This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.
Having spent many years of my life sharing a home with cats, I have always been astounded at how much they sleep. As I type this my little ZuZu is napping for what may be the third or fourth time today! And it’s not even noon!
I am convinced if human beings got as much quality sleep as animals did, we’d be happier and healthier for it. We all know by now that sleep is incredibly important for everyone. Study after study has come out concluding that lack of sleep is dangerous for our health. Studies have even shown your quality of sleep determines how well your body’s immune system is able to fight off cancer and other diseases.
Sadly, while cancer patients require quality sleep, most have an incredibly hard time getting a good night’s rest. Based on research out of Stanford University, sleep issues arise because of an imbalance between specific hormones that influence cancer cells. One of the hormones is cortisol, which helps regulate your immune system’s activity. And much of the activity is releasing “natural killer” cells that help you fight cancer.
Cortisol levels in the body usually peak after dawn, after you have (hopefully) already gotten a full 8 hours of sleep. Levels of cortisol will then generally taper off throughout the day. To help yourself o get a good night of sleep, order here these CBD Pre rolls.
This is one of the biggest reasons why shift work is so bad for a person’s health. When you are awake when you should really be sleeping, your body has a shift in its cortisol rhythm and you become more susceptible to developing cancer and other diseases.
The other important hormone that is affected by our sleep patterns is melatonin. Our brains actually produce this hormone when we sleep. But here’s what you may not know. Melatonin is not just a little hormone that helps us fall asleep, it does so much more than that. Melatonin has actually been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties that actually help your body stop cell damage. Melatonin is NOT just something to help you fight jetlag, it actually helps your body fight cancer!
So when you don’t get adequate sleep, your brain cannot produce melatonin. This in turn makes it harder for you to fall asleep, and a vicious cycle ensues.
4 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Cancer self-help requires getting enough quality sleep. This MUST be a priority if you want to give your body every chance of healing. Here are some ways I was able to get enough sleep so my body could fight the cancer.
I remember all too well those dark nights I spent, tossing and turning, filled with anxiety and dread. I was worried about myself, scared of dying. I was worried about the burden I was putting on my friends and family. No matter how I tried to get to sleep, the constant churning of dark thoughts filled my mind, making my heart race.
I had to find a way to manage this stress and anxiety because I could feel the lack of sleep was taking a toll. I had to somehow take control of my own mind and calm those thoughts down so I could get to sleep and stay asleep.
Meditation was a Godsend to me back then. Breathwork and stilling my mind brought me a sense of peace and tranquility I didn’t think was even possible. I couldn’t believe how quickly my sleep pattern turned around once I began my practice.
But meditation did more than just help me calm my mind and body, it connected me to a higher power. And if I’m honest, I had never really been connected to this power before. I had been brought up in the Christian faith, but I had never FELT CONNECTED to God.
Now I was suddenly very aware of a great power and a divine loving presence. Meditation helped me feel relaxed in the power and divine design of God.
I encourage you to give meditation a try for yourself so you can feel this peace.
Help Your Body be Comfortable
In addition to a racing mind, there are other things that keep cancer patients from getting a good night’s sleep. Many experience hot flashes and night sweats. If you do, keep the temperature in your room quite low, and select bedding that keeps you cool and wicks away moisture.
You may find your body just hurts all over. Please treat yourself to a new mattress that will gently support your body. Many cancer patients I’ve worked with have found memory foam mattresses to be ideal.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
It’s best not to eat for at least 2 hours before laying down or you might experience indigestion, which will keep you up all night.
Now that we know melatonin will not only help you fall asleep but can also help your body fight cancer cells, you may want to speak with your doctor about adding it to your night routine.
Sleep must be a priority for you if you are fighting cancer or any serious health condition. I cannot stress this enough. Your immune system needs sleep to fight on your behalf.
Sending you love and sweet dreams…