Sleepless nights are a common problem for MyLeukemiaTeam members. Many people with leukemia experience insomnia for a host of reasons, from pain to side effects to anxiety. If you’ve experienced insomnia while living with leukemia, you know what a detrimental impact it can have on your wellbeing.
Pain is a frequent - and upsetting - cause of insomnia for people with leukemia. “I’ve been struggling with intense pain in my back and my sides for over a week now,” a member posted. “It's been so intense that I have been awakened from a deep sleep in the middle of the night.”
The same MyLeukemiaTeam member wrote, “I’m running out of ideas about how to keep this pain under control and also running out of patience.”
Night sweats and temperature fluctuations are another cause of sleep disturbances. “I cannot get comfortable in bed. I sweat on and off all night, even with a fan,” a member shared. Night sweats can be a symptom of leukemia or a side effect of cancer medications.
It’s not always physical symptoms that prevent people with leukemia from sleeping. Some MyLeukemiaTeam members struggle with anxiety-induced insomnia. One member commented, “I keep reading about chronic lymphocytic leukemia [CLL] and now they tell me my CD38 [a genetic marker that can influence prognosis] test came back positive. I have trouble sleeping because I can’t stop thinking about all this!”
Neuropathy (nerve pain, tingling, or numbness), treatment with corticosteroids, and extreme fatigue that disrupts normal sleep patterns are among many other possible causes of insomnia.
On MyLeukemiaTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with leukemia, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Sleep is one of the most discussed topics. Do you have trouble sleeping? Have you found techniques to get a good night’s rest? Share your insights in the comments below or directly on MyLeukemiaTeam.
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