Sleep Disturbance in Cancer Survivors

  • Heather L. McGinty
  • Allison J. Carroll
  • Stacy D. SanfordEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Sleep disturbance is highly prevalent among survivors of cancer across the continuum of care. There are numerous unique factors among survivors that may precipitate and/or perpetuate sleep disturbance, including, but not limited to, cancer diagnosis and treatment. Similar to the general population, sleep disturbance is negatively associated with multiple domains of quality of life, including the emotional and physical well-being of cancer survivors. Moreover, sleep disturbance often co-occurs with other common behavioral symptoms such as fatigue, pain, depression, and cognitive impairment. Routine screening for sleep disturbance is recommended, especially at key transitions in care (e.g., a change in treatment or transition off of treatment). Guidelines for thorough assessment and treatment of sleep disturbance exist; however, research examining sleep in cancer survivors is a growing area of inquiry. The best empirical support to date is for treating insomnia among cancer survivors using cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Additional clinical research is warranted to establish the efficacy of treatment modalities, including pharmacotherapy, for sleep disturbance among cancer survivors.


Cancer Sleep disturbance Insomnia Assessment Treatment Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather L. McGinty
    • 1
  • Allison J. Carroll
    • 2
  • Stacy D. Sanford
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical Social SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preventive MedicineNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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