IBS is messing with my sleep. What to do?

Posted , 6 users are following.

In the last few years my IBS has gotten worse and so too has my sleep. I now wake up every morning with gas, discomfort and urgency. I have to get out of bed to have a bowel movement and cannot get back to sleep, especially since I have discomfort from incomplete evacuation. My sleep also never feels refreshing.

I suspect my antidepressant (Fluvoxamine) is also causing me sleep problems. I often feel tired, but restless at the same time. It’s difficult for me to even take a nap. I’m seeing my psych soon so I’ll be able to discuss that with him. Is there any medication that has helped any of you with sleep?

I have tried giving up alcohol, and giving up caffeine with no real difference. Weed used to help, but doesn’t anymore.

I kind of question which came first, the worsening of my IBS or the poor sleep. I know lack of sleep can make symptoms worse. I guess it’s kind of become this vicious cycle where they affect each other now. What can I do?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Amitriptyline helped me.  It didn't necessarily help me fall asleep but once I did, I slept better - didn't wake up quite as much & when I did, was able to fall right back to sleep.  Am off it now, just trying to decrease meds I'm on.


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  • Posted

    Amitriptyline helped me.  It didn't necessarily help me fall asleep but once I did, I slept better - didn't wake up quite as much & when I did, was able to fall right back to sleep.  Am off it now, just trying to decrease meds I'm on.

    Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    Do not take weed and try coming off your anti depressants slowly.  They may be making your symptoms worse. Anti depressants can mess with your mood, cause you to be tired, restless, anxious and irritable and can cause further gastric problems.  They can be very toxic and are not necessarily good for you.

    I personally, would not take any medication to help me sleep. Instead try listening to relaxing music, read or try meditation before going to sleep.  A nice cup of hot chocolate is also helpful.  These things are natural and have no side effects.

    I only take very mild buscopan for my IBS as and when required and sometimes nurofen but I don’t need them often. Occasionally, I need Imodium. In the main, my IBS is in remission.  Try to avoid medication if possible.

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  • Posted

    Helllo there,

    You don’t indicate how old you are but certainly if older than 45 years, your symptoms might need revaluation to decided whether there are are other new issues to be dealt with. Getting up,at night to open bowels is a bit unusual and one would want to know whether there were any other features present. A return to your GP might be usesful

    I am sure you have explored probiotics, especially Symprove, and may already adhere to a low FODMAP diet.

    Good luck,



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  • Posted

    I have no idea with regards to meds as I've never taken them, but I would suggest:

    1. No caffeine after 1/2pm - surprising how long it can stay in your system.

    2. Try to eat earlier in the evening - around 5/6pm. 

    3. Get some exercise in the morning/afternoon. A strenuous walk/run/whatever you can manage will help (not in the evening though)

    4. Get a bedtime routine and try and stick to it - no TV, try reading or soothing music, hot bath, low lighting, etc. 

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  • Posted

    I used to be on a drug hyoscyamine for the intestinal cramping and such and after a few years it wasn’t working as well and I hated being reliant on a medication. 

    I decided to go with natural remedies instead and began to drink several mugs of peppermint tea (use multiple tea bags per mug, leave tea bags in as you drink to increase potency over time, don’t use any sweetener because sugar causes inflammation and artificial sweeteners are hard on digestion)

    Peppermint tea has saved me! It both calms my insides, as well as it is a calming flavor and helps me to relax. 

    Combined with drinking this at bed and in the morning, I also practice meditation to calm my mind (as my ibs is triggered my anxiety and stress). I fall asleep to a comforting movie or after reading a book I love - focusing your mind on something other than the pain and discomfort is key!

    I hope some of this helpssmile

    I know it’s easier said than done when someone tells you not to stress, but worrying about not sleeping enough may be causing you more anxiety and therefore, more ibs! (As you said, a vicious cycle). 

    I’ve lost so much sleep over ibs so I understand!

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