Missing Your Z’s?
Article 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
- 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!