Sleep disturbances are common among IBDers, especially during flare ups. This can make it even harder for us to cope with symptoms 😔
Is it the chicken or the egg?
→ Inflammation from damage and flare-ups produce inflammatory cytokines that disrupt stages of sleep and alter sleep patterns
→ Symptoms of IBD such as pain and frequent trips to the bathroom disrupt sleep which increases inflammation
So, sounds like we’re screwed...but we’re not!
If you talk to your doctor, most treatment is based around sleeping medications
Researchers suggest however, that coping strategies to help reduce stress and control sleep could be beneficial. In addition, there are many things we CAN control and modify with our behavior and environment that can really make a difference
I recently stopped scrolling through social media before bed, and instead read an enjoyable book. Wow, it’s made a HUGE difference in my sleep!
If your sleep is suffering, and you need help NOW, I'm here for you!
Let's talk about NOISE....
Eliminate NOISE before bed. No, not just noise that you hear. There are multiple kinds of noise that disturb sleep
→ Body noise: sore muscles, excess caffeine/alcohol/sugar, pain, acid reflux
→ Mind noise: anxiety/worry, stress, relationship tension, watching the news before bed
→ Environment noise: excess light, traffic sounds, uncomfortable or unsafe bedroom, too hot or too cold
Top strategies to eliminate BODY NOISE:
👍Avoid eating and drinking too much right before bed (Our digestion works best first thing in the morning, so aim to have the majority of your meals earlier in the day)
👍Limit or eliminate caffeine as for some people it aggravates symptoms of IBD and can also disturb sleep
Top strategies to eliminate MIND NOISE:
👍DO NOT watch the news before bed!
👍Try mantram, gratitude, or prayer to calm the mind if your thoughts are racing
Top strategies to eliminate ENVIRONMENT NOISE:
👍Make sure your room is dark and cool. Remove electronics away from your bed
👍Wear and sleep mask and/or ear plugs if light and sound are a problem
List out all the noise you currently have. You may not even realize what could be affecting your sleep!
🤔 On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your sleep?
Ask yourself the following questions:
👉How much do I sleep on average?
👉What is the quality of my sleep?
👉How well rested do I feel?
👉How is my sleep impacting the quality of my life?
If you aren't satisfied with your number, it could really be impacting your disease. Let's chat and figure out how we can enhance your sleep to enhance your overall health!