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Ways to Sleep Better with Ulcerative Colitis

How Does Ulcerative Colitis Affect Your Sleep?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the rectum and colon. In addition to the digestive system, it also affects different parts of the overall health, including the sleep quality. That is partly because some symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as stomach cramps and nausea, make it harder to fall asleep or sleep properly. Recent studies have shown that people with this disease, on average, only sleep no more than 5 hours a night. Reported reasons include anxiety, bloating, pain, and the need to go to the toilet. [1]

Be Aware of Certain Medications

Some medications used for treating ulcerative colitis may actually cause sleep issues. For instance, steroids or corticosteroids work as anti-inflammatories to help manage flares. However, they may also act as stimulants and disturb your sleep at night. Fortunately, steroids are often used for short-term treatments. Once you have stopped taking these drugs, sleep problems may improve. At the same time, you should inform your healthcare provider to find proper alternatives or change the dosages to make you sleep better.  [2]