not the same. Fatigue is when one is feeling exhausted and has no energy, and the feeling is not relieved by sleep. Excessive daytime sleeping and being unable to stay awake are not signs of fatigue, but may be signs of Hypersomnia.

An increase in emotional stress is a common cause of nightmares. Because having cancer is frightening and stressful, especially for children, it is normal for them to experience some nightmares during treatment and recovery.

Nightmares may be a way in which the mind works through unresolved feelings and fears.


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding  Sleeping Problems on our static page, Sleeping Problems: Hypersomnia, Somnolence Syndrome & Nightmares in Childhood Cancer



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 15 July, 2016, in Blog, Cancer Treatments and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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