How much sleep do you need each night?

Before I was diagnosed with colon cancer in August of last year, a normal night of sleep for me was typically 5 – 6 hours.  And rarely did I need the aid of an alarm clock to get me up … between 4 and 5AM I would just wake up.

A beloved sister with concern about my well-being and health told me that I needed to be getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  So the next time, I went to the family physician I shared with him how much sleep I was getting and what my friend had said.

“Are you tired?”, he asked.

“No”, I responded.

“Then you’re getting enough sleep”, he stated matter of factly.

But since my cancer diagnosis and probably more importantly my chemotherapy treatments began, my body demands 8-9 hours of sleep each and every night … some time a bit more during chemo.

Of course, that’s only natural since the #1 side effect of chemo, contrary to popular belief, is fatigue not nausea.

So first, for all my healthy friends out there, how many hours of sleep do you need each night?

And for all my cancer surviving friends (or via proxy by your caregivers) out there, how many hours of sleep each night do you need?

What kind of tricks have you learned that help you sleep all night?  Foods, beverages, before bedtime practices … even OTC solutions?

Would love to hear from you!!!

Hope you have a good night of sleep tonight.


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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6 Responses to How much sleep do you need each night?

  1. Anne Kirkland says:


    We take a daily dose of magnesium as a warm drink at bedtime. Magnesium is one of the most important mineral needs for our body, necessary for all of our living cells.

    The product we use is called “Calm,” and that’s what it does…it relaxes our body and makes us sleep like a baby. We wake up refreshed and ready to go.

    Hope you are getting sufficient rest to help your body withstand the chemo and to fight the battle every day.

    In Christ,


    • bwebbjr says:

      Hi Anne-

      Hope you realized you are the beloved sister of which I spoke of in the post above.

      Thanks for the recommendation on ‘Calm’ … both Sheryl and I plan on checking it out.

      Be blessed IN Christ Jesus and His love Anne!


  2. Good questions on sleep! Lots has been done as far as research in this areas recently.
    Sleep is an important part of your recovery and has a direct effect on building your immunity
    You can see more at:


    • bwebbjr says:

      Thanks for reminding me of this October post … very comprehensive and very insightful … I see a number of things I need to be more aware of … and a few things I could possibly do different that might help in the sleep process.

      Did you find being on chemo made it difficult to sleep some time? I just wonder how much of my current problems are side efffect of chemo vs. perhaps concern over the cancer?

      Anyway thanks again fro reminding me of your post.


  3. I have never had a sleep problem…even when the chemo burned out my female hormones, and I expected to have insomnia like all my menopaused friends!
    If you are one that “thinks” a lot before sleep, the cancer may be the problem. You might benefit from a “sleep” machine that has soothing sounds or by listening to a meditation tape that you can focus on.
    Good luck and good night!

    • bwebbjr says:

      That’s exactly what happens … crawl in bed … close my eyes … and suddenly my mind is on full alert making to-do list and trying to solve problems that need no solving. Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions!


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