Ep 8: The IBD Sleep Connection Interview With a Sleep Expert

We know there’s a connection between sleep and IBD, but what is still a mystery is if it’s the Crohn’s or colitis making it hard to get a good night’s sleep or is it our poor sleep that makes our IBD flare. It’s time to get to the bottom of this “is it the chicken or egg” scenario once and for all.

In this episode, we’ll tackle the gut/sleep connection head on as we go straight to the expert source. Dr. William Brim, sleep expert, joins the podcast to shed light on this important topic for all of us suffering with IBD.

I asked Dr. Brim about:

  • The gut/sleep connection: Why do we struggle with sleep when we have IBD and is our poor quality sleep having a negative effect on our IBD?
  • The unique role our circadian rhythm plays for our microbiome
  • The surprising truth about over-the-counter sleep aids like Melatonin, Gaba, and CBD Oil
  • The best 4 sleep must do’s to ensure we sleep like a baby

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll be geeking out on all things IBD and sleep. Dr. Brim provides cutting edge research information that will give you multiple a-ha moments. You’ll never look at your gut/sleep connection the same again.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [3:13] Dr. Brim, our sleep expert, is a Health Psychologist and speaks nationally and internationally on the topic of sleep. Dr. Brim has trained over 5,000 clinicians in non-medical treatments for sleep disorders.
  • [09:06] Dr. Bill says that there’s really no question that reduced sleep causes an almost immediate change in the gut microbiota. A recent study showed that after just 2 nights of being sleep deprived, there is a significant increase in bacteria in the gut such as Corio bacteria, ACA, and an increase in firmicutes.
  • [18:30] Disruptions to the circadian rhythm can result in increased inflammation as well as increased gut permeability. This can then increase our chances of having an IBD flare-up.
  • [21:18] Probiotics can improve the gut microbiota and therefore improve the inflammation response in our gut. Because of your improved microbiome, this small step can also improve the quality of your sleep.
  • [26:39] The more you stress about not sleeping well, the more negative impact it will have on your IBD. You have to take it in stride, treasure good sleep, and protect it as best you can, but don’t over-compensate if you have an occasional bad night sleep and get worried that you have insomnia. That worry will always create more insomnia.
  • [31:06] Dr. Brim explains “worry time.” Set aside time each night to get your anxious or stressful thoughts out of your head before going to bed, outside of the bedroom. If you get in bed and all those thoughts pop back in your head, get back out of bed, go back to that quiet place and write your worries down again. When you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.
  • [33:24] Are melatonin, Gaba and CBD Oil effective sleep aids? Dr. Brim explains the upsides and downsides of these popular over-the-counter treatments.
  • [47:12] There is no panacea when it comes to sleep, but there are several tips everyone can take away to help them have good sleep. Dr. Brim shares his 4 best sleep hygiene tips to help everyone get a better night’s sleep.
  • [59:28] Power naps or snooze fests? Which one is better for us with IBD. Dr. Brim says that either are OK, actually, as long as they don’t affect our sleep at night.
  • [1:00:02] Dr. Brim disses the idea that blue light makes it OK to watch TV on your device in bed. Sure, the blue light may diminish your melatonin, but it’s not enough to suppressive your melatonin enough to make you sleepy and the activity of watching TV in bed, keeps your mind racing and is terrible to do just before bed.
  • [1:11:18] Go to karynhaley.com to schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back.

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Episode Links:

How Does IBD Affect Sleep? (or should we say how does sleep affect IBD)


0:00:04 S1: INTRO You’re listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis to connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Hayley, IBD Health Coach, Integrative Wellness enthusiast and mom of three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years. I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey into it, like only a mom can. Let’s do this.


Win your own Kitchen Arsenal Prevention Recipe Guide!

Welcome, welcome to the episode, mama. Before we get started today, I wanted to let you know that you can win a copy of my kitchen arsenal preventive and kitchen arsenal cure recipe guide to kick that cold or flu right to the curb. Before it starts, I love this guide, I love it because it’s so important as we’re heading into cold and flu season right now, of course, with the added stress and the added pressure of a pandemic on our hands, we just can’t lose our immune system enough right now. And these rescue remedies, they’re full of ingredients that you already have in your kitchen, but I usually reserve it just for my clients. I’m sharing it with you today so that you can get your hands on these must-have sickness buster recipes.

0:01:41 S1: All you have to do to get the guide is leave a written review for The Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD on iTunes, take a screenshot of your review and email it to me, email it to me at hello@karynhaley.com, with the subject line: PODCAST REVIEW, and I’ll send you your kitchen arsenal preventive and kitchen arsenal cure recipe guide as my way of saying thank you. Thank you for listening and thank you for reviewing the show. My email again is hello@k-a-r-y-n-h-a-l-e-y. dot com, and I can’t wait to reward you for leaving your review.

Alright, let’s get into the episode. I’m especially looking forward to today’s episode because it’s my first interview on the podcast, I love adding in another voice to our IBD mom experience, especially with a subject that I’m not that well-versed in, but super curious about. today we’re talking about sleep, sleep and IBD. What’s the connection here? There’s so much to dig into. Lately, the whole gut and microbiome has been under a great deal of focus, and that’s beautiful because it’s led to some really interesting research. One of the areas of focus for this microbiome is how it affects our sleep, and we’ll explore this and many other sleep-related topics with today’s guest.

0:03:13 S1: So let’s go ahead and get into it. Let’s find out a little bit more about today’s guest. Our guest today is Dr. William Brim, he’s a Clinical Health Psychologist and behavioral sleep expert. He’s the director of a National Department of Defense Training Center, and has trained over 5,000 clinicians nationally and internationally, in non-medical treatments for Sleep Disorders, he conducts research and has published numerous articles and book chapters on PTSD and sleep disorders. He regularly presents at national and international conferences and has testified in numerous civilian and military courts, and provides consultation and coaching and behavioral interventions for sleep disorders. Welcome to the show, Dr. Brim.

0:04:06 S2: Hi Karyn, I was wondering if I was ever gonna make it on your podcast…

0:04:09 S1: Well, of course. You’re my first interview. Oh, there you go. I have to tell you, there’s one thing that’s missing from your bio, you forgot to mention that you have an absolutely fabulous IBD health coach for a wife…

0:04:24 S2: Best in the world.

0:04:27 S1: That’s me so… Full disclosure for our dear listeners, Dr. Brim is actually my husband, so I thought he would be the perfect to have first on the show. What’s really cool, and Bill, I’m sure you agree with this, what’s really cool about us is that both of us being in the healthcare field, sometimes I get to work with you on your presentations when it comes to all things gut health. And when it comes to sleep, you actually work with some of my clients before to help them when they have sleep challenges, so we have this kind of cool thing going where we get to work with each other a lot, and I think it’s fun.

0:05:07 S2: I come to you for questions about sleep and the gut all the time.

