Irritable Bowel Syndrome at Night
In my previous post, Irritable Bowel Syndrome I wrote, “The pain from IBS can be very extreme and can awaken one from deep sleep.” Sure, waking up to abdominal cramps in the middle of the night doesn’t sound pleasant, but I wanted to describe in more detail what it is like.
I usually awaken from a deep sleep where I’ve just been having a horrible dream that verges on being a nightmare (someone trying to kill me, someone chasing me, someone hurting me). These are very atypical dreams for me. I have talked with other people with IBS or an IBD and they tell me that when they awaken from abdominal cramps they also have awoken from having horrible dreams. Unfortunately, I cannot find much information online about why this seems to be a common occurrence. I plan to ask my doctor about what she thinks of this pattern.
When I awaken my mind is trying to process the crazy, adrenalin pumping dream I was having along with realize I’m having extremely painful cramps. I immediately curl up in the fetal position and usually let out some painful
cries mutterings. I reach for my bedside medicine, take a drink of water, dissolve a pill under my tongue, then rinse my mouth out with water. By this point I’m fully awake, but feeling extremely tired and hoping I don’t wake up The Helpful Hubby too much. I usually go to the bathroom to see if that will help, change into looser fitting PJ bottoms (if the waistband applies ANY pressure it just makes the pain worse), then get back into bed. I curl back up into the fetal position, agonizing over the pain and the inability to fall asleep. I wait for my medicine to kick in and try to focus on relaxing my muscles, instead of tensing them all in reaction to the pain.
Sometimes, when I am too groggy I think the pain is less than it is, then fall half way asleep, only to keep re-awakening to pain for hours upon hours until I realize that I need to take medicine. In either case I usually end up waking up around 3-4 AM and not falling back to sleep for about two hours. This has me starting off the next day feeling extremely tired, along with an overall “blah” feeling from my IBS. Luckily, this does not happen to me every night!
Does IBS cause you to awaken, in pain, from a bad dream?
*Image Credit: from www.wikipedia.org