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Yoga May Help Cancer Survivors Sleep Better, Feel Better

By HERWriter
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It's not unusual for cancer survivors to have trouble sleeping. "Sleep problems and fatigue are among the most common problems experienced by cancer survivors. Approximately 80% and 95% of patients report experiencing fatigue during and after treatment, respectively, and as many as 80% and 65% experience sleep problems during and after therapy."

Karen Mustian, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of radiation oncology and community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, reports on a study of cancer survivors doing yoga. When the study began volunteers were split into two groups. One group took yoga and the other group did not.

Initially both groups were sleeping badly. Within four weeks, the sleep problems of the yoga group had improved by 22 percent. The group not doing yoga improved by only 12 percent.

The yoga group's experience of fatigue was less than that of the other group. The yoga group was less sleepy during the day. Their use of sleep aids became less than the non-yoga group's, and their quality of life improved more.

The types of yoga used were gentle Hatha yoga and restorative yoga.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.