0:05:13 S1: Well, I’m gonna keep you in charge of sleep and I’ll be in charge of the gut. So welcome, I’m really happy to have you here. I thought I would start with just going over the format, so everybody knows what we’ll be doing today. Okay, so we’re gonna start with a couple ice-breaker questions, these are just some completely fluffy questions, totally easy to answer, but I find that they’re interesting questions because they will let us know a lot about your inner personality, so to speak, and then after that, we’re gonna just dive in, we’re gonna dive in and talk about all things sleep. How does sleep affect IBD. What I think is interesting is it’s kind of this chicken and egg thing, what comes first, so how does sleep affect our IBD? And how does our Crohn’s and colitis affect our sleep? So what I’d love to do today is get into all of that with you, and then lastly, I’d love to finish with a lightning round just really quick off the cuff questions that I know people have when it comes to sleep. We might get to some of those during our talk, but just in case, I would love for us to do that lightning round at the end, How does that sound for you? Sounds great.

0:06:27 S1: Okay, I have my questions. What you’ve written down here. Okay, I don’t need to look for the ice breaker questions ’cause I know what those are. Let’s get started with our ice breaker questions. Okay, completely fluffy a promise. Question number one what is your favorite ice cream flavor?

0:06:45 S2: Moose tracks. No cookies and cream. No, no, Rocky Road. No, can I say ice cream?

0:06:57 S1: All ice cream in a… I think you did all of the Ben and Jerry’s flavors, so that… We are Ben and Jerry’s lovers in our house.

0:07:05 S2: And they have a great… Now they have the dairy-free Ben and Jerry’s too.

0:07:11 S1: Yeah, they do. They make it with cashew milk. It’s really delicious. Actually, I don’t have it a lot because it’s still a lot of sugar in it, I tasted it on…

0:07:21 S2: You put enough cookies and cream in and it’s good.

0:07:23 S1: Yeah, exactly. Well, I don’t, but you would… Right. Alright, so an eclectic mix of ice cream flavors, so I guess that tells us something about your personality, I’m sure. Okay, second question, second question is… Cats or dogs? Dog. Of course our viewers don’t know that, but I know that because we have a dog.

0:07:50 S2: We have a beautiful golden retriever, Luna. Who was around here somewhere?

0:07:54 S1: Do we have any other pets?

0:07:56 S2: Oh yes, we have a whole household of pets, we have birds, we have bearded dragons, dogs, we have them all…

0:08:05 S1: Yeah, and I’m sure everybody can see… Well, if you’re seeing this on YouTube, you can see if you’re listening, you don’t see us, but we’re actually in different rooms of the house. We’re not together. What happens when we’ve done this together before, and when we do it together, you get that echo-y kind of noise when we both have our computers, so I’m in my podcast space in… Bill is in his presentation space, so we’re actually in different rooms, but we’re in the same house and we’re hoping that the kids are going to give us this time so that we can talk about all things gut and sleep. Okay, so let’s go ahead and just dive in and I wanna get straight to the sleep, talk about the sleep and gut connection, so when it comes to the sleep and gut connection, I know there are probably a lot of problems that we could talk about. What are the biggest challenges that you’re seeing when it comes to sleep and gut disturbances…

There’s no question, reduced sleep will impact our microbiome.

0:09:06 S2: Yeah, I think there’s really no question that reduced sleep causes an almost immediate change in the gut microbiota. There was an interesting study a few years ago where researchers had normal healthy adults go two nights with reduced sleep opportunity, so they were reduced to only four, about four hours total time in bed, so they were sleeping less than four hours, and they compared them to themselves when they only had… When they had two nights of normal sleep opportunities, so about seven and a half hours of sleep, and then they took the stool samples from them at the end of both opportunities and they compared the stool samples following each period, and they found that after just two nights of reduced sleep opportunity, there were significant increases in bacteria in the gut such as Corio bacteria, ACA, and an increase in firmicutes that can lead to obesity and type two diabetes, and that was only after two nights of reduced sleep. And a lot of people that struggle with sleep problems obviously have more than a couple of nights of sleep, so the more chronic that sleep problem becomes, the more build up of these bad gut bacteria can be…

0:10:24 S2: And this is what we kinda call… You know this better than I do, what you would call intestinal dysbiosis, probably it would be the best word, which is just a fancy way for saying your gut biome is all kind of jacked up… Right, right, and we know that stress, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, disturbed circadian rhythm, all these things result in a disruption to a healthy Gut micribiome, and we know that altered microbiota may affect the function of both the nervous system and the immune system. And that reduces your ability to cope with psychological stress, physical stress, it makes you more vulnerable to stress, and it’s clear that poor sleep and gut dysbiosis are correlated with obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, and most importantly, probably for IBD is inflammatory diseases.

0:11:23 S1: Wow, I can’t believe how much information we’ve been able to gather with this whole… All the new research on the microbiome, isn’t it crazy, like just how many pieces you can connect it to all stemming from the microbiome, and of course, when you’re talking about this for quality of sleep, even for a couple of days, and you’re talking about the effects of it on the gut and then it leading to inflammation, that just really makes me think about us, of course, the IBDers, because we’re the ones that this inflammation, inflammatory, bowel disease. So how does that fit into everything…

0:12:02 S2: Yeah, I think… For me, I think of sleep is like that old canary in a coal mine saying, When we have sleep problems, it’s often one of the first indicators that something’s out of balance in our body, sleep… Our ability to sleep is kind of like an early warning system, and there are several studies that suggest that poor sleep can be an early warning sign of an impending flare or sub-clinical inflammation itself, so before you’re even aware that you’re having a flare or that there is inflammation that warning signal of disruption to your sleep could occur, and if you’re not getting good sleep, you have a two-fold higher increase of a flare compared to people with IBD who are getting a good night sleep, so we know that poor sleep leads to inflammation, even like sub-clinical inflammation can lead to poor sleep disturbance, so I’ll mention sleep disturbance and sometimes I’ll mention sleep deprivation and sometimes I’ll mention insomnia, and those are really three different things, sleep disturbances when you’ve just not gotten a good night’s sleep or something’s interfered with your sleep, sleep deprivation is when you’re not giving yourself enough opportunity to sleep, you’re reducing the opportunity to sleep, and insomnia is when you have the inability to sleep, even when you’re giving yourself a lot of opportunity for sleep, and all three are known to worsen acid reflux, they can lead to ulcers, they lead to increase in the risk of fatty liver disease, and they can exacerbate symptoms of lupus and arthritis and may even increase the risk of colon cancer.

0:13:52 S1: Wow, I know you and I have had this conversation before. What’s more important getting your sleep or in food, because of course, you and I would have that conversation and you know, I hate to admit it to you, but it’s amazing to me just how important sleep is, it’s crazy, all of the disruptions that can happen in your body… And when it comes to IBD, those are just massive. The inflammatory response, the immune system response. It just makes me wanna go to sleep, get a nap, make sure that I’m doing it right, which you know, sometimes I struggle with… We all do right? We all struggle with that. Something that has been just kind of going around in my mind as you’ve been talking, is this circadian rhythm… Right, I’m sure when you talk about sleep, you talk about the circadian rhythm, so how does that fit into this whole picture here?

