How to Get Better Sleep at Night When You Have IBD


Get Better Sleep at Night

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How are you sleeping? Most of us would probably answer that we're not getting enough sleep, or at least enough quality sleep. Kids, pets, spouses, and our health issues all prevent us from getting the right amount of shut-eye. What is a person to do? Turns out there is plenty you can to to prepare yourself for getting a good night's sleep. It's not as simple as turning out the lights and laying down your head. You need to prepare yourself—body and mind—to sleep better at night. Don't get discouraged if it takes time to get yourself into a better sleep schedule, it's not so much as a destination as it is a journey.


Prepare Your Body for Rest

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The single most important thing that you can do to improve your rest at night is to get your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treated properly. Signs and symptoms of IBD such as pain, diarrhea, and night sweats can keep you awake. Having IBD means having symptoms from time to time, but minimizing your symptomatic period is going to be important to your health and to getting better rest. Some of the things that you can do to help keep your IBD managed include seeing your doctor right away when symptoms start (or even before), seeing your doctor on a regular basis even if you don't have symptoms, and keeping to your treatment regimen (which might include diet, medication, or complementary and alternative medicine).


Prepare Your Bed for Rest

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Your bed should be comfortable and in a location away from windows and other areas that can be problematic (such as a shared wall with a bathroom). Your bed should be comfortable to you, with the right mattress, sheets, pillows, and bed coverings. If something isn't working (scratchy sheets, too puffy pillow), you need to change it.


Prepare Your Bedroom for Rest

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Your bedroom should be a place to invite sleep. It should be cool and free of light sources. Cover windows with curtains or blinds. Avoid electronic devices that have lights or bright clocks on them. If you must have a TV or computer in your room, hide them behind furniture, or black out the lights with electrical tape.


Prepare Your Mind for Rest

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Most people can't avoid worries altogether, but in order to sleep, you might have to set your worries aside for a time. Ruminating on a problem isn't going to solve it, and your decision-making will be worse after a poor night's sleep. Give yourself permission to worry at some other point during the day, and resolve to leave your worrying at the bedroom door in order to sleep at night. If you find yourself worrying excessively and losing too much sleep, speak to your doctor. Some people with IBD find that a mental health professional can help them cope with their disease.

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