Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've suffered from IBS-D for about 5 years now, i'm a uni student age 20 and in no way at all am i particularly stressed.Since about the time that my IBS started i've had sleeping problems and till now i hadn't realised that before, they both started at a very similar time where, again, i was not stressed or doing anything unusual.At nights i find i cant sleep till well past 3am and i feel horribly lethargic in the mornings. I tend to have 9am's at uni so i thought that that would reset my sleeping pattern but after 4 months back it hasn't changed a bit.Is it possible theres a link between the two? i dont particularly want to go to the doctors as in the UK you can loose your driving license if you have a sleep problem as minor as sleep apnea and if i dont have my car i cant get to uni so it would be a biiiig problem for me....thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
Usually IBS doesn't do anything to screw up your sleep, but poor sleep can make the IBS worse.Usually waking up at 3 am isn't the sleep apnea issue. Usually with that you think you are asleep and sleeping well, but you aren't. Usually if you know you are awake that isn't likely to be sleep apnea (I had a related condition).Are you doing the standard sleep hygiene things.No alcohol within several hours of bed.No caffeine after noonExercise, but not within 2 hours of bed.Room is dark enough, quiet enough, and cool enough. If something is waking you at the same time it could be some noise from the outside world that usually happens around that time. See if running a fan or a white noise generator to drown out noises helps.No napping during the day. If you really can't take it, you can take a 20-30 minute nap but anythin more than that will disrupt the next day.Get up at the same time no matter how poorly or badly you sleep, even on weekends. Making up for lost sleep on a weekend will set you up for bad sleep the following week.Turn off overhead lights about an hour before bed. Use a dim lamp. Turn off the computer and TV an hour before bed as well. One thing to do if you don't just want to read is take a warm bath or shower in that hour before bed, it will help the body temp drop to signal sleep.Do not read, do homework, or watch TV in bed. You need to train your body that the bed is for sleeping. Not the bed is for being awake and doing things.If you can't get back to sleep after 30-40 minutes of waking, get up and do some quiet reading with a lamp (no over head lights) until you feel you are drifting off again. Staying in bed frustrated you can't sleep trains you to fret rather than sleep in the bed.You might try chamomile tea or other soothing teas at bedtime. Melatonin at least here is available over the counter and that at bedtime may help promote sleep (it is your bodies go to sleep signal). Antihistamines that make people drowsy (like Benadryl) can turn off the histamine in the brain so turn off the "stay awake" signal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
hi MaxOI've had trouble sleeping in the past - leaving me feeling overtired and irritable the following day and generally worsening my ibs at the same time.one problem can be (well was for me) that as you lie in bed not getting to sleep you start to get stressed about the fact that this is going to leave you feeling rubbish the next day - but getting stressed makes it more difficult to get to sleep and a vicious circle develops.a few things that have helped me.Don't clock watch - looking at the clock and working out how few hours you have left until you have to get up in the morning just stresses you and makes it even harder to sleep. so turn all clocks away from your sight and don't give in to the urge to take a look. You have to tell yourself the current time is irrelevant, all that's important whatever the time is concentrating on relaxing and getting sleep. The first time you should look at the clock is when your alarm goes off.To improve your chances of sleep you need to a) relax
empty your mind of the thoughts racing through it.So you have to avoid using the first few hours in bed reviewing all the days events and your future plans etc in your mind. You need to try to make any decisions that are bugging you before going to bed and once in bed tell yourself things can't be solved now and can wait until morning and try to empty your mind of the thoughts.In terms of relaxing - you say you don't have any stress in your life so probably assume that you are therefore relaxed. I used to think the same but I have realised that relaxation is not the opposite of stress. Rather it is a skill that can be learnt. Concentrating on slow deep breathing is a start - but even then one can do this for 5 minutes and think you are relaxed when you are not. 30 minutes listening to a suitable relaxation cd on your ipod however when you go to bed can help show you proper relaxation. In my case listening to Mike's IBS hypnotherapy tape was the key. Having been someone who tended to take a good hour or so to get to sleep (often longer), when taking this course I tended to be asleep within 10 minutes or so of the end of the session.Anyway, don't know if any of that helps. There are quite a few books around as well as cds around that aim to help people sleep and they are worth looking at. They can give you tips to help you relax and to avoid the racing thoughts and bad habits (such as clock watching) that might keep you awake. My final tip is to do what I did as a student and pick your courses such that you don't have anything starting before 11am
)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Yes, sleep disturbances are a known common non-GI symptom and/or complaint related to IBS. I have seen this reported by reputable sources like UNC and IFFGD, as well as anecdotally by some (not all) other IBSers I know. I experienced it quite severely myself for quite some time, and still do, in some ways, although many of my IBS symptoms are much improved. I am quite sure that it is directly related to IBS, as my IBS onset was so abrupt, I can pinpoint it to a specific date. Even when I had had periods of sleep disturbance before IBS. they were never like the ones post-IBS, and the meds and strategies used pre-IBS to try improve sleep don't work in the same way or work at all anymore.My own MDs, who are otherwise competent, but not very knowledgeable about less typical IBS symptoms denied that this (and other non-GI symptoms) had anything to do with IBS, but it is known by researchers. That does not mean all or most people with IBS have sleep disturbances directly related to IBS, but some of us do and it is not unheard of, though not much talked about compared to the GI symptoms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,427 Posts
I don't know if it is "related" or not. But I think they do find a certain sub population of folks who have IBS also have sleep disturbances. I do not think it has been established that IBS "causes" sleep disturbances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
I also suffer from sleep issues, but for me I don't think they are necessarily IBS related. My symptoms do get worse following nights when I have not slept well though.If you are having trouble falling asleep, then I'd recommend trying hops extract. I used this for awhile and it helped me. It doesn't make you sleepy, but it helped me to relax and put me in a tranquil state which promoted sleep. I've tried hops in pill form as well and it did nothing for me. The liquid extract form seems to work best. It's mild and no side effects (that I noticed) either... and I'm usually sensitive to side effects.Incidentally, I'd be interested in reading any research studeis that have been done on sleep and GI issues if anyone has any links to them. I suffered from insomnia and migraine headaches from the time I was an infant up until my early twenties, and about 10 years after that the GI issues kicked in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I suffer from Crohn's disease and I've had tons of problems sleeping. I have to take sleeping pills to get to sleep and stay asleep. I've had Crohn's since 1998. I have a blog that may help you if you have any other questions. There have been a lot of ups and downs for me since being diagnosed. www.hautetimesinthecity.com
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top