0:14:48 S2: Yeah, well, let me ask you this, what is the most rhythmic thing that you can think of on the planet… And please don’t say the boy band BTS or something like that.

0:14:59 S1: I don’t even know what that is. What is the most rhythmic thing on the planet? I feel like this is a test. What happens the most consistently, the sun comes up and down is that what you’re looking for, you… Yeah, exactly, exactly.

0:15:15 S2: It’s the rhythm of the rotation of the earth, right, that rhythmic rising and setting of the sun. And we’ll see how this plays a key role in our sleep and in our health, but this rhythm is so regular and so consistent that it affects nearly every living thing on the planet, the plants orient to the sun, animals whether they’re nocturnal, which means they’re waking active at night or diurnal like us, and awake and active mostly during the day, all have consistent rhythms that are oriented to this rhythm of the Sun, every cell in our body, and this is where it gets really important. Every cell in our body has a rhythm, not necessarily a 24-hour circadian rhythm, but a rhythm that’s maintained by a mass of a master clock that’s in our brain, and this master clock has to be set every day by exposure to bright light or to daylight, things like body temperature, hormone release like melatonin, which helps regulate the timing of our sleep, growth, human growth hormone, which fuels our growth as kids, but also as adults, it maintains our tissues and our organs, which is also key plasma cortisol levels, which is a steroid hormone that is key to our body stress response and helps to regulate our bodies sugar levels, metabolism, memory formation, and it helps with anti-inflammation, among other things.

0:16:44 S2: All are regulated on this circadian rhythm. And circadian rhythm plays a key role in good quality sleep, when we have consistent sleep, that helps to keep our master clock in tune with our body and keeps all of those… All of our cellular activity in tune with our body.

0:17:05 S1: I love that, and that’s such a good explanation, because I know everybody’s heard about the circadian rhythm, but to hear about how it all works and how when we have to have a good circadian rhythm, it makes such a difference to our overall health. Absolutely.

0:17:20 S2: I mean, you know you have good rhythm when things are regular, right. When you’re hungry, about the same time every day when your period is regular, when your bowel movements occur regularly, when you’re sleepy about the same time every day, many of you probably wake up about the same time every day, even on your days off, even when you could sleep in. And this is because your master clock is in tune, you’re consistent with your wake time, you’re consistent with your exposure to light, but there’s a lot of ways that our rhythm can get disrupted. Shift work is the big one, right? But so is having an inconsistent bedtime and wake time, many sleep disorders and medical conditions disrupt the circadian rhythm as well.

0:18:07 S1: You are so good about that 10 o’clock every night. And then there’s me. So I know that’s definitely something I could work on, right? And it probably affects my circadian rhythm, and I’m guessing that just having IBD alone might affect my circadian rhythm, would I be right about that?

When our circadian rhythm is disrupted so is our gut.

0:18:30 S2: Yeah, I think absolutely, and it’s a two-way street, I think, between the circadian rhythm and the disruption… Circadian rhythm and IBD. But anyway, when this rhythm is disrupted, imagine that someone out on the dance floor that has no rhythm. This rhythm of this imbalance can lead to a range of adverse metabolic effects, it can increase the amount of pro-inflammatory gut bacteria, and the imbalance also promotes increased gut permeability, and this is a big word, like this translocation of bacterial components across the epithelium, the consequences basically of this is that you have metabolically active tissues that are exposed to like chronic low-level inflammation, and that can result in metabolic signaling and disruptive metabolic signaling, and then further inflammation, and then you’re back to that dysbiosis, poor sleep, stress, dysbiosis cycle where your gut is affecting your sleep, your sleep and lack of sleep is causing you to be stressed out, and that stress is releasing cortisol cytokines, which are telling your body’s immune response to turn on and or inflammatory themselves, and then back to that your gut biome again. And so we get in this cycle that we talked earlier, and it increases inflammation throughout the body and increases the risk of a flare for those with IBD.

0:20:10 S1: I have to tell you, it just sounds all pretty grim. It sounds pretty grim for those of us with IBD, I came to this conversation thinking I was gonna talk to you about the chicken or the egg and what it really doesn’t seem to matter because it’s all this cycle that just this endless negative cycle.

0:20:26 S2: I think it’s a… It’s a two-way street though.

0:20:29 S1: Tell me, you have some good news here is… I hope you do.

0:20:34 S2: Well, I know, and this happens all the time, it always feels outside of our control, like How am I supposed to do something about that, how can I possibly change my gut microbiome, how can I affect my master clock in my brain? You can’t just say, Oh, you should increase your healthy gut microbes and just kinda go and just kind of imagine it, or maybe at least… At least not directly so, but the good news, I think, is that there are things that are in our control that we can do, and I’ll suggest probably a couple of things that have scientific support on…

0:21:13 S1: You are my science guy.

Probiotics play a big role in helping our inflammation and our sleep.

0:21:18 S2: But I think one of them is more in your area and that I can suggest them for you, and then one is a little bit more in my area, and you may wanna talk some more about the first one and the first one is the fact that some probiotics, we know, act on the enteric nervous system, which is basically essentially your gut and at the and the immune system, and then they can improve your stress response, they can reduce that cortisol release that I talked about, and pro-inflammatory bacteria, which is a bad thing, and then improve the guts ability to make neurotransmitters, which help with mood, like anxiety and depression, and melatonin, which helps with sleep regulation. The second thing, and so you can talk some more about those types of things, and then the second thing has to do with improving your sleep to the best of your ability, and there are several things that you can do that you have control over in that area.

0:22:23 S1: Well, in terms of the probiotic, I just have to agree with you that… And from everything that you’ve said even before then, it all just kinda leads up to this, you started by talking about how we… Even when you talked about that study, how even from two hours of two days with sleep deprivation, it actually impacted your microbiome and the bacterial balance in there, so it completely makes sense that if you take a probiotic, it’s going to help with the whole microbiome in it probably will even help you sleep better, and I know… I know that it will also help your IBD symptoms, so all of that completely makes sense to me.

0:23:01 S2: Yeah, I agree, and I would say just remember that good sleep happens when we’re healthy and when we manage our stress, and when we’re consistent and regular with our healthy sleep behaviors, I think sleep happens right. You can’t not sleep. And for this reason, I think a lot of people take sleep for granted, but there’s a host of enemies out there that are waiting to steal little bits of our good sleep and our health, and even though good sleep happens naturally, I think we have to be a little bit paranoid and a little bit willing to fight to defend our good sleep, even though you will fall asleep if you wanna sleep… Well, that’s in your control. Right.

