To help you sleep easily with an ostomy bag, try these six tips from VERA SA, a leading supplier of ostomy underwear.
After ileostomy surgery, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to healing. But adapting your sleep patterns with an ostomy bag will take some time and patience. Fortunately, with a few simple changes to your night-time routine, you can still get a restful night’s sleep.
After my surgery of having an ileostomy, I found it quite difficult to sleep and be comfortable at the same time. After trial, error and some (okay, a lot!) of patience, I made a few simple changes which ended up in a good night’s rest.
How to sleep with an ostomy bag
Learning to live with an ostomy pouch shouldn’t require any major lifestyle changes. Here are six suggestions to help you get the rest you need:
Before going to bed, empty the ostomy bag
Empty the contents of your ostomy pouch right before you go to bed. This keeps the bag from filling up too much during the night. Also, double-check that the pouch fits snugly over the stoma. A sloppy pouch could result in a midnight leak.
Don’t eat anything before going to bed with an ostomy bag
If you eat a large meal right before bed, your stoma will become more active, which could contribute to numerous drainages during the night. Prepare a small dinner for later in the evening or eat at least two hours before bedtime, I do not eat at least 2 before bed, and I make sure I don’t eat anything that will cause gas during the night which will result in your bag blowing up during the night and can cause a leak!
Find a sleeping position that is most comfortable
Following ostomy surgery, you will most likely not need to adjust your sleeping posture. Either sleeping on your back or on your side is recommended. Resting on your ostomy side shouldn’t be a problem for side sleepers. Place your pouch on a cushion if you want to sleep on the other side so it isn’t burdened down and pulled away from your abdomen as it fills. This also helps when you have just had surgery it alleviates any pressure and can limit movement during the night.
People who are accustomed to sleeping on their stomachs can continue to do so with modest modifications, such as placing a pillow under their bent stoma-side knee to create a gap between the pouch and the mattress. Your stoma and pouch will not be squeezed beneath your body this way.
When should you empty your ostomy bag?
You may need to set an alarm to remind yourself to empty your pouch at first. Your body may automatically warn you when it’s time to drain the pouch as you heal and adapt to your ostomy. If you drain it before going to bed, you might not have to empty it until the morning. For me, I have come so accustomed to my ileostomy, I can feel when my bag gets too full, or air is starting to blow up the bag, sometimes I can feel the base plate lifting off the skin from the pressure
Make sure your ostomy bag is secure
During the night, wear an ostomy belt or wrap to keep your pouch secure but not too tight on your abdomen. Wear loose-fitting pyjamas to avoid restricting the passage of urine waste into the pouch. Ask your stoma nurse about a nocturnal drainage bag if your night-time output is excessive.
Leaks should be avoided at all costs
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, a leak may occur from time to time. Have your ostomy supplies, a change of bedtime clothes, and sheets available in case of an unexpected leak.
You can also preserve your mattress by using cushion linen savers to absorb any leaks.
If you notice that your overnight output continues to be excessive and is frequently interrupting your sleep, talk to your doctor about drugs that may help to lessen the amount of waste draining into the pouch.
Sleeping for seven hours each night is a vital aspect of the recovery process. If you’re having trouble sleeping because of your ostomy, talk to your doctor or stoma nurse about how to obtain the best rest you need.
VERA SA: Ostomy Under is here to assist you
Vera SA recognises that an ileostomy stoma is a life-changing procedure. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you in finding the right ostomy underwear to prevent night-time leaks. Vera SA underwear is suitable to wear while sleeping and helps prevent the bag from shifting, creasing, or curling.
Our unique range of men’s briefs and women’s panties stylishly conceal and discreetly support ostomy pouches. Crafted from super soft imported fabric for a fit that feels like second skin, our smooth style, and stretchy underwear lies flat against your body, giving a good fit that will stay in place all day.
The fabric is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking – suitable for even the most sensitive skin. The hidden stoma pouch prevents rubbing, irritation, or inflammation, and reduces the possibility of detachment or leaks, keeping you feeling carefree and confident all day.
Vera SA is a proud partner of CANSA and The South African Society of Ostomates.
Contact VERA SA on 082-833-9200, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto https://www.verasa.store/ for more information.
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