Sleep & IBD

Lack of sleep may make IBD worse

Sleep is important to good health whether you have IBD or not. But it may be especially important to your health to sleep well if you have IBD.

People with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis often notice that their disesase flares following long periods without adequate sleep or excess stress. Stress and lack of sleep may affect the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.

Lack of sleep may result in higher caffeine and sugar intake to stay alert. Large amounts of caffeine and sugar may have adverse effects on some people with IBD.

Studies haves shown that sleep deprivation can rev up the body’s inflammatory response.

IBD itself can make getting a full night’s sleep difficult because of the frequent trips to the bathroom.

There’s also research showing that people with inflammatory conditions may sleep patterns that keep them from getting into the stage of sleep when tissue repair and healing occur.

If you find that you are not resting well at night, speak to someone on your care team about it. Sometimes people with IBD benefit from seeing a sleep specialist, and there are medications that can help limit nighttime diarrhea.

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

  • No television before bed
  • No computer for least an hour before bed
  • No caffeine after 3 p.m.
  • Exercise but not before bed
  • Avoid eating and drinking after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark
  • No alcohol before bed. Alcohol may help you get to sleep but you will wake up before getting a good night’s sleep
  • Meditate before bed