0:23:47 S1: Right, that makes sense. Now, I have to switch gears just a little bit here, because in preparing for this episode, in this interview, I have to confess, I don’t know why, ’cause I knew it was with you, but I just got a little bit nervous about it. Typically, it’s me and the camera… I’m doing an interview and it’s with you, so… I don’t know, it made me a little nervous. So over the last weekend, I went to our IBD mom tribe, The Gut Love Community, and so I ask them what do they doing… What do they wanna know? What did they want to know about sleep and what questions would they have for the seed expert, so is it okay with you if I just share some of those questions?

0:24:26 S2: Let’s give it a try.

0:24:27 S1: Okay, so our first question comes from Maria, and Maria says, How important is a good night’s sleep when you IBD. Is it more important for us with IBD than non-IBD ears to have good quality sleep?

0:24:43 S2: Yeah, I think a lot of that’s like what we were just talking about, I think it’s absolutely the case. Everyone is affected by a bad night sleep, right, everybody has an impact from a bad night sleep, whether it’s an acute impact and it just affects your next day or it becomes kind of a recurrent chronic problem that has longer lasting effects, we know that poor sleep results in a whole host of physical and psychological problems, and that kind of cascade includes inflammation all throughout your body, and as I had mentioned earlier, I think there is such a clear correlation between sleep and IBD that poor sleep can actually predict a flare, so I think absolutely it’s important to get good sleep and to try your best to have an environment that… Again, like I said, where you fight where you treasure sleep… Where you fight for it and you don’t just take it for granted.

0:25:48 S1: Yeah, so we definitely have to prioritize it, and I can speak from my own experience, I’ve seen it with clients, to where they just… You go through a period in your life that’s particularly stressful, or maybe you’re a new parent and you’re not getting enough sleep, it is so tough, it will always… You know, it always, when I am under that chronic stress, I just know it’s going to affect my sleep… And then it’s gonna affect my IBD, and so I’ve learned over the years to really treasure it, and even if I’m going through a time when I can’t get the sleep that I need, I make sure that I prioritize naps. I don’t know, you might have an opinion on that, but I definitely will. Just try to make sure I get enough sleep. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can. ’cause we’re all human and so imperfect action, right?

The more you worry and stress about not sleeping, the more it will negatively impact your sleep.

0:26:39 S2: And it’s important to note too, that everyone has a sleepless night every once in a while, it’s not unusual to have a sleepless night, and the biggest concern is not to over-react to that sleepless night to over compensate for it, or to get worried and add anxiety because I mean, who hasn’t said, Oh, I got an awful night sleep last night, and tonight I’ve gotta get a good night sleep, or I’m gonna feel bad the next day, or I’m gonna fail, or I’m gonna have a car accident or whatever. And it’s really hard to sleep when you’re going, Oh my God, I’ve gotta go to sleep right now, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to state right now, that’s not conducive to good sleep, right. So you just have to kinda take it in stride again, treasure, good sleep, protect it as best you can, but don’t kinda over-compensate if you have an occasional bad night sleep and get worried that you have insomnia.

0:27:33 S1: You just… Perfectly segue into the next question. The next question comes from Karyn. And Karyn incidentally is Karyn K-a-r-y-n, just like me. Karyn … She has a question about sleeping anxiety, so it’s a perfect set-up for what you were just mentioning, are any hacks or restless sleep when you go to bed with your mind racing… That’s a big one, right? Karyn mentions that she already does some breathing before bedtime and she writes down her tasks, the things she asked to do for tomorrow, she’s wondering, is there anything else you’d recommend for those racing thoughts at bed time?

0:28:16 S2: Yeah, absolutely Karyn. And I’ll tell you, first of all, that you are right on track. One, in fact, I would say the most common concern of people that have sleep problems is being anxious or worried, it’s one of the most common things we hear, either that the anxiety or worry interferes with falling asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night, and you start worrying and you can’t get back to sleep, but you’re on the right track with what you’re doing. So what we typically recommend is what I call worry time, or what it’s called worry time, and that’s where you set aside time, like you do to jot down your worries, and people tend to have a couple of different worries, right, they just have these generalized worries about life and things. And who doesn’t have that? Now, especially right, so you have these general worries and then you have specific things like, This person is ill, or I have this specific problem, or like a to-do list where I have to do this tomorrow, I have to do that tomorrow, I have to do this tomorrow, and when you’re lying in bed trying to go to sleep and you’re having those worries or those thoughts, or you’re making those lists, have you ever actually gotten out of bed and done any of those things? Probably not, you just lay there in bed and you kind of ruminate and perseverate on them, right.

0:29:34 S2: So Karyn’s doing exactly the right thing that we recommend, which is have some worry time, set aside time to get those worries and thoughts out of your mind, if it’s a did list so you don’t wanna forget anything, write it down, write down that to-do list. If it’s just general worries, set aside some time, go into a quiet room, set your phone aside, tell your family or anybody that’s in the house that turn your phone off and set aside some quiet time and just do a brain dump, get all those worries and thoughts out of your head. Just kinda get them out because… And the reason why we want you to set aside that quiet separate time is because why do you think… As soon as you get in the bed, all those worries pop in your head, it’s because that’s a quiet time, you don’t have the distraction of the TV or the phone, or the kids or whatever, and so your mind hates that vaccum, so… All those thoughts and worries are gonna rush in, so what we wanna do with worry time is exactly what Karyn’s doing, which is set aside time, get those worries out of your head, then you have a routine, have some kind of boundary between your worry time and going and getting in bed, so I usually say, Do your worry time and then brush your teeth, wash your face, put on your pajamas, do your relaxation exercise outside of your bedroom, and then if you’re feeling sleepy, go get in the bed.

Set aside “worry time” each night, away from your bed, to get your negative or anxious thoughts out before getting into bed.

0:31:06 S2: Then the second key is, so all those things, the worry time, the writing things down, getting things out of your head and doing relaxation are… Great, so my number one recommendation is to make sure you’re doing those outside of the bed and outside of the bedroom, and give yourself some boundaries from a border between doing that worry time and getting in bed, so you kind of relax between them and then the second piece to it is, if you get in bed and all those thoughts pop back in your head, you need to get back out of bed, don’t lie in bed and worry, get back out of the bed, go back to that quiet place if you want to, you can write them down again, do another brain dump and then do another relaxation exercise, and then if you feel sleepy, get back in bed, but don’t spend time in bed worrying, or else you make the bed a place where you worry rather than to

0:32:03 S1: A so good. So good. And there were actually a couple of things that were going through my mind when you were talking about that, that I just wanted to mention. And one of those is that I bet… And you could tell me if I’m wrong about this, but I bet this whole anxiety and worry before we go to bed has gotten worse in recent years because we are constantly connected to something, whether it is social media or our phone or the TV or a podcast, right. We’re constantly connected to something, and so when it’s time to go to bed and we shut all that down, now we’re like, Okay, mind racing. Yeah, exactly. Right, so I bet that’s actually got worse. Oh yeah, and then the other thing I just wanted to mention is that when you said when you… When you can’t sleep or you’re worrying and get out of bed, I go and do what you need to do and then come back… I always remember you saying, What is the bed for? Sleep and sex, and that’s it. Don’t do anything else in the van, so certainly you don’t wanna be worrying when you’re in bad, ’cause then you’re gonna connect all of those together.

