sleep problems on tamoxifen

Hi everyone, I started to take tamoxifen in may after chemo, WLE and node clearance and radiotherapy. I was give some sleeping pills during chemo as was having very little sleep but have taken them the last week to get some sleep. Normally average about 6 hours sleep a night on teh tablets but without 4-5 ish. Waking very often, feeling hot etc. Does anyone have any advice please about sleeping? I really dont want to take sleeping tablets every night. thanks. ness xxx

hi, there is another thread on sleep, i will try and bump it for you. is it that you cannot get to sleep or is it that that the night sweats are waking you up.

have you considered a chillow?? or a neck buddy??

are you in a position to try to get an afternoon sleep? oddly enough it can help restore a longer sleep at night, somehing to do with sleep banks and how deeply you sleep if you are not getting enough hours in.

I started sleeping without anything on, keeping the window open, chucking off the covers when I got too hot, then putting them back again. I’d say my sleep was disrupted but I still got more than six hours. Also I don’t use a duvet, just a sheet, a fleece blanket which can easily be taken off if too hot, and a cotton bed cover.

some people have bought a chillow which I think is a water cooled pillow. They are quite expensive though.

I’m going through the menopause now and the symptoms are similar. Mind you, I’m used to it from taking tamoxifen so maybe that’s helped me a bit.


Hi old and lumpy, thanks for the comments, Im not waking with the sweats just wake up and cant get back to sleep at all. I do get warm and throw off the covers sometimes in the night. Unfortunately due to work I cant sleep in the afternoons but am in bed by 10pm most evenings. Getting to sleep is fine, its waking at 3 or 4 am wide awake and just cant get back to sleep. I never used to have a problem, having 8 hours sleep every night before I was diagnosed xx thanks xx

The only thing I can suggest is that you try counting. Even if it does not send you to sleep it help keep your mind from racing around. I have never manage to get above 5000 without falling back to sleep

thanks, will try counting tonight! x

This is a really, really common problem, which is no comfort at all to you - and I don’t know anyone who has really ‘solved’ it. The three o’clock awakening seems to happen to an awful lot of us who are on tamoxifen - and the only thing I have found is to just accept it - stressing about being awake makes it much, much worse. If you can’t sleep, read for a while, get up and get a drink - don’t turn on the telly or computer, as that will just get your brain into hyper-drive.

I sleep with the window open too, and can see myself continuing to do so through the winter - I don’t get the night sweats or hot flushes at the moment (but did through chemo), but I am just generally hotter and feel like I need more air!

I also wake up extremely thirsty - so always have a bottle of water on hand.

Reading works best for me - a couple of pages, and it seems like because i’ve given myself permission to be awake, my eyes start to droop again. Haven’t had a good night’s sleep since dx last October - but I’m gradually getting acclimatised to the new knackered-ness!


Well I thought it was just me, I cannot remember the last time I had a full nights sleep??
I wake up between 2 - 4am, and then when I finally manage to go to sleep my 2 year old daughter wakes me up ha ha
I to do do not want to use sleeping pills as my partner works away and I am on my own with our daughter and I also work full time and do not want it to have a knock on affect!
I agree I think we just have to deal with it, just another side effect of the Tamoxifen, my view is if the Tamoxifen is doing it’s job then I can deal with the side effects

Best wishes to you all

Donna xx

Hi,been on Tam for just over a year but have suddenly started having 3 or 4 hot flushes a night…it’s exhausting!I Started Yoga recently & during the relaxation bit we are encouraged to say “Let” as you inhale & “GO” as you exhale. It doesn’t always work for me during the night but sometimes it does so might be worth a try!

Hi Ive just started Tamoxifen this morning and feel really wired dont feel sick or anyting just feel like I want to run round the block!! I am worried I wont sleep tonight, any one else felt like this? Any advice will be welcoming!!!

It sounds like your brain working overtime is causing the symptoms, it seems a bit unlikely that the Tamoxifen could be having such an effect so quickly - unless you’re allergic to something in it.

Thnks Cheshire Cheese I feel really wired and am feeling really anxious anyway but hoping will drift off ok as peole have said it does keep them awake at night which is why I decided to take it this morning…

I struggled with insomnia when I first started taking Tamoxifen in early April. Have since started taking evening primrose oil which helped with all the Tamoxifen SE’s, except weight gain. Reading helps if I struggle now… 5 mins, a few pages and that’s it…zzzzzzzzzzzz

I have been on tamoxifen now for 4.5 years, I have put on 2 stone , have at least 20 hot flushes per day , every joint in my body aches. I survive on maybe 4 hours sleep per night. My problem is dropping off to sleep id say it takes me at least 3 hours to drop off. I hate the thought of going to bed. . But hey ho I’m alive and nearly 5 years clear ?