An About.com health report examines the causes for insomnia caused by cancer and its treatments and symptoms.
Insomnia in people with cancer is very common, but has received little attention relative to the dangers it poses. Not only does insomnia significantly impact quality of life for people with cancer, but, as noted in slide show number 1 above, it appears to have a negative effect on the survival rate.
Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep lasting 30 minutes or more and/or nighttime awakenings adding up to 30 minutes or more, associated with daytime tiredness.
Since it is helpful to understand causes before discussing treatments, let’s begin with outlining some of the causes and risk factors for insomnia in people with cancer. These include the biochemical changes associated with the growth of a tumor, cancer treatments, symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments, as well as sleep routine and coexisting medical conditions.