Managing Sleep Challenges after Transplant

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Summary: Learn the role of sleep for recovering transplant patients, consequences of insufficient sleep and evidence-based approaches to falling and staying asleep. Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep is common among transplant recipients. The usual solutions recommended – sleep hygiene, medication – are less effective than cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Learn what defines a good night’s sleep and how to get it.

Presenter: Eric Zhou PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Meet Dr. Zhou:

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– Good sleep is not just about the number of hours we sleep, but about the quality of our sleep.
– Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders reported by transplant recipients. Despite its prevalence, it is frequently underreported and not routinely assessed by doctors.
– Medication simply masks a sleep problem – it does not address the underlying cause of poor sleep.

Presented at the 2021 Celebrating a Second Chance at Life Virtual Symposium, April 17-23, 2021
Presentation is 28 minutes long with 21 minutes of Q & A.

Key Points:

(02:13) There is great variability among individuals as to how much sleep each person needs.

(07:28) In one study of cancer patients, even minor improvements in sleep made significant improvements in survival rates.

(14:12) Roughly 20% of people take prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications in a given month. Long-term use of some of these medications may cause cognitive problems.

(15:50) Over-the counter sleep medications are not regulated and actual content can be quite different from what’s on the label.

(16:56) Medication does not cure insomnia. It simply masks the problem.

(17:46) The American College of Physicians and the European Sleep Society recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as the first line therapy for insomnia.

(18:12) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the most promising intervention and it can help more quickly than people think. CBT-I is a different tool kit than CBT to treat other disorders.

(20:57) CBT-I first carefully tracks sleep data and patterns in order to help patients understand their sleep, before beginning treatment.

(21:59) Restricting the amount and time you sleep can improve quality of sleep.

(26.51) CBT-I providers can be found on the Society for Behavioral Medicine web site. There is also an online program called Somryst, that is available by prescription

Meet the speaker:

WHO WE ARE: BMT InfoNet is dedicated to providing patients and their loved ones with emotional support and high quality, easy-to-understand information about blood stem cell transplants (bone marrow, peripheral blood and cord blood) and other cellular therapies. Whether you are just beginning your transplant or cellular therapy journey, or learning to manage the joys and challenges of survivorship,

BMT InfoNet is here to help before, during and after treatment. Our goal is to empower you with credible information and emotional support, so that you can take a more active role in decisions affecting your health.



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