Anyone else struggling to sleep?

Hi there just wondered if it’s just me or are there others out there that cant sleep at night?

Last night i went to bed at 11.30 and was still awake at 6.30!!!
I then managed to drop off and dosed till about 11.00am. I was takin a sleeping tab up until this week but my doc doesnt want me to take them with the AD. for months i have gone to bed, dropped off, slept for 3 hours then wake up, lay awake for 3 hours then start dosing as it’s time to get up.

I am due to go back to work soon so this is not good.

Last april i was dx with grade 3, vascular invasive bc. had mx, chemo, rads and now on tamoxifen. I am also takin ADs for the hot flushes. I am off to the docs tomorrow to see if she can give me something short term to break the cycle.

I just wondered if this is normal and if anyone can help?

Thanks Pauline x

i was until the psycho - onc prescribes amatriptalyne 25mg i take one a 8.30 each evening and i drift off i can wake for the loo in the night but i can drift off again without problems, the tablet also helps with joint pain caused by letrozole

I could not drop off however tired i was so i took nightnurse for a week and that helped!! Only problem being soon as i stopped it i then struggled to go to sleep oftehn taking 3hrs to drop off.
I have now started running and i have no idea if it is a coincidence but i am falling asleep much much faster!

good luck pauline. its bloody irritating!

Hi Pauline,

I never had any problem sleeping,until i was diagnosed with bc.I wake virtualy ever night, and have real trouble getting back off to sleep.
I have woke many times in a cold sweat which is horrible,but since taking ADs this thankfully is getting less frequent.
I personaly think its the anxiety and turmoil brought on by this dreadful disease.Lots of Love Lesleyx

I’ve got in the habit of staying up until i am tired… so most nights it is about midnight… but i do then fall straight asleep… if i went up at 10.30 etc i would be awake for hours…

Theresa x

Hi All

Feel for you. I have nights when I don’t really sleep at all. I go downstairs and read, drink too much tea and cuddle the cat. But I count myself lucky that I am not having to get up at 6 in the morning for work. If you do have to then god help you. I find that one bad night is usually followed by a good one. Night nurse knocks me out flat! Can’t face real sleeping tablets.

Love to all


I’m the same as you Theresa, wait til I’m dropping and then go!
Usually can then get to 6ish. Mind you today I’ve been up since 3.30!!
I find my body thinks it wants to sleep around 2.30 in the afternoon but if I try can’t drop off, the body is tired, the eyes are tired and the brain just keeps skipping along!


it sometimes takes me hours to drop off, even if i’m really tired. started tamoxifen in december and sleep problem has been since then… trouble is my 17 month old is awake and bright as a button and rattling his cot bars at 6am. bugger. x

I’ve had problems on and off since dx last July. I resorted to Zopiclone before my mx and post surgery took Boots tension headache relief which combined paracetamol for pain and an antihistamine or something which is a muscle relaxant.

As Evie finds with her running, if I have a good walk or pilates session, I get to sleep more easily. I wake up in hot sweats up to 4 times a night - covers off, covers on - drives me nuts. Getting to sleep I often use relaxation techniques - count breath in for 5, out for 5, lengthening it until…

I’m yawning now, so off to bed…

HI ALL<<br /> Dx in November,lump + SNE+15 rads+ tamox, now seem to have slipped into sleep routine of ,tired at 10.30, go to bed, sleep till 1.30 wake with raging hot flush+needing loo, straight back to sleep ,wake 4am with ,yep you got it, raging hot flush again+needing loo, back to sleep till 6am yet another hot flush +needing loo! now too late to sleep again and lie awake until time for work. Its funny how the body just seems to accept this pattern , but i would pay for a full nights sleep free from heat, does anyone know if this is for the whole 5 years of tamox or will it settle? i have tried boots sleep aid and syndol and nightnurse, (not all together mind you)nothing seems to break the cycle, bit reluctant to go to doc as had enough of hospt/surgery for the moment, Also can anyone tell me what the abbreviation AD is ?

Hi Olisnana,this sleep thing is such a pain.Like all of you girls,covers on covers off,up to the loo,covers on etc…
This Tamoxifen has a lot to answer for,lol.

By the way,Ad stands for anti depressants.

Good luck with your sleep pattern,I live in hope.

Ann x

Yep, me too. I had the hot flushes start while on chemo, they diminished in Jan and I had two weeks almost flush free- heaven, then started tamoxifen and they started all over again, and getting worse each night. I get to sleep fine each night, but wake every hour and sometimes more frequently, really hot etc. Always get back to sleep no problem only to wake an hour late and again and again all night.

