Integrative Approaches for Sleep Health in Cancer Survivors : The Cancer Journal

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Integrative Approaches for Sleep Health in Cancer Survivors

Garland, Sheila N. PhD∗†; Mahon, Kaitlyn BSc; Irwin, Michael R. MD

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The Cancer Journal 25(5):p 337-342, 9/10 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000398


Sleep disturbance and insomnia are prevalent problems for the more than 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. If not addressed, poor-quality sleep can negatively impact physical and psychological recovery from cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer survivors are increasingly turning to integrative therapies to improve sleep and optimize their health. The purpose of this article is to review the evidence for the use of nonpharmacological integrative therapies to improve sleep health in cancer patients. Therapies are grouped into the following categories: cognitive-behavioral, meditative (e.g., mindfulness-based interventions, yoga, qigong/tai chi), and body based (e.g., acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reflexology). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, mindfulness-based therapies, qigong/tai chi, and acupuncture have the most evidence for improving sleep and insomnia, whereas yoga, acupressure, massage, and reflexology are still being investigated or building their evidence base. Several areas of strength are identified, gaps in the literature are highlighted, and recommendations for improving future research are provided.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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