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15 Ways to Fall and Stay Asleep Naturally

If you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you will have a greater tendency to gain weight, contributing to cancer risk. Here are some tips to help you hit the sleep “sweet spot” of 7-8 hours of slumber per night. 

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Eat a heavy meal at least 3 hours before heading to bed

Drink caffeinated beverages after 3 pm

Take a nap during the day


Place lavender essential oil on a sachet or in a diffuser on your bedside table

Wake up and go to bed at the same time every night

Get regular exercise

Try insight timer, a meditation app that provides recorded sleep meditations

Consider a white noise machine such as Yogasleep Dohm

Consider black out shades

Expose yourself to sunlight for 2 hours a day if possible

Block blue light on smart phones with an app (located in your settings)

Natural sleep aids (and cautions for cancer patients):

Valerian root – Found to improve sleep quality, but avoid if your liver enzymes are elevated because of treatment or cancer activity in the liver. Check with your doctor.

Melatonin – Found to be helpful to reduce chemo side effects but it interferes with blood-thinning meds, Procardia, and Luvox prescription medications. Check with your pharmacist.

Magnesium – Can regulate melatonin in support of sleep-wake cycles. If you experience diarrhea because of cancer treatment, magnesium can make things worse.

L-tryptophan – May help you go to sleep more quickly. Don’t take if you are on anti-depressants. Check with your pharmacist.

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