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As a cancer survivor, how can I avoid fatigue?

Here are some suggestions for avoiding fatigue after your cancer treatments end:

Maintain a comfortable balance between activity and rest: 
  • Keep a list of your activities and how much rest you get.
  • Keep track of situations that seem to make you feel more tired such as traveling across time zones, sitting down for too long, being in a room that is too warm or having to concentrate for a long period of time. Planning ahead may help you avoid these activities.
  • Find ways to break up your activities into shorter time periods, or allow yourself time to rest between activities.
Try to find balance with a healthy lifestyle:
  •  Do not use tobacco products.
  • Work with your healthcare team to develop an exercise plan.
  • Work with your healthcare team on developing stress management skills.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Work with your healthcare team to develop a diet that includes the right amounts of fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Keep a sleep diary to track your sleep habits that may include:
  • The time you turn out the light to go to sleep
  • When you wake up and why you awakened, such as noise, pain, to take medication
  • The time you get out of bed in the morning
  • Naps you take during the day including length and time of day
This information can help you and your healthcare team decide if sleep problems play a role in your fatigue.

Other suggestions to improve sleep quality include:
  • Sleep in a comfortable bed.
  • Avoid sleeping on the sofa or in a chair.
  • Sleep with the lights out in a quiet room.
  • Wear comfortable sleep garments.
  • Avoid heavy meals, food, or drinks containing caffeine, and intense exercise prior to bedtime.
If fatigue or sleep problems begin when you start a new medication, ask your healthcare provider if it might be a side effect of the medication. If it could be, ask about changing the medication or changing the times when you take the medication.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.