Coping with Sleeping Problems: Insomnia in Childhood Cancer

distressed-teenage-girlSymptom 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 Insomnia in this article – Hypersomnia, Somnolence Syndrome & Nightmares is dealt with on a separate Page.

Insomnia is defined as an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep; chronic sleeplessness. It could cause your child problems during the day such as low energy, fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability. Most people experience insomnia at some point in their lives; the risk of insomnia increases with age and with serious illnesses, such as cancer.

Insomnia often causes other cancer-related conditions and symptoms such as pain, fatigue, or depression or anxiety, to become worse. Insomnia may also decrease your child’s ability to cope with their cancer and cause feelings of isolation.

Someone with insomnia will often take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and may get six or fewer hours of sleep for three or more nights a week over a month or more.

There are two types of insomnia:

  • Primary Insomnia: Primary insomnia is when an individual is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem.
  • Secondary Insomnia: Secondary insomnia is when an individual is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol).

The goal for managing insomnia is to achieve restful sleep and improve your child’s overall quality of life. Understanding and treating the underlying cause of your insomnia is the best way to do this. There are many methods of tackling insomnia, including medication and natural remedies.


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Insomnia on our static page, Sleeping Problems: Insomnia 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 19 July, 2016, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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