Do You Get Enough Rest During an IBS Flare?
Let’s face it, I think it’s a cultural thing but here in the United States we love to work, work, work. Resting is not really seen as a positive thing. The more productive you are, the busier you are, the more praise you seem to get.
But when you are dealing with a debilitating syndrome like IBS, rest is crucial. Your body does most of its healing and repairing during sleep, so shouldn’t sleep be a huge priority? Shouldn’t rest be something that a doctor should almost prescribe? Ugh, I wish.
It seems like if you take a nap during the day, you are looked at as nothing but lazy. But, to those who judge, with all due respect, have you ever endured an IBS flare?! It’s exhausting!
No rest or sleep during an IBS flare
You are running to and from the bathroom 24/7. You get zero sleep. You barely eat because you feel sick and nauseated all the time, therefore you are totally malnourished and tired. And not to mention most likely dehydrated from the endless bathroom trips you make. Just getting up from bed and making it to the restroom can seem daunting and oh don’t even get me started with the horrible abdominal pain. The pain can be excruciating and dealing with that alone takes the energy of completing a marathon. IBS flares are just complete nightmares and getting proper rest in order to heal from one is the only way to get better.
So do you rest enough? Or do you push yourself so that you won’t be judged by family and friends?
Oh, I hope you don’t’ put yourself through that. I am lucky to say that I have a gastroenterologist that always encourages me to rest and make it a priority. If we do too much, we only exacerbate our symptoms and create a vicious cycle that is never-ending.
It is OK to rest with IBS
So I’m here to let you know that it is okay to rest. It is okay to call into work sick on the day you have a severe flare, of course, if you’re able to. If you are in pain and have become a slave to the bathroom, take the time to give your body a day or 2 to regroup. If you are able, take the time to nap in the afternoon so that your body can repair. Take time to perhaps sit in a warm bath to calm cramping or any type of soreness. Say no to a social gathering if you are dying from symptoms, you don’t have to torture yourself.
It’s okay. It’s okay to put yourself first. It’s okay to close the blinds sometimes and give yourself a day to relax. IBS is hard but sometimes we can make it harder on ourselves by not listening to our bodies and simply rest.
So rest up my friend. Don’t be afraid to give yourself time. Don’t be afraid to say no to others. Don’t be afraid to rest. IBS can be a hard journey and if you don’t prioritize your rest, who will?
Do you struggle with resting during an IBS flare? If so, share below, we love to hear from you.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?