Venlafaxine nor any complementary therapy is doing any good and I would kill for a good night’s sleep. Zopiclone (and night nurse!) helps me stop waking so much but the GP has refused to prescribe it to me saying I’ll get addicted (so what?). I am so tired through the day I can barely think.

Otherwise feeling fine. I’m doing loads of exercise and it makes no difference.

It’s miserable.


You have my full sympathy! Hot flushes started when started tamoxifen and Goserelin implant (Zoladex). Doc says flushes more likely due to Zoladex than tamoxifen and to try evening primrose oil. Can’t comment if it works as I keep forgeting to take it! Like you, getting to sleep is no problem, but few hours later covers off and up to loo. Always up at 4.30, covers off and up to loo! Find it hard to get up in morning to get child to school! Tierd through day, always nodding off, feel like I’m wasting my life snoozing! Am convinced tierdness is due to broken sleep and not recovering from chemo and radio! Like you, otherwise feeling fine, glad its not just me!


I have had trouble sleeping since diagnosis, at which point I stopped taking HRT and am now on Letrozole. Apart from the stress of it all, I think it is mainly the low oestrogen that is causing it. I get off to sleep ok but wake every hour or two - too hot, covers off, back to sleep, too cold, covers on…

I have taken Evening Primrose Oil for some years and I think that has helped, in that I don’t have hot flushes as such, ie no sweats, but I just get too hot. I have also found that anxiety makes it worse. If I get worked up about something during the day, I suddenly get too hot.

Ann x

I am having dreadful problems with the steroids - have just finished 3xFEC and am dreading moving on to Tax as have to double the steroids. I have been taking Nytol this week - and it does work, but not sure if it will work with the tax. Also a bit worried about being dependent on them - but was getting no sleep at all, so had to try something. Will be moving on to Tamoxifen eventually - really disappointed to hear this is yet another horrible SE. Sigh.

Thanks ladies, looks like its a cmmon problem nd it seems to be attactched to tamoxifen too. It is a relief to find i’m not the only one with this problem.

Been to my docs today and she agreed to give me one lot of tamzipan for me to use 3 or 4 days at a time to try to establish a sleep pattern again. She has also told me to try all the usual…reding, warm bath, hot drink, decaf drinks,no alcohol and lavinder. I will try these as i dont intend to be on the pills for long and will need to help keep the routen going.

I am so desperate to get sleeep i am willing to try anything.

Hopefully this thread will help others too with the same problem and i hope you girls find some answers too.

Thanks again everyone, sleep well, luv Pauline xxx

Since starting tamoxifen I never get a night’s sleep without waking up with sweats, back pain or to go to the loo! I am working full time and lead a busy life so its not easy. I use a blend of aromatherapy oils every night on my skin and on the pillow and they help me get off to sleep though I’m still looking for the answer to the sweats! I also do tai chi and yoga so tend to spend less time feeling anxious about not sleeping! I resorted to sleeping pills for a while but found that the ‘sleeping pill hangover’ was just as bad as being tired from not sleeping!. My advice would be: get into a state of relaxation before trying to sleep (Glenn Harrold self hypnosis CD is very good); use aromatherapy oils (roman chamomile, neroli, lavender, patchouli, ylang ylang are all good at night and try not to get too anxious about it.

Have you tried a Chillow? I bought one from Amazon and althouh I still wake in the night, I seem to go off again quicker. The chillow is cool not cold. It was £25. I would so love to have a solid 8 hours like the olden days!


Slightly off tangent suggestion.
I have had chronic pain for 17 years… not cancer related … and have had trouble sleeping. Lying awake worrying about not sleeping just makes it worse.
My elderly mother came up with a great suggestion - listen to audio books. Now I plug in my MP3 and start listening to someone reading a story. I usually fall asleep and miss most of it but if I wake with one of those panicky thoughts I push them away by concetrating on the story again.

Worth a try

Im glad to hear Im not on my own with the sleeping problem…Im exactly the same, started Tamoxofen in February and I have been suffering from night sweats and trips to the loo ever since. It’s now 5am in the morning, Ive been awake since 3.30am, I know I will get back to sleep for a couple of hours but it’s not the same as sleeping all the way through. Im also tormented with nightmares. I have them every night without fail…I used to love my bed :frowning: