Dr Bruinvel founded OWise, a personalised breast cancer support app. Collating valuable insights about your day-today wellbeing, it can be used as a tool to make informed decision about on-going treatment.
According to a recent report published in the journal BMC Cancer, up to 70 percent of people with breast cancer suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbance.
Inadequate sleep quality can have a detrimental effect in healthy individuals, so it’s even more severe when the body is fighting against cancer.
The same report listed “stress, discomfort and changes to daily and bedtime routines” as the culprits behind a change in sleeping patterns.
Dr Bruinvel suggests taking up exercise, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), to combat sleep disturbances,
“For those taking anthracyclines in particular, HIIT can also improve cardiorespiratory fitness,” she said.
However, if you’re experiencing “severe fatigue” or “the breast cancer has spread to the bones” exercises is best avoided.
“Please discuss new workout routines with your doctor,” urged Dr Bruinvel.
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If you’re feeling stressed due to your breast cancer diagnosis, there are different methods to help you relax before bedtime.
Taking time to relax
Dr Bruinvel recommends having at least “half an hour before going to sleep where you take the time to relax”.
“Try not to be on your phone or watch TV at this time,” advises Dr Bruinvel.