4 Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep With an Ostomy Bag

4 Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep With an Ostomy Bag

Posted by Jeanne Lowry on Jan 25th 2023

4 Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep With an Ostomy Bag

Getting the proper amount of rest at night is something that everyone struggles with from time to time. However, certain medical conditions can make this much more difficult, especially when dealing with a new stoma. Between your stoma and the pouch you have to wear, getting comfortable and staying sound asleep can be quite the challenge. Fortunately, we have just the tips you need to get a good night’s sleep with an ostomy bag.

Always Empty Your Bag First

Before looking at any of our other tips, the first thing you need to make sure you do every night is empty your ostomy bag, or replace your disposable bag. Even if there’s barely anything in it, you don’t want to risk it overflowing or leaking. These are the issues that typically wake people up in the middle of the night. Emptying your pouch before lying down for the night is the best way to combat this issue.

Secure the Bag Properly

Of course, leaks could happen even without a full bag. That’s why you need to ensure everything is secured tightly before falling asleep. If the adhesive isn’t attached properly or you don’t push the pouch on all the way, you could experience some leakage during the night, especially if you move around a lot while you sleep.

Doing a nightly check should fix this issue, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are about your nightly procedures, you could still end up with something coming undone in your sleep. If that’s the case, finding some new ostomy supplies that fit better might be the best course of action.

Find a Comfortable Sleeping Position

Another tip you should follow to get a good night’s sleep with your ostomy bag is to find the perfect sleeping position for you and your pouch. We’re sure, over the years, you’ve found the position that works best for you. However, things may have changed now that you have an ostomy bag.

That’s why you’ll need to experiment a bit. Typically, you should avoid laying on your stomach since that’s where your stoma probably is. That means your back and sides are free. However, the pull of your bag still might make things difficult. That’s why you should try using pillows to prop up your pouch or parts of your body. We’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect setup after some testing.

Avoid Food Before Bedtime

Finally, a big thing to avoid is eating any sort of food before bedtime. If you eat right before going to sleep, you might wake up in the middle of the night with a full pouch. Eating at least a few hours before you sleep is usually the best prevention method, but we know that’s not always possible.

You should avoid certain foods before bed, at the very least. Meals you know typically upset your stomach or are hard on your stoma should be items you avoid at dinnertime. We know some of them might be your favorite foods, but eating those earlier in the day is better. That way, you’ll still be awake to deal with any complications that might arise.