Other than causing you to feel awful in the morning [hang on, I have Crohn's Disease I often feel awful in the morning] What else could a poor night's sleep be doing for your health. Well it has been discovered that a lack of sleep, or a disturbance in your sleep cycles, may increase inflammation in the digestive system. Now if you have Crohn's Disease you don't want to be doing anything that causes more inflammation.
How does this work - The Sleep and Digestion Connection.
The circadian clock refers to the cycle of sleeping and waking. This is an internal clock, located inside the brain. A brain structure called the pineal gland secretes a hormone, melatonin, at night that helps regulate the clock. In fact, many body functions, including digestion, are influenced by it.
During the sleep cycle, digestion slows down. There is less movement and less production of digestive juices. Although researchers are still discovering details on this, several digestive problems — including Crohn's — have been linked to sleep disturbance.
In fact it has even been discovered that chemical messengers produced by the body during inflammation may disrupt sleep. This can set up a vicious cycle in which inflammation interrupts sleep and lack of sleep triggers more inflammation.
We also know that sleep disturbance can also be caused by symptoms of Crohn's, like abdominal discomfort and having to get up to use the bathroom at night. Also many sufferers of Crohn's also take steroids. These have also have been shown to interfere with sleep.
So it appears it is a kind of a lose lose.
Tips for Better Sleep
In order to sleep better you must improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is simply a group of healthy habits that help promote a good night’s sleep. These healthy habits are:
To find out more about the Importance of Sleep and your Crohn's Disease please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Facebook Page at My Crohn's Doctor.
Yours in Health and Wellness
My Crohn's Doctor
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Hello, I am Dr Michael and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 12 years old.