W.C. Fields said, “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” Now that is profound! When you have hemorrhoids, even simple things like sleeping become challenging. Even the soundest sleeper can have insomnia when there’s persistent posterior pain. When your hemorrhoids feel irritated or sore, it may be difficult for you to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Here are some tips to help you get a more peaceful night of rest when your hemorrhoids are keeping you up at night:
- Take a sitz bath in a few inches of warm water to soothe the anal area. Sit for at least fifteen minutes. Do not use any soaps or bubble bath.
- Apply ice for ten minutes to reduce swelling.
- If approved by your doctor, take nonprescription pain relievers to help with discomfort and swelling.
- You may want to try a relaxing activity such as reading in bed or watching TV to help you wind down and get sleepy. The more comfortable and drowsy you are, the easier it will be to fall asleep.
- Do not sleep on your back. This puts weight and pressure on your anal and rectal area.
- Try sleeping on your stomach with a pillow under your hips. This will help elevate your buttocks and may help keep you from rolling over.
- If you are pregnant or if sleeping on your stomach is not comfortable, try side sleeping. Sleeping on your left side is preferable to your right side.
Sleeping should get easier as your hemorrhoid symptoms decrease. Making good choices daily will help control your hemorrhoids so you will be more comfortable at night. Follow these guidelines to control hemorrhoids:
- Get daily exercise. Walk, swim, play tennis, do yard work or any activity that will raise the heart rate.
- Women should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men should consume at least 35 grams of fiber per day to keep stools soft.
- Drink more than the recommended 64 ounces of water per day.
- Do not strain to use the rest room. Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge and do not put it off.