0:33:08 S1: Absolutely. Yeah, cool, awesome. I think Karyn will appreciate that response.

0:33:13 S2: Okay, I sound… It sounds like Karyn is doing… They’re absolutely the right thing. The thing to make sure you’re doing is separate that worry time from the bed.

0:33:24 S1: Yeah, exactly. Love it. Okay, Aisha says, What are your thoughts on melatonin, CBD oil or GABA? Those sleep aids. Do they work? That’s your question.

Do sleep aids like Melatonin, CBD Oil, or Gaba work?

0:33:38 S2: Okay, this is a tricky one. My answer is yes, no, and maybe… And that’s not in order, again, that’s not an order, that’s for all three of them. Well, let me try and take them in order, and I think the… First of all, melatonin. So melatonin is the one that most people are aware of. Yeah, so let me briefly explain what Melatonin is, melatonin is a hormone in our body naturally makes melatonin, the precursor are… Interestingly, the precursor for melatonin is serotonin, which a lot of people are familiar with is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and is made by our gut and so you have… If you have reduced serotonin, you may have reduced melatonin, and that may affect the timing of your sleep, but the important thing is that melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released as the sun starts to set it as it gets dark outside, and melatonin is a signal that sleep is coming. It’s basically a darkness signal, asleep is coming signal, it’s not a hypnotic like an Ambien or something like that, that I hate to use the word but knocks you out.

0:35:11 S2: Melatonin is not a sleep aid, it’s a timing aid, and so because of that, a lot of people think of it, because a lot of people think of it as a sleep aid, they take it in correctly and so they it and then they expect it to knock them out within, say, 30 minutes. It doesn’t work that way. If you wanna take melatonin, melatonin is helpful to make feel sleepy, when you wanna feel sleepy, it helps you with the timing of sleepiness, so most people would take it a couple of hours before they want to fall asleep, so if your bedtime is generally around 11 o’clock, then you would probably take melatonin around 9 o’clock, and then it just slowly starts to signal your brain to start kind of quieting and… So I would say that if you’re taking melatonin, you’re taking melatonin as a sleep aid to knock you out within a couple of minutes, it’s probably not gonna do that, but it can help with the timing of sleep, especially helpful for jet lag in particular, but it’s not an inert substance. So there are side effects from taking melatonin, even though it’s over the counter, there are interactions with other medications, even though it’s over the counter, so I always recommend that folks consult with a prescriber before they…

0:36:40 S2: Take melatonin. Sure, so that’s melatonin. Okay, CBD, there’s really not a lot of research on CBD. CBD can help, and there’s some good research on CBD regard helping to reduce anxiety, so if somebody’s anxious, it might helpful for that… What I can say is that there’s more research about THC, which is the psychoactive substance part of marijuana, there’s a lot more studies about THC, and we know that it does help people to fall asleep… But it also does affect the… What we call the sleep architecture. There’s a rhythm, we’ve been talking about Circadian Rhythm, which is like a 24-hour cycle, but there’s also a cycle of rhythmic it to your sleep as well, and we call that rhythmic or the sleep architecture basically. And we know that THC (marijuana) has an impact on that sleep architecture, it can cause you to have more light sleep, it can affect your REM sleep, which is when a lot of people dream, and so it can affect those things, so even though it might help you fall asleep, it can disrupt your sleep over the course of time.

0:38:06 S1: So it’s kind of hit or miss, we know less about CBD, but again, CBD may be helpful for people to particularly have kind of anxiety and kind of the calming effect of that… I’m thinking that if they have anxiety before they go to bed, that’s possible, not that I’m not… You can hold you to this or anything, but it’s possible that it could then help them get to sleep if anxiety is their main trigger, and just as a side note, I do have some clients that take it and swear my in for sleep, so I’m guessing it’s probably the anxiety component that’s helpful for them.

0:38:45 S2: And I think that’s a great point, and what I’ll say is that I said, yes, no, and maybe… And the maybe part of that is that it can be very individual. Just because I say, no, studies show… Well, studies mean that you’ve given this to hundreds of people and it probably worked for some people, it probably didn’t work for other people, and there may have actually been adverse events for some other people… Right, right. If these things work for you and you’re taking them right, and you are consulting with someone about taking them, especially if you’re on other medications and things like other supplements like that? Then they may be helpful for you, and if they are, then that’s great. I’m not saying you kinda know to them, and by any means.

0:39:29 S1: It sounds like specifically with CBD, we just need more research, it just hasn’t been a more research or be helpful.

0:39:35 S2: Absolutely, and it’s under way, there’s a lot of research going on, and again, as marijuana in particular is being legalized and then there’s medical marijuana that’s been around for a lot longer than that, there is a lot of good research where they’ve actually given people what they call blind research where the person is getting… They don’t know if they’re getting the real CBD or they’re getting a placebo and needed as the researcher, and then they can delineates a lot of the research right now is just kind of me being given CBD, I know I’m getting CBD. And then self-rating, Oh, I feel better. And so the research is getting better, but I think there is some good solid basis for that… Yeah, now GABA is interesting because we know even less about GABA of how it works, and especially what is the benefit of supplemental GABA. Now, GABA is an amino acid. It’s a what we call an inhibitory neurotransmitter, I kinda think about it as the breaks for the brain, right, it helps to kinda slow you down, it helps to reduce stress, it helps to increase kind of a feeling of relaxation, and so…

0:40:53 S2: All those things sound good. When you’re trying to go to sleep, decreases increased relaxation, that should be conducive to sleep, and that’s kind of the idea, but again, GABA is made naturally by the body, and what we don’t know is… it occurs naturally in some foods as well, and so… But what we know is by digesting supplemental Gaba, does that actually go into the system and is it utilized by the body in the same way that naturally occurring GABA is, or is it just you’re paying money to take a supplement that just goes out the system… Right, we just don’t know what the uptake is of supplemental Gaba, but Gaba does help with sleep, it does help with relaxation, it does help to reduce stress, and it’s naturally occurring kind of endogenous to our body, Again… and there is some good studies, as I’m just thinking about it, of GABA, not necessarily Gabi by itself, like GABA along with 5 HTP, being taken together, being helpful to… Okay, if you’re using it under the guidance of someone and you’re aware of the kind of potential side effects and interactions, it may be helpful to one answer, but it was a great question.

0:42:27 S2: Yeah.

