The Can-Sleep service helps people with cancer improve night-time sleep problems
Sleep problems in people with cancer
About 6 in every 10 people with cancer have night-time sleep problems such as insomnia, and these sleep problems often impact well-being and quality of life. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to improve your sleep.
Sleep problems may include:
- Difficulties falling asleep
- Difficulties staying asleep
- Difficulties getting back to sleep
- Early waking
- Sleep that doesn’t feel refreshing
People with poor sleep may also experience a range of daytime problems, such as fatigue, low mood, poor concentration and difficulty thinking clearly or making decisions.
The Can-Sleep service
The Can-Sleep service focuses on cognitive and behavioural methods of improving sleep. Cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended as the first-line treatment for insomnia. It is known to be as helpful as medications in the short-term, and better than medications in the longer term.
CBT for sleep focuses on:
- thoughts and beliefs about sleep (cognitions)
- behaviours that impact sleep (e.g., sleep habits and routines)
- emotions that impact sleep
The Can-Sleep service also helps people who may be at risk of medical sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea or restless legs syndrome.
What to expect from Can-Sleep?
When you first attend Can-Sleep, you will be asked to fill in some brief screening questionnaires to help find out what is causing your sleep problems. A Can-Sleep clinician will then discuss best treatment options for you. Can-Sleep treatments include:
- Self-Help CBT – Can-Sleep has developed a
- Group CBT program - Can-Sleep also runs a group CBT program, which is suitable for some people with insomnia. You will attend a pre-group appointment to make sure the program is right for you. The group runs over 4 sessions.
- Referral – Can-Sleep will screen for medical sleep problems such as sleep apnoea or restless legs syndrome. If screening at risk of these problems, you will be offered a referral to a sleep clinic for specialist medical assessment and advice. Can-Sleep is partnered with the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Who can attend Can-Sleep?
The Can-Sleep service is available for patients of Peter Mac.
Can-Sleep is a no-cost service.
Referral to can-sleep
Speak to your treating team for a referral, or contact the Can-Sleep team directly.
Can-Sleep is run by the Psychology Department. Please ask to speak to one of the Can-Sleep clinicians.
- Phone: (03) 8559 5265
- Email: [email protected]
Listen to our Podcast on the Can-Sleep program.
Other sleep websites
Additional Psychosocial Oncology services at Peter Mac
The Psychosocial Oncology Program at Peter Mac provides a range of services for patients and their families. For more information: