Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Sleep problems

Even with daytime naps, many people with Hep C find it difficult to stay awake when they want to. Sleep is also less refreshing. The most common sleep problem is known as day-night reversal. This occurs when a person lies awake all night, then sleeps through much of the day.

Cause

Having a problem sleeping may be caused by the stress of living with Hep C, but it is also more common in people who have cirrhosis or liver failure.

Treatment

  • If you choose to use over-the-counter sleep aids, check with your doctor first.
  • Regular cardiovascular exercise (for example, aerobic exercise like running or cycling) helps with sleeping.

Tips

  • Keep the awake world out of your bedroom. Remove the television, laptop or work papers you may have brought home from the office.
  • Place your clock somewhere away from your head so the light from the clock dial doesn't shine on you.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and cool.
  • Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol shortly before bedtime.
  • Don't go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal close to bedtime either.
  • Before going to bed, try a relaxation technique such as a breathing exercise, meditation, keeping a journal, light reading or a warm bath.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get out of bed if you are unable to get to sleep in about half an hour. Do something fairly boring for a while, then try again to fall asleep.
  • Try to get into the habit of getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. It is not a good strategy to sleep less during the week, then try to catch up on the weekend.
  • If your bedroom is near a lot of noise, consider a technological aid such as a sleep machine (a small box that creates white noise or soothing sounds, such as ocean waves) to block out noise that interferes with falling asleep.