Can-Sleep information for health professionals

Can-Sleep is a service available to patients at Peter Mac who are struggling with night-time sleep problems

About six in every 10 people with cancer struggle with night-time sleep difficulties, and poor sleep has been associated with anxiety, depression, concentration and memory difficulties, fatigue, lower quality of life, higher rates of pain, and increased use of sedatives. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the recommended first-line treatment for insomnia, known to be as effective as medication in the short-term and more beneficial than medication in the longer term.

The Can-Sleep program 

The Can-Sleep service provides cancer patients with gold standard, evidence-based cognitive behavioural approaches to identifying and addressing night-time sleep problems. We started Can-Sleep in 2017 and established it with the support of the Victorian State Government, via funding from a Victoria Cancer Survivorship Program grant.  

To support the delivery of Can-Sleep, we have developed a CBT self-help booklet and tailored it specifically for people with cancer.  

This booklet is available for all cancer patients and cancer survivors and has a section for health professionals with advice on the best ways to support and assist patients with sleep problems. 

Contacting Can-Sleep 

Can-Sleep is run by the Psychology Department at Peter Mac. For any enquiries contact us here:  

  • Phone: (03) 8559 5265 
  • Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Resources for Health Professionals  

View a two-hour online seminar on the Can-Sleep service, with detailed information about applying CBT interventions for cancer patients. This training online seminar is suitable for health professionals who understand CBT. 

Other sleep websites 

Related pages


Go back to the Cancer Services for Your Patient page