IBS can impact your quality of life and we are here to help
Making some changes in your everyday life can make some significant changes to those who are living with IBS. Beyond the dietary choices that can have remarkable improvement in symptom reduction, such as the low-FODMAP diet, this is part one of two articles that showcase additional lifestyle changes that can help you take more control over your daily life with IBS.
Are you getting your 7-9 hours of sleep per night?
Getting Enough Sleep. Sleep issues are common amongst IBS sufferers, including sleep disturbances due to symptoms, reduced light sleep, and an overall poor sleep quality. If you are struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep, reach out to your medical provider to discuss this further. Tips to help get a good night’s rest include:
- Avoiding daytime sleeping or limit naps to 30 minutes
- Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine close to bedtime
- Avoid using electronics or watching television right before bedtime
- Make your space comfortable and relaxing for sleep:
- Try black-out curtains if your space has a lot of light
- Get comfortable bedding and pillows
- Aim for consistency in your sleep routine:
- Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day is helpful if you can meet your sleep needs
- Plan for at least 15 minutes of quiet activity before you go to bed
Now we are moving in the right direction
Physical Activity. Movement helps digestion and can especially be valuable to those who experience constipation. Another benefit of regular movement is that it has been proven regularly that exercise increases your mood and helps reduce both depression and anxiety.
The recommendations are that we aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (think something that you could do for an hour) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity (think something that you could do for 20 minutes) per week. Here are some tips:
- Choose an activity that you enjoy doing. Do you enjoy dancing? Lifting things? I’m a water person, so I like to go to the YMCA for some lap swimming or water aerobics. It’s all about finding something you enjoy doing. Tight on space? A kettlebell can actually give you a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home!
- Start with achievable goals. Setting achievable goals such as adding a couple of extra trips up and down the stairs or doing a set of 10 body squats before work and after work are ways to start building movement habits into your routine while you find more ways to move during the day that don’t feel like work or a chore.
- Movement is self care. Do not beat yourself up if you skipped a workout. This does not mean that your exercise routine is over. Every time you give your body some care and attention, you are showing yourself love. So put your crowns back on each day and start fresh knowing you are worth it.