0:42:27 S1: There you know what, Aisha isn’t the only one wondering that question I get asked about those three supplements all the time, so I’m sure that helped a lot of people…

0:42:36 S2: Again, when you’re not getting good sleep. It’s really, really painful. I mean, people don’t think of insomnia as a pain condition, but I’ve worked with enough people who literally will say I am physically in pain because I didn’t sleep, and if you’ve had a couple of sleepless nights or if you’ve even had multiple days of not being able to sleep for whatever reason, or you’ve traveled and you’ve just kind of been jet lag, it does physically hurt, you do kinda a risks. Yeah, and so it’s not surprising that when people aren’t sleeping, they’re desperate to feel better.

0:43:16 S1: You can even be delirious from lack of sleep.

0:43:18 S2: Absolutely, and so I think that… Sorry, I think that desperation leads people to reach out to anything that they hear that might help, and I think you have to be cautious. There are very few things that we know work for most people with regard to sleep, and I can talk a little bit about those, but I gonna get there in a… A lot of people that are willing to take advantage of people that are desperate to get good sleep, so just to have your eyes open to your research and work with someone to see what works well for you.

0:43:57 S1: Okay, alright, good advice. So thank you. I have one more question from Jenna, and her question is about Ambien. We haven’t… I don’t think we talk… We maybe touched on it a little, but she says that she’s been on Ambien for a while now, and she’s wondering… Is it damaging? I guess, I think what she’s saying is it was working for her to sleep, but she’s wondering about her gut because she has colitis, so Is it damaging her gut? Can talk about that?

0:44:27 S2: Alright, a reminder that I’m not a physician. I don’t know what the saying is, I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn or whatever it is, the last night, so I’m not a physician, so I know, but I won’t talk about specifics. I will tell you that Ambien is a sleep aid, and it is an effective sleep aid for many people, what we do know is that it does lose its effectiveness for sleep over time, so if Jen has been on it for a long time, it may not be working as well for her? For her sleep, so you’re always wondering those… Ambien is not a medication that you’re intended to be on for long periods of time, ideally, people should take it for a couple of weeks or a month at the most, these are not intended for long-term use, and many of the studies have not looked at the long-term use lines, another sleep aid that has been tested for a little bit longer, but again, long-term for these sleep aids is like six months.

0:45:32 S1: You and I, we won’t mention any names, but we have a friend who’s been on Ambien for 10 years…

0:45:39 S2: Yeah, it’s not doing what it was at one point in that situation, but with regard specifically to… And IBD, I can’t really say what I can say is that things like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, upset stomach, those type of things are side effects of ambient, and so it might be hard to kinda tease those apart, it could be masking symptoms, it could be causing symptoms, and so it can cause those things as side effects, the other thing I would say to keep in mind is that, again, Ambien is not in an inert substance, it is a medication and it does have interactions with other drugs or other medications that a person might be on, especially like pain medications and things like that. So I think the best course of action is check with your physician, check with your prescriber, and if you’re concerned, it might be worth taking a break from the Ambien or finding a different medication.

0:46:42 S1: Alright, awesome, sounds good. This has been so helpful for everyone, connecting the IBD sleep dots. I love it. The one thing we haven’t really touched on, and I think it would be valuable for people are just like, what are some actual rituals or tips, like things you could tell us about… Good sleep hygiene, I guess that’s the word, right. What the… Yeah, what are some general tips that you can give us just to make sure that we’re all doing the best we can with sleep?

There is no panacea when it comes to sleep, but there are several things you can do to make sure you have quality sleep each night.

0:47:12 S2: Sure, yeah, I think… First of all, I have to say that there is no panacea… I kinda said this before, there is no panacea, and these tips that I have to share are not a panic either, they’re not a treatment. If you have a sleep problem, if you have in Sami, you have sleep apnea, those types of things, you need to get help for those conditions, the… These tips are essentially behaviors that good sleepers do, and they may help you with your sleep, and to have a healthy gut, they can help to break that dysbiosis cycle we were talking about, so that’s the caveat that I have to give. My first tip is, hands down, the most important advice that I can suggest is to, like we said earlier, treasure your sleep, protected from all enemies out there that are trying to steal your sleep. Don’t take sleep for granted. As many of you know who have struggled with insomnia or sleep deprivation or who do shift work, sleep is a precious commodity that sometimes you have to consciously protect, you have to put effort into protecting your sleep, don’t put effort into sleeping, but put effort into protecting your sleep.

0:48:28 S2: So let me give some specific tips, and these are, again, these are just tips, these are things that good sleepers often do naturally, that might help reduce sleep problems, but again, they’re not treatments for sleep disorders if you have… if you have sleep apnea, if you have another sleep disorder, talk to your primary care doc, ask for a referral to a sleep specialist, don’t just take the medications, you go to your primary care doc and they say, Here, try Ambien ask to talk to a sleep specialist first, or look for a sleep specialist yourself that can help… You can start at behavioralsleep.org, they have a great provider Search tab that is just folks that have been trained in behavioral sleep, so behavioralsleep.org and use their provider search can help. So tip number one have a consistent bed. I can hear it already boring… No one wants to be told when to go to bed, our kids don’t like to be told when to go to bed, we don’t wanna be told when to go to bed, and we don’t wanna be told him to wake up either.

0:49:31 S2: But of those two of bedtime and wake time, probably having a consistent wake time is most important. Interesting, having a consistent wake time is key to that circadian rhythm, ’cause remember what resets that master clock every day. Right, light sunlight. So the more consistent you are with getting up, getting up at the same time every morning, even on your days off, get some exposure to light, go take a walk, go sit by a window, get up, turn on lights, move around and let your body know that it’s time to set the clock for the new day. Get up regardless of when you went to bed, if you had a bad night sleep, are you stayed up late, don’t sleep in… It will mess up your clock, you’ll feel worse over time, kind of that jet lag feeling all day, save up that sleepiness. So that are more likely to be able to sleep well the next night, the more consistent you are, the better you’ll feel, and the more in tune every cell of your body will be.

0:50:38 S1: Got it. So that was a number?

0:50:42 S2: Do you want another… I’ll give you another one.

0:50:48 S1: Yeah, absolutely. Give us as many as you can.

0:50:50 S2: I kind of alluded to this already when I talked to Karyn, have a down time before bed. I know, again, I can hear it already boring. Today, too many of us rush around doing a thousand things, doing chores, checking email, doom surfing on social media, and then we realize… Yeah, I just heard that in a couple of weeks ago, we’re kind of caught up in all these activities and then we realize it’s time to go to bed and we’re like, Oh my God, it’s time to go to bed, and I have to kinda run and we dive into bed because it’s bed time, we don’t pay attention to our body, and when our body says It’s sleepy, we pay attention to this external thing, time and say, Oh, it’s bed time, I have to go get in bed even if I’m not sleepy… Good sleep unfolds naturally when you’re sleeping, and it’s hard to be sleepy if you’ve just been running around and you’re all physically and emotionally wound up, you have to shoot… If you have a bedtime that you’re shooting for, then why not have a wind down time that you’re shooting for? It doesn’t have to be that long.

