Do IBS Symptoms Get Worse At Night?

Medically Reviewed by: Nicole Anne Vergara, RD


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive disorder that is characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea. A majority of people with IBS experience symptoms at different times during the day and night, but there are some symptoms that tend to be worse at night. 

If you're experiencing symptoms that get worse at night, it might be worth investigating why this is the case. This blog provides details on how sleep and IBS can interact, as well as information on the different types of sleep disturbances that are common with IBS. 

Additionally, this blog provides advice on how you can mitigate symptoms and improve your quality of sleep. So whether you're struggling with IBS-related nighttime pain or just want to get a better night's sleep, read on!




What Are The Causes Of IBS Symptoms Getting Worse At Night?

There can be various reasons why your IBS symptoms get worse during the night. Take note of the following habits and change them as soon as possible:


Stomach is Empty

IBS is a disorder that causes difficulty to control bowel movements. The symptoms of IBS can get worse at night because the stomach is empty and there's less chance of bacteria being eliminated. 


Stomach Muscles and Bacteria

Bowel symptoms can be worse at night for a variety of reasons. For example, nighttime is a time when the stomach muscles are usually relaxed and the gut bacteria is inactive.


Eating Late at Night

So, if you suffer from IBS symptoms, make sure to avoid eating late at night and to stick to a regular bedtime routine to help improve your symptoms.


How Can I Lessen the Severity of IBS Symptoms at Night?

Some of the possible treatments include drinking lots of water and eating fiber-rich foods before bedtime, as well as taking ibuprofen or other pain-relieving medications if symptoms are particularly severe. 

Additionally, if you still struggle with frequent bathroom visits, speak to your doctor about possible treatment options like colonic therapy or dietary changes.

 If you find that your symptoms are getting worse at night, it may be worth speaking to your doctor about possible treatment options. 


Sleep and IBS: How Are They Related?

Sleep is vital for everyone, but it's especially important for people with IBS because of the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that can occur at night. Unfortunately, many people with IBS find it hard to sleep due to the symptoms. 

This can make the condition worse and can even lead to chronic GI problems. To reduce or prevent GI problems during sleep, try to get a good night's sleep every day, even if you don't have IBS-related diarrhea or constipation. 

If sleeping isn't possible because of GI symptoms, consider using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or antacids to help relieve pain and discomfort throughout the night.



Conditions Affecting Sleep Quality and IBS Symptoms

Poor sleep quality is one of the most common conditions that can seriously affect bowel health. It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms to worsen, difficulty breathing during sleep, and general fatigue. 

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep quality and reduce IBS symptoms in the process: 

  • Make sure you get enough restorative sleep every night - 8 hours or more is ideal. 
  • Avoid caffeine after lunchtime - caffeine has stimulant effects that disrupt our natural sleeping rhythm. 
  • Try some relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation before bedtime to help wind down and relax muscles throughout the body. These practices have been found to help promote healthy bowel function by promoting deep restful sleep.
  • Finally, keep stress levels under control by adopting a healthy lifestyle overall which will nurture better gut health in general



Sleep Disturbance With IBS

Having trouble sleeping? You're not alone. IBS is a disorder that can affect the way you sleep. There are three types of sleep disturbance with IBS: awakenings, non-restorative sleep, and restless legs syndrome (RLS). 

Each type of sleep disturbance can have its own set of symptoms, which can include bothersome bowel movements during the night. 

If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, it's important to talk to your doctor about how best to cope with your symptoms. They may recommend changing your sleeping habits or using medication to help improve your quality of life. Stay tuned for more posts on IBS and sleep disturbances in the near future!


Do IBS And Sleep Disorders Often Occur Together?

Irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disorders often occur together because they share a common cause - gut problems. In people with IBS, the digestive system doesn't work properly, which can lead to constipation or diarrhea. 

Additionally, people with IBS often experience disrupted sleep patterns due to pain or cramping from their symptoms. If you're experiencing frequent episodes of diarrhea or abdominal pain at night, it's important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options. 

Along with a proper diagnosis, your doctor may also recommend sleep apnea or bowel surgery, depending on the severity of your symptoms. 


Sleep Position and IBS

Many people with IBS experience pain and diarrhea during the night. Sleeping in a position that reduces stomach pressure can help relieve these symptoms. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, can also be helpful for sleep quality and relief from IBS symptoms. 

If you find that your sleep is disturbed by IBS symptoms, consider switching to another sleeping position or using medications to treat the condition at night. 

In the meantime, keep a sleep diary to track your symptoms and see if there is a particular sleep position or medication that helps you sleep better.


Sleep Better With IBS

IBS symptoms can be worse at night for a variety of reasons. In this blog, we discuss the different causes of IBS symptoms getting worse at night and offer advice on how to manage them. 

If you're experiencing symptoms that worsen during sleep, make sure to read through this blog and take the necessary steps to get better sleep! But aside from that, we can also help you manage your sleep and IBS symptoms better through Casa De Sante’s care plans for IBS


Get a free discovery call from us today!

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