Yoga Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Sleep Better

Being diagnosed with cancer not only affects your physical health, but your overall well-being. Any breast cancer survivor can attest to the toll that it took on her entire body and her emotional health. A common side effect of cancer is the development of sleep disorders – whether it's from physical pain and discomfort or emotional distress and anxiety. While some of your side effects may go away after your cancer has gone into remission disrupted sleep tends to persist well beyond the end of your treatments. Many women will continue to experience sleep disorders and often become reliant on sleep medications to help them get the rest they need.

If there is one thing that breast cancer survivors know how to do, though, it's fighting to reclaim their health. One of the strategies for improving sleep that you could try is engaging in gentle yoga exercises. Practices such as Hatha and restorative yoga are easy on the body – allowing you to rebuild your strength while relaxing and letting go of any remaining stress. A study at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that cancer survivors who attended 75-minute yoga sessions twice a week for a month saw a 21 percent decrease in their sleep medication usage. Not only were the survivors sleeping easier, but they were also experiencing higher quality sleep that was more restful.

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