Sleep-onset insomnia vs. sleep-maintenance?


Question from SMT: Hi, I'm a 2-year IDC survivor, 49 years old. I had radiation but no chemo. I'm on tamoxifen and also taking Effexor for hot flashes and night sweats. The night sweats are now almost non-existent but the hot flashes still occur 4 to 10 times daily. The real problem is that I seem to be getting less and less sleep—sometimes my husband says I toss and turn all night. Other times I spend 1 to 2 hours trying to fall asleep at bedtime.
Answers - Helena Schotland Insomnia comes in a couple of different flavors. One is sleep-onset insomnia, where you may have difficulty initially falling asleep. The other is sleep-maintenance insomnia, where you may have difficulty staying asleep. Techniques for sleep-onset insomnia we've discussed. Sleep-maintenance insomnia needs to be evaluated a little bit more closely from a medical standpoint, to see if there are underlying medical issues causing you to wake up. In some patients, this may require a sleep study to further evaluate the sleep disruption.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2007, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Sleep Well: Healthy Habits for Good Rest. Helena Schotland, M.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about ways to improve your sleep.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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