Home Cancer Expert Q&A Hub Coping With Treatments & Side Effects

Discomfort when sleeping - either too hot or too cold!

hessomhessom Posts: 110 ✭✭✭

Sweating and overheating are common side effects of chemo and radiotherapy and many experience restless nights because of it. Wearing light layers, keeping your bedroom cool and even cooling pads are often recommended, but what’s worked for you? Have you tried cutting things out like coffee and has it worked?


  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fluctuations in body temperature during the night! Who me? Oh yes!

    Duvet on, duvet off, feet in, feet out, and so it goes on! Winter or summer, doesn’t matter. Not necessarily a hot flush either, that is usually just in my head. It’s more my body can’t make up its mind! We usually have a little window open at night, unless it’s very cold.

    During the daytime I am the same, one minute hot, next minute cold. Ridiculous!Haha! I can laugh about it, but it is tiring too. It’s hard work trying to figure out how to make yourself comfortable.

    I do wear cotton clothing as much as possible, and at night I have a cooling pad in my pillow, which has really helped with the hot head flushes.

    I do drink coffee, but only in the morning, in the afternoon I drink tea, or a cold drink.

    When you are having treatment all these things are magnified several times over! Long-term medication, chemo-induced menopause, also have a major effect on sleep patterns.

    What does everyone else do? I know I am not the only one like this 😊.

    Lou x

  • TinklebellTinklebell Posts: 4

    im just new here infact this is first time ive typed as you can see im not very techno an my shaky hands makin it worse.

    ok ive tried everything from towels wrapped round my neck with ice. coz my head and hair are the worst right now. The actual words hot flush annoy me coz its way more than that..

    Ive spent a small on gadgets anni just cant find a thing.

    Jist seen someone say bamboo pjs but they are like 50pnd a pop I mean if they worked then I would buy ten Pair. But im a bit scepticle..Have you tried them?

    You.mentionedna cooling pillow. Is that the one from jml that you put in fridge. or is it something different.

    Having a cooling fan next to bed has helped. But as you know only for 5mins.

    so here i am waiting on some inspiration same as you.

    thanks in advance Carol

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tinklebell ,

    Hi Carol, welcome to the community, you are among friendly people who all support one another.

    I would definitely recommend you try one of the cooling gel pads, you can get them several places, although I did get mine from here, when I saw an ad pop up on fb. I can honestly say, as soon as I had cooled it in the fridge, then placed it inside my pillow case, it made such a massive difference to me. I wouldn't be without it now. I take it with me every time I go away, it's worth every penny. Last summer when the weather was so very hot, I put it in the freezer. You have to make sure its very flat though then, haha, otherwise, you might end up sleeping on a lump. Of course that never happened to me!🤣

    I understand how you feel with your head and hair, although I don't have much of that now, hahaha! It feels like you are on fire, for me anyway. I wrote about my funny ordeals in another chat 'Hot flushes'.

    I haven't tried any of the bamboo products myself, if all the reviews are really good, maybe they will help. I have heard good reports about the bamboo head wear.

    Have you signed up to the sleep course?

    Lou x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,241 mod

    I am on hormone therapy for treating my prostate cancer and one of the side effects is hot flushes. I rarely wear a sweater during the day even in very cold weather as I can have an attack just walking into a heated supermarket or restaurant. I struggled in the hot weather last year and I am now on a prescribed medication called medroxyprogesterone (yes, really).

    My flushes are now of short duration, about 5 minutes, but quite intense and I usually have three or four whilst in bed at night.

    Fortunately, my wife likes to keep our bedroom cool with open windows and we now use blankets so that I can remove and add layers on my side as necessary.

    I no longer drink coffee at all and I find that alcohol doesn't help either unfortunately. 😟 I mostly drink sugar free flavored water and nothing after 6.00 pm.

    My flushes are often triggered when I am anxious or worried so I try to relax with some gentle music for 30 minutes before I go to bed.

    I would like to add my welcome to @Tinklebell Carol. We are a friendly group and love to chat and help one another.

    Rob x

  • TinklebellTinklebell Posts: 4

    Oh thank you so much for responding im so glad ive found this

    Lou im defo goin to order myself one of these cool pillows they sound good.

    Yes ive signed up for the sleep course and ive been receiving daily emails and handy tips every day.

    Hi Robert thanks for the welcome. These flushes are defo the devil. Im just home from a family meal i was mortified sat there totally drenched while my sister was trying her best to fan me an dry the back of my head. It actually makes me feel dizzy sometimes. Bed time is horrendous i change my nightwear 2 or 3 times a night. anyway first thing tomorrow im ordering this cool pillow. thanks Lou.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good morning Carol,

    Oh no! That's so horrid, I have been there myself!! Stripping off in a restaurant! 😂.

    I do so hope you find the pad works for you. If you do, you can also get larger ones to lie on, especially if you are having to change in the night.

    I done get too many "body' hot flushes, but if I did I think I would use one. Anything to get cool!

    Really glad to have you here too Carol, I hope you have a good day.

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,241 mod

    Hi @Tinklebell and @Sunshine15

    Think I will try a gel pad too, and I noticed that our own LBW also have a cooling spray which I might try. Not sure I would risk stripping off in a restaurant though Lou. Could get thrown out and that would really cool me down. ❄️❄️

    Hey Carol, I think your typing is pretty good and it is great to have you with us. Hope the cooling pad works for you.

    Rob x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tinklebell , @RobertA

    Hi Carol, did you see yesterdays blog about temperature? It was interesting, I was reminded about putting pj's in the fridge before wearing them, or keeping spares in there. I also read about a bed fan, never heard of that before either. It hadn't occurred to me to use a hot water bottle in reverse either! Simple ideas that may make a difference!

    Rob, if you are struggling at night too, the cool pad is great. I do recommend it.

    Lou x

  • TinklebellTinklebell Posts: 4

    Hi Lou

    no where was this vlog I just got these emails from you?

    ah ha wait ive just found it under daily vlog see im not the most techno ill het stuck into these tips now. and ive ordered the head size pillow from amazon. should be here tomorrow. so im right i try it in fridge first then later if not cold enough whack it in freezer next time yes?

    Macmillan upped my sleeping meds to double so i managed 3 hours there an ping woke up soaked. so change of pjs an im gonna try again. no shakes for now tomorrow ill be a new woman

    Thanks Lou im loving all this support.


  • TinklebellTinklebell Posts: 4

    I just thought of summit that helped me not with sleep but with pain an did cool me down.. we all use it in my support group an all find it effective. Its called pernaton green lipped muscle cream. Purely herbal an safe to use only down side the effects wear off after maybe 30mins an has to be reaplied so i save mines for bedtime. its defo worth a try an doesnt break the bank

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tinklebell ,

    Hi Carol,

    I hope you have had a good day.

    Last summer when it was very hot at night I put the cool pad in the freezer, so I should think the fridge will be sufficient for the time being for you. I hope you find it helpful for you.

    Thanks for the tip for the cream, I haven’t heard of it.

    Glad you found the emails, with the blogs on!

    Lou x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tinklebell ,

    Hi Carol,

    Did you manage to get a coolpad to help at night?

    I don’t know whether it is because we have had a few warmer days but this evening my head has been dripping again! I haven’t had that all winter. Managed to cool down a bit now, but I do have my cool pad at the ready.

    I hope you have had a good week and your sleep is improving.

    Take care,

    Lou x

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