Cancer patients are at great risk of developing insomnia and disorders of the sleep-wake cycle.
(Refer to the PDQ summary on Delirium for more information.) Adequate sleep may increase the cancer patient's pain tolerance.
The evidence and application to practice related to children may differ significantly from information related to adults.
When specific information about the care of children is available, it is summarized under its own heading.
Sleep consists of two phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep. REM sleep, also known as dream sleep, is the active or paradoxic phase of sleep in which the brain is active. NREM, also referred to as slow wave sleep, is divided into four stages of progressively deepening sleep based on electroencephalogram findings.
The stages of sleep occur in a repeated pattern or cycle of NREM followed by REM, with each cycle lasting approximately 90 minutes.