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Cancer and Tiredness! How often do you nod off?

Hi everyone, just got a quick question.

Does your cancer make you tired? How common it is for you to nod off in a chair or the sofa?

It literally happens all the time for me and it's quite annoying. Can't enjoy telly or reading anymore because I'll just fall asleep mid way through. I don't even know I've gone sometimes. I'll just wake up some time later with no recollection of nodding off. It mainly happens in the evenings but I sometimes do it in the afternoons. I'll even do the tea in the lap trick sometimes. You know where you fall asleep with a cup of tea in in your hand and wake up to wet trousers. You ever done that one? Happens at least once a week to me. Been thinking about getting a cup with a lid, but I'm not ready to give up drinking from bone china.

Perhaps I need to have a pre planned afternoon nap. Maybe that will stop me doing it in the evening. I just don't like wasting a day by sleeping though. I'd just like to know if this happens to others as well.

Hope your all staying safe, Donna x


  • DonnaLee59DonnaLee59 Posts: 4

    Sorry forgot to add I'm new here, my names Donna and I'm 61, nice to meet you all.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hello Donna,

    Welcome to the community, it is lovely to 'meet' you.

    In answer to your question....

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Haha😄.

    Oh dear, definitely since I have had cancer treatment, and come through it, I fall asleep far too often and not enough at night when I ought to!

    I think it is a combination of things attributing to it, the treatment, recovery from treatment, and my body just seeming like it is more tired than before.

    I know what you mean, having a kip in the day will prevent you from sleeping at night. But sometimes it usually happens all of it's own accord. My daughters often say to me 'mum, you awake?' at 3 oclock in the afternoon!

    Where are you in your treatment? I think if you are still undergoing chemo or radiotherapy, then putting extra pressure on yourself to stay awake is possibly not a good thing. Let your body rest, unless you have something specific to attend to. You may be shielding and so, going for a walk may not be appropriate, however getting up and moving can generate more energy, even if it is pottering in the garden.

    If I find myself falling asleep in the evening, which is quite often after dinner, I will take myself off to bed. I know when my body needs to rest then as I get terrible restless legs!

    I have started to take magnesium tablets again, which are supposed to help with fatigue and muscles. But check with your oncologist before taking any supplements.

    I hope you have a good evening.

    Lou x

  • DonnaLee59DonnaLee59 Posts: 4
    edited July 2020

    Thank you for the reply. I'm currently on round 2 of chemo. Thing is I feel absolutely fine until I sit down. But the moment I sit down I'm done for. I can be out like a light within 15 minutes and can be asleep for several hours. Sometimes I don't even wake up when I spill my tea over me. First couple times that happened I'd honestly thought I wet myself haha 😂 I do spend a lot of time in my garden when the weathers nice and I'll go out for a walk in the morning. Do you think I should cut the walk out?

    Also if by chance I don't fall asleep (like tonight) I'll usually take myself up to bed around 9pm and be asleep by 10pm and I get up at 7am.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening to.

    Donna x

  • LizzyB73LizzyB73 Posts: 112 Oncology Specialist Nurse

    Hi @DonnaLee59

    The body is very good at telling us when it’s needs to rest. Cancer treatment is tiring and fatigue is one of the side effects we have no magic wand for .

    Its very common and you just have to let your body rule this one for now.

    Take care for the rest of your treatment

    liz 💕💕

    Liz Bradley
    Oncology Specialist Nurse | Oncology Service Manager @ Springfield Hospital
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