A new perspective on sleep

One of the side effects of various hormone therapies is disruption of sleep. I also have sleep apnea (thank-you surgery and hormone therapy!), so I see a sleep doctor. I didn’t like the clinic I was at originally, so I moved to a new one and I love the new doctor. She spent an hour with me (initial consult) listening to me and then giving me some advice on ways in which to think of sleep.

What really struck me was that she was really good at listening to me. Picked out some tidbits based upon the stories that I was telling, and gave me advice that involved making small changes to my thinking and my activities that so far have had a huge impact.

The bit of advice that really stuck with me was to change my perspective on sleep. Rather than thinking of sleep as restorative, think of sleep as something that our body accumulates during the day. The more you do (like exercise), the more sleep your body will accumulate. If you are healing, your sleep stores are a little bigger. If you try to sleep when you haven’t accumulated enough sleep, then you will sleep poorly. The hormone therapy (in my case aromatase inhibitors) can reduce the rate in which sleep is accumulated. So, I need to spend less time in bed.

I find that I am now focusing on quality sleep rather than quantity sleep. I don’t try and sleep unless I’m tired. This has given me more hours to do things, which is good. It has also meant that the time I do spend sleeping is more productive too. I’m actually better rested now that I’m not trying to sleep too much.

For me, changing the perspective has really helped.  If you are local to the Bay Area and want a recommendation for a great sleep doctor, email me.


  • Becky


  • This post has been helping me a lot, ever since you wrote it Becky. Thanks for sharing the wisdom. I wonder how you are going and hope some parts of each day are good for you. There seems no end of energy and emotional labour this BC world asks of us!
    In solidarity

    • Thank you Ruth 🙂 I really appreciate hearing when things resonate with people.

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