0:51:55 S2: It can be very simple, brush your teeth, wash your face, put on your pajamas, do some kind of… Spend a few minutes relaxing, do some light stretches, do some breathing exercises, do meditation, read a book, limit your screen time during this wind down time, and when you feel sleepy, get in bed, listen to your body, don’t get in bed when you’re tired… If we did that with all getting bed every right away, Don’t listen to your body and when you’re sleepy, go get in bed and then allow yourself to fall asleep quickly within 10 or 15 minutes, so that’s my second tip.

0:52:36 S1: We’ll take another one.

0:52:37 S2: You already told you already took some of the excitement out of this one, but you won’t say this one’s boring because this one is the bed is for sleep and sex on… Right now, I have your attention.

0:52:48 S1: Sorry, I didn’t know you were gonna say that one.

0:52:53 S2: I seriously… Have you said it… And we’ve heard this before, right, the bed is for sleep and sex only, and all I had that sleep should only happen in the bed, the bed is for sleep, and sleep is for the bad… Sex can happen anywhere, right? But sleep is for the bed, we get into this habit of doing too many things in the bed besides sleeping, and when that happens, the bed becomes a place where we do everything but sleep, it becomes a cue for activities besides sleeping. It can be watching TV, it can be reading, it can be doing work, looking at the news or looking at social media, most commonly, it just becomes a place where we become frustrated and anxious… Right, and if you’ve ever been exhausted and gotten in bed and turned off the lights and you’re like, Oh, I can’t wait to get in bed, and you crawl in the bed and then suddenly you were all of a sudden weren’t sleepy because you’re mind racing with hundreds of things, like we were talking about earlier, this is a good sign that your bed has become paired, it’s become associated with the bed has become a queue for being anxious and worried and awake instead of being sleepy and going to sleep.

0:54:10 S2: And like I said earlier, you usually don’t get out of the bed and do those things, you don’t do anything about those things you’re worrying about, you just kinda sit there and you toss and you turn, you get frustrated and the bed becomes that place where you feel anxious, so if you do feel sleepy, what’s interesting is that if people do get out of bed, they often go sit on the couch and then they fall right to sleep it… If you’ve ever done that, right, you can’t sleep in the bed and you get out of bed and you go downstairs, or you go in the other room and you sit on the couch and you’re instantly falling asleep as… That’s the best proof ever… Right, that the bed has become associated with being awake and worrying, and the couch has become where you go to sleep, right. If you ever need more proof and you’ve made the couch where you sleep in the bed where you worry, so only sleep in the bed, don’t treat your bed like a couch and don’t treat your couch like a bed… Always keep them separate. This is a really common issue that comes up with a lot of people with medical concerns too, so it’s kind of related to that, so I wanna mention that…

0:55:17 S2: What if we have to get up to go the bathroom? During the night?

0:55:20 S1: I forgot to ask that. Yes, thank you for bringing that up.

0:55:24 S2: The same thing applies, and that’s why I bring it up at this point, ’cause the same thing applies, if you get up to go to the bathroom in the night and you’re sleepy after you go to the bathroom, you’re sleepy, getting… You get back in bed and go back to sleep. That’s great. That’s perfect, but if you don’t go right to sleep, get out of the bed, don’t just lie there trying to make yourself sleep, don’t try and force yourself to sleep, don’t stay in bed worrying about going back to sleep, get up. Go sit on the couch, relax. Do something boring, but don’t fall asleep on the couch. If you start to feel sleepy sitting on the couch, get up and go get back in the bed, and if you get in the bed and all of a sudden you can’t sleep again, then you might wanna think about going back to the couch and doing something boring until you feel sleepy again and you may repeat this pattern and you may end up having a bad night sleep… Right, what are you gonna do? You’re gonna save that sleep that sleeping is up and you’re gonna have a better night sleep tonight.

0:56:22 S2: Makes sense. Yeah, and then finally, I’ll just mention really quickly, my last tip, and that’s related to your bed in your bedroom, right? Your bed in your bedroom should be a refuge… Right, and I don’t mean like an animal refuge where you have a bunch of exotic animals like we do, or even house pets in your bedroom, your bedroom should be quiet and peaceful, and my client, if you’re in an environment where there’s a lot of noise than a white noise maker or a fan would be okay, because what you want with noise is something that’s consistent in volume and tone, it doesn’t change, it’s just kind of really steady, you don’t wanna use a TV to fall asleep because again, that’s associating, that’s using your bed as a couch, plus the TV, the volume goes up and it goes down, and if you have it on a timer, it shuts off and all those changes and noise can disrupt your sleep. A noise maker or fan? That’s okay. It should be cool. It should be dark. Our body temperature is naturally decreasing as we sleep, and if your body can’t cool down because the room is too hot or your covers or your bed kinda hold the heat in, your sleep will be disrupted, so make sure that you have a nice, cool, dark bedroom, and a good comfortable mattress is helpful, right?

0:57:47 S2: Don’t worry, you don’t want a mattress, it’s too hard or too soft, you want one that’s comfortable for you, and I guess I would say don’t get hung up on the mattress thing, a lot of people have this in their mind that they have to sleep in the bed in their bedroom. And I often say, if you’re more comfortable sitting up slightly, say in a recliner because of either chronic pain or overweight or any of those kinds of things, that’s fine, as long as you can sleep there, undisturbed… Where is your best sleep? But all these things, if you don’t sleep in the bed, all the same rules apply to where you do sleep… And you can sleep on the couch if you want. But all the rules apply to the couch, that should be where you sleep, that’s the only… Where you sleep, you don’t do anything in there, it should be quiet, it should be cool, it should be comfortable and you don’t hang out there except for when you’re sleeping, that’s just your sleeping place. So those are my tips.

0:58:41 S1: Got it, it. Those tips are fantastic. I think that they’re apropos for everybody, right? They’re perfect. Yeah, that was a perfect way to end it. I have a quick lightning round. Okay, this is just yes or no. If you feel like you wanna add a little bit to it, you can feel free, and actually, I have 10 of them, I think we’re gonna end up skipping some of them because you’ve already answered a lot of these that I had put in my Lightning Round, so… Number one, Okay, this is what you didn’t answer, power nap or snooze Fest for IBDers. You know how most people can do a 10-minute power nap and they say that’s best for them, but for IBDers can we do a snooze fest…  or is it still best for us to do the power nap?

What’s better, a power nap or a snooze fest?

