Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Get Your Sleep!

A recent study I read about, which covered a whopping 3,173 patients with IBD revealed that impaired sleep doubled the chances of a flare up! This is a very interesting study because it reveals something all of us can do, to help maintain remission and reduce our risk of a flare up. Something that doesn't involve powerful drugs or invasive surgeries. Article excerpt:

A 2013 study completed at the Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, analyzed the sleeping disorders of 3,173 patients with IDB. The study showed that, among the 1,291 patients with Crohn’s disease in remission, those with impaired sleep were twice as likely to have a flare-up of active disease when followed for six months. This study in particular did not show a similar relationship between sleep to ulcerative colitis, but others have. (Source: BioNews Texas)
 So what does this mean? It means not only getting a sufficient amount of sleep in terms of length, but also reducing the disruptions to your sleep. What can we do to maximize our sleep quality? Here are some tips:

  • Go to bed early enough that you can get at least 8 hours before you have to wake up.
  • Avoid stimulating activities right before bed. Give yourself at least half an hour to unwind.
  • Don't consume caffeine in the hours before bed time.
  • Develop a relaxing routine like a warm bath/shower and some reading that you follow every night.
  • Sleep in a very dark and quiet room.
  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable and in good shape.
  • Train any pets to stay out of the bedroom.
  • Turn the temperature of your home down a degree or two at night. Cooler temperatures are best for sleep.
  • If you have to get up at night for any reason like to use the washroom, avoid turning on lights or doing anything that will bring you fully awake.
  • Don't sleep with the TV or radio on in the background. If you need these to fall asleep, use the sleep timer function so they turn themselves off automatically.
  • Before you go to bed, think through or write down plans for the next day and ideas to solve any problems on your mind, so you aren't fretting about them in bed.
  • If you or your partner suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, check with a sleep clinic to get help.
In addition to the recently revealed benefits for your Crohn's disease, you'll also notice that better sleep improves your overall health and mood during the day, so it's a win-win!


3 comments :

  1. Thank you for having a blog that posts about the bright side of Crohn's. I too, have Crohn's and it is really tough! I also have a blog about finding optimism in this challenge. My blog is blessinginthecurse.blogspot.com

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  2. Sleep is an important when it comes to healing any type of ailment, especially Crohns. And since Crohns has had it's way with my child for almost 5 years, I understand just how important sleep is for the body.

    We had to focus more on getting him comfortable so that he could actually enjoy a nights rest. With Crohns disease, experiencing interrupted sleep is normal.I did hold tight to the idea that resting his body would help his body to be in a more calm state. (Try telling this to a child who wants to go outside and play.)

    I enjoy your blog, and I hope to see more frequent posts in the future.

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    1. Glad you like the blog! With a baby and a toddler I can't write as often as I would like... but posting when I can. :)

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