I believe I have mentioned before that I don’t sleep very well. I think many people with IBD have sleep issues. It sort of comes with the territory in my opinion. This has been something I have been dealing with for a long time (basically since I was diagnosed) and have come across some good ideas about ways to relax and improve my sleep hygiene. The thing I have found to be most beneficial is listening to relaxation CD’s while I am trying to fall asleep. I was never really into them before but my mom found this great place upstate that sells all of these relaxation, meditation type things and bought me a CD to try. I couldn’t believe how comforting it was. My suggestion to all of you if you think this could be helpful with any sleeping or anxiety issues you may have (or if you are just looking for a natural way to relax) would be to either go to a library and listen to some so you can get a feel for the kind of music you prefer or if that isn’t feasible, there are plenty of stores that allow you to listen and preview the music before you buy it. I strongly recommend giving this a shot. It is certainly not a cure all kind of thing but it definitely cannot hurt… and can only really help. Amazon has great prices on these CDs so once you find the name of the music you want, ordering it will be money well spent since I can almost guarantee you that you will want to listen every single night : ).
There are a couple other things that even though are more common knowledge/common sense opinions, I think is worth mentioning. I used watch TV, write, and just lay around in my head during the day which I no longer do. I am trying to force my brain to associate bed with sleep only. There are plenty of other places to read and relax that doesn’t involve being in the bed you use for sleep at night.
I am sure most of you are going to read this next thing and think (well obviously…) but I am going to mention it anyway. I used to get ready for bed, lights off and everything and use it as a time to be on my phone and respond to emails and other messages that I couldn’t get to that day. I thought it was a way to relax before bed but I have realized that it just re starts my brain. I end up becoming engrossed in thought while I am trying to figure out how to respond to the various messages I have and then my mind begins to wander making it even more difficult for my mind and body to unwind and fall asleep. So, my advice to anyone who is dealing with some of the issues I am would be to turn everything down and make bed time solely a place where sleep is the only focus.
I know some of the things I said seem juvenile but it is amazing how quickly I forget them, or I guess I should say…think they don’t matter and decide against them. So, I just wanted to reiterate some of these practices because sometimes it is the little things that you forget or that seem insignificant.
…And seriously, check out some relaxation CDs. I have a few names of the ones I like if anyone wants to look into them