0:59:28 S2: Yeah, I usually say with regard to naps, my short answer is, naps are fine, unless you have a sleep problem, if you have a sleep problem and you’re using naps to compensate for that sleep problem, all you’re gonna do is exacerbate that sleep problems, so when patients… When I work with patients or clients who have insomnia, no napping is the rule while they’re in… While they’re in insomnia treatment, but as far as getting good sleep for people with IBD, if you’re not having insomnia, a nap is great, and I… I usually recommend about either a power nap, if you have less than half an hour or so to sleep, then take a power nap, keep it to 10 to 20 minutes, right. Otherwise, take a two-hour nap. Right, and that has to do with that rhythmic it that I talked about when we sleep, if you’ve ever kind of fallen asleep and you intended to a 10-minute nap, but you woke up after an hour and you kind of felt sluggish and slow and you can’t really get started again, right? That’s because you woke up when you were in deep sleep, and if you let yourself take a nap for an hour and a half to two hours, you’ll be back to kind of…

1:00:42 S2: You’ll wake up and lighter in a lighter stage to sleep and you won’t wake up feeling kind of all sluggish and things. So I recommend 10 to 15 minutes or 90 to 120 minutes.

1:00:54 S1: Okay, cool. I think you mentioned this one, noise makers, you said Yes, it’s okay. Noise makers are. Okay, I was on about that. Consistent in tone and volume. Yeah. Okay, are over the can, we talked about the supplements separately, but I keep seeing these supplements like sleep aid supplements, nano medicine, but supplements at the health food store where they’ll have melatonin and GABA and I don’t even know what else, but all a myriad of sleep aids in that… Yes or no? No. No. Okay. Natural light. Alarm clock, yes or no?

1:01:36 S2: If that’s good for you and that helps you wake up feeling refreshed, I think it’s okay. There’s no evidence that they’re any better than any other kind of… alarm clock.

1:01:45 S1: Okay. It’s TV and be okay. If you have the night time like you know, I’m talking about the blue light that… Okay, no. I guess or no, but I have to hear more ’cause you know I do this.

Finally we have an answer to the question about whether we should use blue light devices at bedtime!

1:02:00 S2: Yeah, so the problem is not… So there’s two issues, the blue light part, everybody got excited about the blue light screens, admit this light that’s in the blue range, and we know that blue light suppresses melatonin, and we talked earlier that melatonin is supposed to be signaling you that it’s time to be sleepy. So if you have blue light that suppressing melatonin, then it’s gonna make you not feel sleepy, and the reality is that that’s true, but the reality is that the dose of blue light that you would need to suppress your melatonin enough to cause a problem is probably not the most powerful thing, the most powerful thing is what you’re doing on that device, right? So if you’re watching a TV show and you’re getting caught up in it, that engagement, that kind of cognitive arousal, that mental arousal of that activity, if you’re playing a video game… Does a blue light… Suppress, melatonin. Yes, but probably the bigger problem comes from the activity you’re doing on that device, then from the blue light, a lot of people feel like they have to fall, I have to fall asleep to the TV, but you will find in the long run that watching TV on the couch in your living room, and then when you feel sleepy going and getting in your bed will help significantly in the long run.

1:03:28 S1: Yeah, got it. Okay, you mentioned about being… You can proper yourself up, I think you said if you’re overweight or something else, you mentioned how people with IBD, we’re talking about heartburn and reflux or pain is what… Yeah, you mentioned chronic pain. Is it OK to sleep up, you know?

1:03:56 S2: Yeah, again, I think if you’re comfortable and you’re able to maintain quality sleep in that position or in that recliner or whatever, then… Sure, I think absolutely, but again, I would try and be as consistent as possible, that is your bed, so you’re consistent with getting in there, you’re consistent with getting out of there, and you don’t do anything in that recliner or change whatever, but sleep.

1:04:24 S1: Okay, got it. Sleep Number beds… And I don’t mean to pick on sleep Number beds, but all the beds that say you’re gonna have the best sleep ever if you choose our mattress, I think you touched on this earlier, but not really anything to that… Yes. No, what do you think? You find what’s comfortable for you. Okay, and if that’s a Sleep Number bed, then go for it, and if that’s whatever they do in some other country, then that’s all good too.

1:04:55 S2: If I had insomnia, I would not go out and buy a Sleep Number bed believing the gimmick that it’s going to cure my insomnia, comfort is great, and if a Sleep Number bed is what makes you comfortable, that’s great. But sleep number beds, cooling beds, cooling pillows, heavy mattresses, heavy Comforter, all these things are mostly gimmicks is at least as far as helping you with a sleep problem.

1:05:22 S1: Pick the one that’s best for you. It sounds like.

1:05:25 S2: Okay. Is it true that we shouldn’t eat two hours before bed… I think about this because of IBDers, and our food in our gut, stop eating two hours before we go to sleep. Yes, I think part of what regulates our circadian rhythm, besides the bright light is eating of our meals and the timing of our meals, so would say what’s more important is being consistent in your eating, and if having a very light kind of thoughtful snack, a couple of hours before bed time helps you to feel a little more drousy here as part of your evening wind down time, then I think that’s okay. But I would certainly not eat a heavy meal in a couple of hours of going to bed…

1:06:14 S1: Okay, and along with that things, eating or drinking things to make you feel drowsy is in a wives tale… Drink warm milk? I think it’s warm milk can help you go sleep, that’s a bad thing for us with IBD because oftentimes milk is inflammatory, so… Yes.

1:06:32 S2: I never argue with wives, old or otherwise, Find something that is comforting to you, that’s part of your wind down time, and if that… If you’re able to tolerate milk and that’s something that feels good to you, then… Sure, do that. A nice relaxing nonverbal tea is accreditation.

1:06:55 S1: I am a big advocate of tea, I think tea can help you find out… I love a Chamomile tea before going to bed.

1:07:00 S2: That something that’s non-caffeinated, that you can make a part of your routine, and then again, if one of the things that you think is waking you up in the middle night is you’re really hungry or something, and you think as a Light healthy snack might be helpful then. I think a thoughtful healthy snack before that is fine.

1:07:18 S1: Yeah, I’m gonna skip my last one, I had one last one, but I can answer it myself, see, I learned on this podcast here, is it true that if you’re having trouble sleeping, you should get out of bed… Yes, the answer is yes! And then when you’re sleepy, then you can get back in bed… How did I do? Perfect. Awesome. Oh my goodness, it has been such a pleasure. A joy, you know, I love working with you. So any excuse that I can have for us to work together, I love it, so that you so much for being my first podcast guest.

1:07:52 S2: Thank you for having me. 1:07:54 S1: I feel like we’ve only just begun. We’ve only scratched the surface here, so we’re gonna probably have to have you back again, I’ll gather more questions and you know where to find me… Hopefully, you’ll join us again. Thank you, Dr. Bill, Good night. Thank you so much for being here, for spending this time on the time on The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, thank you for just sharing the space with us today Until we chat again, I’m gonna wish you a cheeky and healthy… If I could clear my throat, IBD journey. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review, it helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, because that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.


Ready to take your gut healing to the next level?

One last thing, if you’re still with me and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website, it’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, spell my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you gut your life back. It’s a power-packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know, I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session today at karynhaley.com. Click on the Work With Me tab and I’ll see you soon.

It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving the space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.


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