IBD and Sleep

Getting enough sleep is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you have IBD or not. During sleep, our bodies engage in important biological functions that help to restore our mental and physical health (e.g., consolidation of memories, growth and healing). Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of IBD can interfere with our ability to both fall asleep andremain asleep without interruption. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea can interrupt sleep and require trips to the toilet. The ideal amount of sleep needed depends on our age, although most adults will need between 7-9 hours’ sleep per night.Although it can be difficult to avoid sleep interruptions during times of active disease, you can still implement healthy sleeping habits (i.e., sleep hygiene) to prevent avoidable sleep difficulties. See below for healthy sleeping habits.


  • Try to maintain a sleep schedule (i.e., falling asleep and waking at the same time each day)
  • Try using relaxation techniques before bedtime (e.g., breathing exercises, meditation)
  • Avoid daytime naps as these can make it harder to fall asleep at night
  • Exercise daily
  • Keep your sleeping area cool (15.6°C – 19.4°C), free of light and noise
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or cigarettes in the hours before bedtime