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Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and insomnia

Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:

Forms Instructions

Preparing for Colon or Rectal Surgery

Plan now for a successful surgery. This booklet is supplemental to your surgeon’s instructions and is intended to help you successfully recover from your upcoming colorectal surgery. Preparing for surgery can be a stressful time. We hope the information outlined here will answer some of your questions and ease your stress.

Recommended Resource

Cancer Care is a national nonprofit that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer.

The KidsCope website explains the non-profit program designed to help children and families understand the effects of cancer or chemotherapy on a loved one.

Look Good, Feel Better

This website is a free, non-medical service program created to help individuals with cancer look good, improve their self-esteem and manage their treatment and recovery with greater confidence.

National Cancer Institute

National Cancer Institute home page with links to all cancer topics, clinical trial information, statistics, research and treatment information.