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Sleep and chronic disease

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logo for Vik Atopic Dermatitis

By : Vik

6 months ago

I often tell my patients: the basis of good mental health is a good quality of sleep. Everything seems a little harder when we have had a bad night, the pain seems more intense and anxiety can get the best of us because our brain is tired. When we feel like we are not doing too well mentally, the first thing to do is work on our quality of sleep.  

 

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It's true that the symptoms linked to your chronic illness can largely disrupt your sleep cycles and your nights. According to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, 30 to 50% of people with chronic diseases suffer from sleep disorders.   

It is also likely that your treatment itself is disrupting the quality of your sleep. The side effects of certain chemotherapies, for example, can cause physical discomfort, that considerably impairs sleep patterns or can cause you to wake up multiple times at night.  

Another important point is to absolutely avoid the presence of a television set in the bedroom, even if it is supposed to “help you fall asleep” or get back to sleep. What very often happens is that the TV stays on all night, which considerably lessens the quality of sleep. The light emanating from the screen prevents the brain from correctly producing melatonin, the hormone that give sleep its "restorative" qualities.  

Finally, as always when facing a problem, it is important to list all the "small" solutions that are within our reach. It is often the sum of these "small" solutions that will solve the problem, whatever it is. The quality of your mattress, whether it is too hard or not hard enough, controlling the noise in your bedroom, or even adding herbal tea to your nighttime routine, will perhaps be assets that can gradually improve your sleep and your quality of life.  

On that note, I wish you all a good night!  

Sébastien Landry psycho-sexologist 

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