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If you’re suffering from insomnia, there’s every chance that you’re hoping this article will put you to sleep! Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and it can become a problem when it starts to have a negative impact on your day-to-day life.  Difficulty sleeping and tiredness are two of the most common side effects reported by patients with cancer, with between 20-50% of patients being prescribed medication to help with sleep. 
Insomnia often occurs with other symptoms, most commonly pain and fatigue. Fatigue, which is defined as lack of motivation and sleepiness, can lead to behaviours like day-time napping, which in turn can contribute to insomnia.  This tricky trio of cancer related fatigue (CRF), pain and insomnia affect more than 50% of cancer patients, and is one of the major barriers to improving quality of life.
The benefits of catching forty winks might seem self-evident, particularly on a Sunday morning, but research has shown that getting enough shut eye can have a positive impact on our overall health.
Sleep has an important role to play in brain function, heart health, immune system function, emotional regulation and the removal of toxins.
How much is enough?
The amount of sleep we need varies according to our age and activity level (yes, science supports the benefits of lie-ins for teenagers!), but a large study by the American Thoracic Society suggested the following guidelines: 
There are two phases of sleep. REM sleep is active sleep and includes dreaming. This is mentally restorative. Non-REM sleep is quiet sleep. These phases alternate throughout the night.
There are many reasons why cancer can affect sleep. This article has highlighted some of the factors that may play a role: 
In the Bedroom
Here’s to hoping this article will help you nod off after all.
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Naydis E. [Internet]. Fredhutch.org. 2019 [cited 22 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.fredhutch.org/content/dam/public/Treatment-Suport/survivorship/MBCTW-2016/Sleep%20in%20Cancer%20Care%20THIM%2006-04-2016%20FHCRC.pdf