Battling Fatigue and Insomnia After Breast Cancer

Did you know that fatigue and insomnia are common side effects of breast cancer treatment? Even after treatment, some survivors may still experience these side effects. With the help of your doctor, you can reduce or relieve your symptoms.

If you’re experiencing fatigue after breast cancer treatment, it may be difficult to try your normal routine; but a little physical activity each day can help relieve symptoms! Go for a walk, ride your bike, try a bit of yoga — getting up and active will help you decrease your fatigue and get you back to your regular schedule.

Some studies have recommended other methods of beating exhaustion, including mindfulness, acupuncture, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for relaxation techniques.

Getting a good night’s sleep for fatigue is also important. But for some patients and breast cancer survivors, a side effect of treatment may be insomnia, or an inability to fall/stay asleep throughout the night.

There are ways to help. Some studies have shown the following tips may help improve sleep and reduce insomnia:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day (including weekends)
  • Avoid napping during the day
  • Exercise regularly during the day, but avoid exercise in the evening
  • Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine in the late afternoon and evening
  • Have a dark, quiet place to sleep
  • Reduce stress with meditation or other relaxation techniques
  • Turn off your TV, computer, phone or tablet 1 hour before bedtime

You can also try yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for relaxation techniques.

Work with your healthcare provider to find the best way to battle fatigue and insomnia. A combination of many different techniques may help you.


Komen CSNJ is here for you; you are not alone. For more information and resources, please visit our website at www.komencsnj.org.