Sleepless nights

I could give a never ending list of the side effects I’m suffering since taking
Tamoxifen since last August. Most of them I can live with or finding herbal
remedies. But my one big problem is sleepless nights. Yes I wake up
with the night sweats but that’s not what keeps me awake don’t know
what it is, i go to sleep without a problem but only sleep roughly 2-3 hours
then wide awake. Most nights I’m lucky if I get 4 hours of broken sleep.
I’ve tried all the normal remedies Nytol, Valerian , Milky drinks. I was given
a short course of sleeping tablets when dx last year but they are nearly gone.
Any ideas would be really great

Somehow you need to break your sleep or interrupted sleep pattern. Are you sure it is not the night sweats that wake you up? For me that is the problem. Have you tried staying up really late to see if you can sleep through? Maybe a short course of sleeping pills would get you back into a normal pattern. Good luck.

Have you tried camomile tea? I find it helps me to sleep.

Hi Ann

I am on tamoxifen and zoladex, I’m not sure how you feel about taking none herbal remedies for any length of time.
I had trouble sleeping before dx in December 07 and have really struggled ever since, my GP has put me on a low dose anti anxiety drug which I take about 30 mins before bedtime. As a low dose they dont give me a muzzy head in the morning. He reckons they also take the edge of the obvious other anxiety issues I have at the minute and to be honest I think he’s right, so far so good. I too generally get to sleep and then wake up after a couple of hours but after being on the 50mg dusolepin (normal dose 75 to 150 mg a day) for a month I have settled down nicely and not even the odd hot or cold flush wakes me up now.
Good luck Shonagh xx

Hi Ann,
I am suffering like you with the sleepless nights - I also get to sleep easily and start waking up 2-3 hours later and from then on every hour or so. I’m finding it hard to function normally now during the day as I’m just sooo tired! I saw my doctor today and she said she had not heard of tamoxifen causing sleeplessness but has temporarily reduced my tamoxifen to 10mg a day to see if it makes a difference. I thought the sleeplessness got worse when I went up to full dose a couple of months ago. I’ve also tried herbal sleep tablets, and zopiclone (a prescribed sleeping pill) - and still I wake up. My doctor is worried that I may have depression due to what’s happened to me, which may be causing the insomnia - have you been told this too?
I am relieved to know it’s not just me though!

Good luck!

I’m on Arimidex and I spend at least a couple of hours most nights up watching TV - who knew that Poker on TV could be so interesting! I have tried everything including zopiclone (which made it worse!) Temazipam works for me, but I try not to take it and when I do I only take 3 nights in succession to try and beat the pattern. The other thing that did help when I was up every night was Paul MacKenna’s tape. I still do use his technique to try and get to sleep!

What I do now is get up, make a cup of tea and turn the lounge out at least twice a week - polishing, dusting etc but no hoovering! The neighbours must think I’m crackers. At least in the day when I’m tired I haven’t got housework hanging over me. I might add my sleep pattern has been like this for many years.


Same here with broken sleep too. I end up watching the Crime and Investigation channel on SKY. Have no trouble falling asleep, but always wake up after 2 or 3 hours.

Hi all,

blimey I’m glad (for want of a better word!) to see that I’m not the only one! I too have no trouble whatsoever falling asleep, its just staying asleep that I can’t seem to manage!! I frequently wake up several times a night, the first time being usually only aftera couple of hours. Its sooooo frustrating, I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a decent nights sleep!


Ditto Kelly, I think the last time I had a decent nights sleep was over 4 years ago! But I feel good that I am no way alone. I’ve just watched a programme about sleep probs with Toyah Wilcox. She says that she has been an insomniac for 36 years! Sleep probs these days are apparently very common, so we are in good company. Like you, most nights I go off ok, but then keep waking up . On a bad night like the last 2, I wake up every hour. The menopause plays a big part, with the night sweats. Even with these cold nights I feel hot and restless all night and can’t seem to cool down. I end up dangling my feet out the bed! I have a chillow pillow, that helps a bit. I agree with you it is very frustrating, especially when you have to get up for work feeling c***p!
Lets hope we all manage a few zzzzzzzz tonight
Sweet dreams :slight_smile: (hopefully)


Hi All

Been trawling through old posts and found this one about sleepless nights whilst on Tamoxifen (though I’m presuming it’s Tam as on Zoladex as well). Seen GP today - can’t take sleeping tabs due to interaction with other meds I’m on but he suggested Nytol (it’s an antihistamine and works in same way as Piriton ie makes you sleepy) so will try it tonight. I take ages to drift off to sleep - as soon as I lie down the hot sweats start so the duvet is on, off, on, off, on, off then when finally fall asleep I wake 2 or 3 hours later bathed in hot and then cold sweat ugh!! Up to now been putting up with it but go back to work next Tues so need to start getting a good night’s sleep otherwise will be wandering round like a zombie come Tuesday!

Take care everyone



I am the same as you ladies have described…never sleep more than a few hours at a time…often have very weird dreams…leg out the bed…both legs out the bed…back in under the duvet…duvet half off…duvet all off…fan on…fan off…visit the loo…then cold…electric blanket on…quickly off again…leg out…leg in…and so on and on and…zzzzzzzzzzzz

Sheana x

PS…I’m on Arimidex.

Does anyone think it might be connected withwhen you take it? I suffer the same pattern as you all and take it last thing at night. What about anyone else?

First thing in the morning…

I’ve been suffering with the no sleep, disturbed sleep, can’t drift off, hot flush etc, etc for over four years since diagnosis and treatment. Tried everything… but the only thing which does definitely work is Bach’s Rescue Remedy Night (think thats what its called). I don’t normally believe in these sort of remedies but have to say, it takes a while to kick in but works every time now. You can buy in Boots - worth a try everyone…!


PS I’m on Arimidex too.

I take my Tamoxifen last thing at night. Reason being cause I didn’t fancy being pestered by hot flushes during the day. Last night I only woke up once, at midnight, then slept through 'til nearly 7am!!! Woohoo!!!


Good news - the Nytol worked!!! Just hope it isn’t a one off. I used to take my Tamoxifen at night but now take it in the morning but it’s not made any difference to the night sweats. The only plus side is that when I have a hot flush now during the day (didn’t get any during day when I took the tab at night) I can at least go and stand outside to cool down!

Good Luck Everyone


I find the worst thing about these sleepless nights is not having anyone to talk to. Are all you wide awake flushing comrades posting on here in the night? If so I will join you.

Yawn … Jilly

So nice to see similar problems, and know that this is not all in the mind!! I was on arimidex - and was switched - due to really sore muscles. I had a break of about 5 weeks in between Arimidex and Tamox and the difference was incredible. Better sleep, less anxiety, better brain function - almost human in fact. Now settling on the Tamox - about 3 months. much less muscle pain, but the hot flushes come and go at random, anxiety attacks keep the heart pounding on occassion and the lack of sleep is awful. Fine going in the evening, but the lights come on between 0330 and 0430. I watch alot of TV. Really shud get the knitting out!! I too will check to see who is about in the forums at these ungodly hours…


Have just seen this thread and am glad I am not the only one, although sorry everyone else is suffering.

I started on Tamoxifen on 1 Sept and haven’t had a decent nights sleep since. Like the majority of you, I don’t really have a problem getting off to sleep, its staying asleep thats the problem - doesn’t seem to make any difference what time I go to bed but 2 to 3 hours then wide awake and then repeat throughout the night.

To start off with I was aware of hot flushes waking me up but over the last couple of weeks I just wake up for no apparent reason - its as though body is saying “right thats it, time to wake up!” Last week I tried a relaxation class at the hospital as thought that this may help but, when put into practice I got so hung up over when to breathe and when to hold it that I woke myself up even more! In desperation have got an appointment with GP tomorrow to talk about some sleeping pills - hopefully to break this cycle. Also hoping to go back to work next week so hopefully some physical and mental activity will help.

Saw onc today and he asked when I took my tablet, which I do in the morning, he suggested trying last thing at night as sometimes this can make a difference - worth a try.

Does the timing of it really make a difference as to when you get your hot flushes? - am coping ok with them during the day but things always seem much worse during the middle of the night (add that to the continual tingling feet and sore toe nails left over from the Taxotere).

Well might as well see if I can catch some ZZZZ’s

Hugs to all

Spongebob xx

Hi everyone

This could be me too especially Sheanna’s duvet on…duvet off description. I am on Aromasin which I take at night and (the now discontinued) Megace so my hot flushes are less but still finding that staying asleep is the biggest problem. My partner says I seem to be asleep for most of the night but then he sleeps very deeply so how would he know! Funnily enough the only really good nights sleep I have had recently were the 2 weeks we spent in Portugal, nice warm weather so hot flushes/general over heating barely noticeable. Um, maybe the extra booze might have had something to do with it too!! Can I get that on prescription then LOL.

Wendy x