Sep. 7, 2009 —
Science Daily/American Academy of Sleep Medicine
A study in the Sept.1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the sleep-wake activity rhythms of breast cancer patients are impaired during the administration of chemotherapy. Results indicate that the first cycle of chemotherapy is associated with a temporary disruption of these rhythms, while repeated administration of chemotherapy results in progressively worse and more enduring impairments.
During week one of the first cycle of chemotherapy, participants switched from low to high activity about 30 minutes later in the day and decreased their level of activity about 50 minutes earlier at night, suggesting that their days were shorter. During the first week of the fourth cycle of chemotherapy, the women increased their level of activity about 37 minutes later in the day and switched from high to low activity about 34 minutes earlier at night. Although most variables returned to baseline levels in the second and third weeks of the first cycle of chemotherapy, circadian impairments were maintained on several variables in the second