Sleep and Diet Changes May Help IBD Patients

B.S. Dietetics, Dietitian, Health Professional

New research reveals more about how sleep can affect the development of inflammatory diseases like IBD.   Poor sleep, or more specifically the disruption of circadian rhythms, can cause inflammatory issues, according to the study.  When combined with poor diet, sleep issues can compound the problem.

Sleep is a restorative process that allows your body time to resist assaults against it.   If you aren't developing good sleep-wake patterns, it can put you at risk for health problems. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning can be a good start to developing good circadian rhythms.

A high-fat, high-sugar diet also works against you if you have IBD, increasing your risk for potential problems. This may also be linked to the fact that both high-fat foods and high-sugar foods can alter the normal intestinal flora.  Cleaning up your diet and adding pro and prebiotics may help mitigate some of this risk.

If you are dealing with IBD and poor sleep, it is worth your while to address this issue with your physician.   They may want to do a sleep study to determine exactly what your sleeping patterns look like and whether something can be changed to improve them.  As far as planning a healthy anti-inflammatory diet rich in pro and prebiotics, a nutritionist or registered dietician could be very helpful.