Are you struggling to sleep with your stoma? These tips by Vera SA, providers of ostomy underwear, may prove helpful.
When you get your stoma, you may need to adapt your sleeping habits and patterns to accommodate the changes in your body. The idea of sleeping with a bag may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of instruction and tweaking, you will be back to sleeping comfortably in no time.
Sleeping with a stoma
We are all aware of the importance of sleep; it provides us with the energy we require for the day ahead while also leaving us in a good mood and feeling cheerful. Not to mention all of the other bodily advantages of getting enough sleep!
Sleeping with a stoma can be difficult for ostomates, especially if your surgery was recent and you’re still getting used to your stoma. However, there are steps you can take to alleviate worry and guarantee you get a good night’s sleep regardless of your stoma.
Hacks for sleeping with a stoma
Before going to bed, change or empty your stoma bag
Our first bit of advice is to always go to bed with a new or empty stoma bag, depending on the type of bag you use. This can assist in alleviating any concerns you may have regarding leaks while also ensuring that your bag does not overflow or burst over the night.
Make changing your stoma bag a nightly ritual, and it will soon become second nature to you.
Schedule your meals accordingly
Second, consider your eating habits and how food impacts your stoma. You may find it beneficial to eat your evening meal earlier than usual to allow your body time to process the food before going to bed.
You should also consider how different foods make you feel and whether they cause any problems with your stoma. You may be able to identify specific food kinds that cause problems with your stoma over time.
It’s a good idea to avoid diarrhoea-causing foods at all meals, especially at dinner! Learn more about what to eat with a stoma here.
Also, another thing is to avoid any food that will create gas as your bag can fill up with air like a balloon which can cause a leak.
Find a sleeping posture that is comfortable for you
The good news is that you’ll eventually find a sleeping posture that works for you – just be patient and open to suggestions by other ostomates who have been there, done that.
The most common positions for ostomates are on their backs or their sides. While many people believe that lying on your stomach is the most comfortable position, it might exert pressure on your stoma and bag, which can cause complications. As a result, it’s a good idea to get acclimated to sleeping on your back or side.
You can also try utilising cushions in other positions, such as positioning a pillow beneath your stoma bag for support if you sleep on your side. Don’t worry too much about it; you’ll soon find a job that suits you.
Check that your stoma bag is fastened securely
Our following top advice may seem apparent, but it is critical to ensure that your stoma bag is positioned correctly before going to bed! When we hear about leaks during the night, one of the most prevalent causes is adhesion, which occurs when people do not correctly fit the bag.
So, pay special care to how you apply your stoma bag and double-check that it’s correctly in place before going to bed!
Check that you’re using the correct stoma bag for you
Using the right bag for you is vital in all aspects of life, not just sleeping. Making sure you’re using the proper bag can help reduce anxiety and enhance your sleep quality.
Consider the size of your stoma, the type of stoma you have, and your output. Your stoma nurse should be able to point you in the proper direction in terms of which stoma bag would be best for you. You can also get free samples from our website, allowing you to experiment with different options until you find the one that works best for you.
Other things you could try…
Of course, there are other things you may try to improve your sleep quality, all of which apply to everyone, not just ostomates! Some of the most important things to try are:
- Every day, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening.
- Caffeine should not be consumed late in the day.
- Reduce the number of irregular or extended afternoon sleeps.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Improve your bedroom environment by paying attention to temperature, lighting, and cleanliness.
- Relax and make an effort to cleanse your mind.
- Before going to bed, take a warm bath or shower.
- Invest in a more comfortable mattress and pillows if necessary.
Remember, your ostomy journey is unique
It’s important to remember that everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. With time, you’ll develop a regimen that works for you. If you’re having trouble, talk to your stoma nurse or HCP, who will be able to give you some particular guidance.
How VERA SA Can Help
Do you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy?
VERA SA provides stock of ostomy underwear and guarantees the lowest prices, professional assistance, and speedy delivery. Our men’s and ladies’ underwear boast a hidden stoma pouch that prevents rubbing, irritation, or inflammation and reduces the possibility of detachment or leaks, keeping you feeling carefree all day.
Vera SA is a proud partner of CANSA and The South African Society of Ostomates.
Have you ever had an injury to your stoma? Have any more tips or stories to help others prevent them from occurring? Please leave your comments below!
* Disclaimer: The above suggestions and information should not be used in place of professional medical advice or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider before making any changes.
READ MORE BLOGS BY VERA SA:
HOW TO REDUCE OSTOMY GAS AND ODOURS
REPLACE YOUR COLOSTOMY BAG IN A FEW EASY STEPS
THE PROS & CONS OF DISPOSABLE OSTOMY BAGS
UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF OSTOMY SURGERY
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