Although your treatment has ended, you are still coping with how it affects your body. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments add toxins to your body that need to be eliminated. Resting will help the body cast of these unwanted toxins but without adequate rest, the body may suffer.
Rest allows our bodies to rebuild cells and perform repairs to the vital organs. Muscles recover from being overworked, brain power improves, waste products can be effectively eliminated and immune system strengthens. But also improves your mood.
Rest doesn't necessarily mean sleep. It can just be taking time out to rest your body during a busy day. For example having a cup of tea, listening to music or petting an animal. Resting will relax you, which will lower your fatigue.
Other benefits include:
- Slowing heart rate and breathing
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving digestion
- Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Improving concentration and mood
- Improving sleep quality
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
Never feel guilty about resting! It's okay to take things slow, your body will thank you for it. If you are struggling to rest check out our stress relief blogs.
Trouble sleeping is a common problem in cancer patients. Speak to your doctor as they might be able to give you medicines to help. But there are natural ways you can try first to see if they make any difference. Changing some areas of your lifestyle can make a huge difference.
Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep. By increasing your daytime light exposure, sleep quality is improved and duration. It also can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect. This can trick your brain to think it is still daytime. To reduce this effect, stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights 2 hours before heading to bed. Or wear glasses that block blue light. For your smartphone, install an app that blocks blue light.
The most important tip for sleeping well is not to rest too much during the day. Taking short naps or rest breaks, that are 30 minutes or less, can really help improve your sleep. Too much rest can lower your energy level and make it harder to sleep at night. Check out our power nap blog for more information.