Missing Your Z’s?

Jan 29, 2020 | Megan Roessler M. Ed. | @meganroessler

phoneshutterstock_1043548516Article contributed by Mayo Staff Kendra Mele, R.N.

Sleep dysfunction is a common complaint of those diagnosed with cancer. There are many aspects that contribute to sleep dysfunction, such as stress, medications, and treatments, to name a few. Though there are numerous interventions that can be used to improve sleep, behavioral strategies have been found to be most effective.

Utilizing good sleep habits is a simple and effective way to improve your sleep.

Examples of good sleep habits include:

  • Setting up a sleep environment with stimulus control
  • Going to bed only when sleepy
  • Getting out of bed when you can’t sleep
  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Exercise during the day, even a short walk can be very beneficial

Relaxation is a skill that can help to improve your sleep. Relaxation exercises can be used to help your body learn to relax.

Examples of relaxation exercises include:

  • Guided imagery
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Scheduling worry time prior to getting into bed
  • Breathing exercises
  • Winding down 60 minutes before going to bed

Mobile applications give you easy access to resources that can help manage and track your sleep. The mobile application, CBT-i coach, has been found to be quite helpful in managing sleep.  This is a free mobile application available for iPhone and Android users. CBT-i is defined as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. It helps to change your behavior/thoughts/actions that are getting in the way of a good night’s sleep. This mobile application gives you access to self-guided CBT-i therapy. The user is able to take a sleep assessment to pinpoint areas for concern, create a sleep diary, set reminders and goals, as well as learn about several tools for managing sleep.

How do I get the application?

  • Go to your application store on your mobile device and type “CBT-i coach”
  • Download the application to your mobile device
  • Accept terms and conditions
  • You are ready to start your journey to find better sleep!
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