Many patients experience extreme tiredness, which is not relieved by rest. This is quite normal. Try to do some gentle exercises and get plenty of fresh air. Rest when you feel you need to. If you have a social event approaching, take it easy for a while before and afterwards.
Relaxation techniques can be helpful and warm baths before bedtime are soothing and may help you to sleep. Try some lavender oil on a piece of cotton wool inside your pillowcase to aid natural sleep.
If you are waking early, try not to get agitated and cross. Make a hot drink and listen to some soothing music. Try relaxation techniques (we have an audio version available - ask your nurse).
You can help yourself in the following ways:
- stay in bed only for the hours you intend to sleep. It is better to reduce the amount of time spent in bed by 1-2 hours, as remaining in bed longer typically leads to lighter sleep and an increased number of awakenings
- establish a bedtime and wake time and maintain them. This can be difficult initially, but can soon settle into a reliable pattern
- do not worry about getting enough sleep – the more you worry about getting to sleep, the less likely you are to sleep. Worry, anger, and frustration increase arousal, which, in turn, inhibits sleep
- avoid stimulants like tea and coffee, and tobacco products
- look at the timing of your medication, particularly if you are taking steroids. It is important that you do not take these late in the evening
- alcohol may help sleep onset, but can be very disruptive to sleep quality and can lead to awakening after 1-2 hours sleep
- gentle exercise on a constant basis tends to improve sleep and promotes deeper levels of sleep
- try a hot bath, for 20 minutes 2 hours before bedtime. This is good if you are unable to exercise
- ensure your bedroom is comfortable – a dark, slightly cooler environment is restful. Some people like a quiet environment, whilst others like the background noise of a fan, or radio