If Crohn’s disease is keeping you awake, you’re not alone. Lack of sleep is a common concern among people with this type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
In fact, it’s estimated that between 51 and 80 percent of people who have Crohn’s disease don’t get enough quality sleep.
This may be related to a variety of factors, such as:
- gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort
- nighttime wakeups to use the bathroom
- overall anxiety about living with Crohn’s
Lack of quality sleep can become cyclical with Crohn’s disease.
Poor sleep may contribute to daytime GI symptoms. It can also affect disease activity and contribute to flare-ups. Research from 2019 suggests a clear, complex relationship between sleep, inflammation, and the immune system.
Here are some steps you can take to help you get a better night’s sleep.
There’s no scientific consensus for the best sleeping positions for someone with Crohn’s disease. The best sleeping position is the one that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep long enough to feel rested and recharged.
Here’s what to know about common sleeping positions.
Most adults need between
The first step toward sleeping well involves forming good sleep habits, such as:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Change sheets and pillowcases often and wear comfy pajamas.
- Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
- Exercise regularly earlier in the day, not too close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals before bedtime.
Be sure to work with a healthcare professional to manage Crohn’s disease as best as possible. Putting a treatment plan into place for Crohn’s disease may help you get a better night’s rest.
With Crohn’s disease, a variety of factors may affect your sleep. And poor sleep can make it harder to manage your condition.
You can’t sleep if you’re not comfortable. Start by experimenting with new sleep positions to see what works for you. Then take steps to form good sleep habits so you can wake up feeling well-rested.