Just wondering ,do any of you suffer from insomnia?

I was a very heavy sleeper before the chemo.Finished 6 cycles of 1st line carbo/taxol end of March,now on Avastin every 3 weeks.I do get exercise daily as well as doing some housework.The G.P gave me sleeping tablets but when I read the contra-indications ,I decided to stop taking them.Im not sure what to do anymore.I don't go to bed until 6.30am and I wake up again at,feeling full of energy,but surely this is false energy?

My g.p thinks that I haven't come to terms yet with my diagnosis and my insomnia is symptomatic of depression,i don't think I'm depressed.I don't think of my illness 24/7 so that's not causing the insomnia.Any of you suffer this? Xxx

20 Replies

  • It happens to me occasionally , but I am not on chemo. It is exactly as you describe it as a false energy.

    I was told that the thyroid and adrenal glands are overactive and I was given some herbal sleeping capsules that I did not take as yet.

    I usually deal with it by drinking teas to put me to sleep like: skullcap, motherworth, withania and gotu kola, all at once. Motherworth helps with the thyroid. The others are sedatives and gotu kola for pains and inflammation. Also now and then I take Mullein and Lobelia herbs to lower the thyroid activity.

    We just had visitors and before we went to sleep I served the 4 herbs tea I mentioned above and we all woke up the following day at 10 am after a very restful night asking each other how did we sleep so long?

  • Thanks Naomi.I'll try anything at this stage.I don't know if it's harmones or what.Got my thyroid checked but that was o.k thank goodness it's enough having ovarian cancer!

  • I had really bad insomnia during my chemo. I did go to bed though and tried to stay there in spite of the utter boredom! I think it is a side effect of the chemo, but also I did find that my mind was racing and I did do some basic meditation and yoga breathing to try and get to sleep, not sure how helpful it was but back to normal sleep pattern now, finished chemo in December. I would recommend no screen activities an hour or so before bed as they have been found to have a very bad effect on sleep. Try a dull book! Good luck x

  • Thank you Greeningthegrey.My hubby suggests I do that too,so I suppose it proves he can be right sometimes! Ha ha

  • You have to let them be right once s year!

  • Ha ha Greeningthegrey.I usually award him with the prestigious honour of being "right" once a year,usually at Christmas and after I've had a couple of glasses of wine. Xxx

  • Happened to me as well totally buzzing 24/7,gp give me antidepressants to balance out what he said was a chemical imbalance due to chemo,took about 2 month's to work but iam now back to normal sleep pattern the only thing that keeps me awake now is my husband's snoring lol x

  • Thank you Huniton.Empathise with you on the snoring ha ha.I'll try anything at this stage.x x

  • Yes,very frustrating!! Know how you feel, especially when it becomes a pattern.

    As the other ladies gave said, try the herbal teas,meditation etc.they will help, but it takes a while for the chemo to get out of your system. I found that the steroids given with the chemo kept me awake, and I just adjusted my lifestyle for a while. Worked during sleepless times, read and watched catch up, then had naps during the day.

    Am sure it will settle down for you

    JACKIEO xx

  • Thank You Jackio.I know it probably won't last forever.x x

  • My sleep pattern was changed on chemo. I always had bouts of sleeplessness but that improved when I retired. I would say it was anxiety rather than depression. I'll get in the herbs that naomi suggests they sound like the answer :-) My thyroid was up and down after my last course of chemo and they couldn't say why for sure - I'm on thyroxine 75mg daily now.

  • Thank you LeselyGreenGran.x x

  • I found myself almost addicted to prescription sleeping pills and like you was horrified to read of the possible side-effects. I knew I had to get myself off of these and discovered Asphalia and this has literally transformed my life. Even if I don't fall asleep immediately, I am not tossing and turning with anxiety. I was already coping with a different cancer before being diagnosed with Ovarian cancer so it was not surprising that I was a "little anxious". This is a natural product - the only restriction being for asthma sufferers as it made from grass. It is not cheap but for me it has been very worthwhile.

  • Thank you Devotedtolife.I'll try our local health food shop for that.You can't put a price on a good nights sleep so whatever the cost it will be worth it if it works,either that or a bottle of wine! Ha ha xx

  • Before diagnosis i had always been a good sleeper! Chemo upset my pattern but eventually i got things back. Unfortunately the pressure of watch and wait means i have cycle of sleepless nights followed by full sleep centred around onc appointments! It is just another problem associated with this disease i guess! Hope you manage to get your sleep pattern back soon.


  • Thanks Mumclark

    Yes your right this disease is brutal,but as I keep saying,I may have cancer but it doesn't have me! I hope you have a good sleep tonight.x x

  • I finished second line chemo in January and am also on Avastin three weekly.

    I suffer from insomnia too.

    I have started taking melatonin, and also drink night time herb teas before I go to bed, which do help, though not every night.

    hope this may help you.

  • Thanks HopeP,all advice and suggestions really

  • Hi

    I suffered with waking every 2hours for a year after my hysterectomy. The doctors all seemed surprised as if I was the only one. I know from this I'm not. I found it was partly due to hot flushes but certainly not wholly.

    I tried alsorts, sprays cooling mats ect. I did after a year try sleeping tablets just for a week to see if they could knock me out of the routine. Worked for two nights then went back to normal waking. I would not bother with them, my doctor would only give me a months supply and that was very reluctantly, which was good.

    It has improved over time and I have had acupuncture which has helped. I find nice bath about hour before bed is helpful.


  • Thanks wiganw.

    Yes was told part of the menopause process also but,was also told my symptoms were menopausal too so I take little heed of what is said to me now especially if the word menopause is used in the doctors sentence ha ha! I can't get acupuncture or reflexology or massage due to having O.C in my lymph Nodes but I do have the warm baths while listening to meditation music.xx

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