The researchers also found that survivors were 31 percent more likely to report daytime sleepiness and 26 percent more likely to have poor "sleep efficiency."
‘Adult survivors of childhood cancer may experience sleep problems which may lead to psychological distress. Efforts that improve sleep may enhance both health and quality of life in long-term childhood cancer survivors.’
"Our results indicate that for survivors of childhood cancer who reported sleep problems, there is a greater likelihood of worsening or persistent psychological distress," said lead author Lauren Daniel, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Camden in New Jersey.
"Thus, addressing disrupted sleep in these survivors may improve long-term psychological functioning," Daniel added.
According to the researchers, sleep disorders are related to emotional and physical health in the general population, but research in survivors of childhood cancer is limited.
This study characterized sleep behaviors in adults who had survived childhood cancer and examined associations among sleep, cancer diagnoses, treatment exposures, and emotional functioning.
For the study, researchers examined 1,933 childhood cancer survivors. Participants had a mean age of 35 years and a mean time since diagnosis of 23.5 years. The study also involved 380 siblings with a mean age of 33 years.
Both groups completed sleep quality, fatigue and sleepiness measures.
Emotional functioning was assessed about eight years before and two years after the sleep survey.
"Sleep is quite amenable to behavioral interventions. Efforts that improve sleep may improve both health and quality of life in long-term childhood cancer survivors," said Daniel.