Hemorrhoids itch, burn, hurt, bleed and make living your normal life uncomfortable. That includes sleeping. For many patients, a bad flare up can keep them awake early into the morning. Others say their hemorrhoids actually hurt worse at bedtime than they do the rest of the day.
Is hemorrhoid pain worse at night? Well, not really: during the day your mind is busy with other things, but when you lie down to go to bed things that subtly bother you become more noticeable, including hemorrhoid-related symptoms.
But that doesn’t make them any less annoying. Hemorrhoids are the swelling and irritation of the blood vessels in and around the anus which can cause a great deal of discomfort, especially as we’re trying to sleep.
So, is there a way to reduce the discomfort and get a good sleep while we’re healing from hemorrhoids? What is the best method on how to sleep with hemorrhoids? If so many hemorrhoid sufferers report that the symptoms can be worse at night, then what can be done about it?
In this guide, we’re going to go over the answers to these questions, as well as the causes and symptoms of hemorrhoids, while offering some tips and solutions on how to sleep with hemorrhoids and find comfort in bed with hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoid Causes and Symptoms
Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure building in your anorectal region. Excessive pressure causes the delicate tissues in some blood vessels to expand and bulge. It’s this swelling and displacement that causes all of your hemorrhoid discomforts.
The pressure that provokes this reaction can come from many different places and be caused by many different lifestyle triggers.
- Constipation and diarrhea are two of the most common causes of pressure that produce hemorrhoids. When we’re constipated, it’s difficult to pass stool, causing strain and long periods on the toilet. The pressure mounts as we keep trying to make a bowel movement. A similar effect happens when we’re struggling with diarrhea.
- This pressure is also and is exacerbated by sitting on the toilet for long periods of time. This leads to pressure build-up around the anus that can cause hemorrhoids to form. As many of us work at a desk or in a sitting position, this can be difficult to avoid.
- Diet and hydration can also play a pretty significant part in the formation of hemorrhoids as both of these factors contribute to the consistency of your stool and how easy it is to pass it. A high fiber diet and staying away from too much heavy food, like cheese or fried food, will ensure you remain regular and prevent conditions such as constipation and diarrhea. Hydration keeps the stool soft and enables easier passage.
- Another source of hemorrhoids is some forms of exercise. Heavy lifting can cause hemorrhoids, especially when it’s done repetitively. The more we lift, the more pressure is exerted on the anal area, increasing the risk of hemorrhoids. This can be hard to avoid for people who have jobs that require a lot of lifting.
- Expectant mothers often experience hemorrhoids while pregnant as the changes in the body put increased pressure on the pelvic area. Hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy often go away after the child is born.
- Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle also increase the overall pressure that is directed towards your lower regions throughout the average day. Diabetics also face a heightened risk of hemorrhoids.
You can learn how to prevent hemorrhoids by tackling many of the risk factors we’ve mentioned above. Symptoms of hemorrhoids vary depending on the type of hemorrhoids you have:
- Internal hemorrhoids tend to be painless but will bleed, especially after a bowel movement.
- External hemorrhoids can be quite painful and can cause itching, swelling, and burning, all of which can get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes, hemorrhoids can form a blood clot that restricts blood flow and can cause a great deal of pain. So, the question is, how to sleep with thrombosed hemorrhoids? Is there a best sleeping position for hemorrhoids? And what is the best way to sleep with hemorrhoids?
How to Make Sleeping with Hemorrhoids More Comfortable
Sleeping with hemorrhoids can be a true challenge. Pain in and around the anus can be particularly disruptive because the soft tissues involved are so sensitive. You may experience a lot of itching or burning and you could be kept awake by the pain.
There is good news, though. Hemorrhoids are, for the most part, easily treated and relief can be found. Here are some tips to reduce the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing as you lie in bed and try to sleep. These are all effective methods to get a good sleep while your hemorrhoids heal.
Over-the-counter painkillers can offer some relief from the discomfort of hemorrhoids as you sleep. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce swelling and, in turn, your pain will be reduced. Similarly, acetaminophen can dull the sensation of pain and allow you to get some shut-eye.
As with all drugs, over-the-counter pain relief should be used as directed and with caution. Ibuprofen in particular can increase the risk that your hemorrhoids may bleed. Seek the advice of your doctor if you have questions about pain relief medication.
There are many hemorrhoid creams on the market that will give you the fast-acting relief you need to go to sleep. Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid cream with lidocaine offers instant relief from pain, itching, and burning and will protect the skin from any further irritation.
This hemorrhoid cream is also lightning fast in reducing swelling, so no matter what symptoms you’re suffering from, this ointment will have you sleeping like a baby in no time.
Oftentimes, hemorrhoids burn. Ice is the perfect relief from the burning caused by this condition, but it also offers anti-inflammatory action and will allow you to achieve enough comfort to sleep.
Ice can be messy, though, and leave your bed damp, which can in turn irritate your skin, so we recommend a sealed ice pack for added comfort while you’re sleeping.
This is a good solution if you’re looking for non-medicated ways to treat minor hemorrhoid pain, though it could be somewhat uncomfortable and cumbersome in bed.
A warm, relaxing bath is great for soothing the irritation caused by hemorrhoids and can set the perfect mood for a good night’s sleep. Add some Epsom salt to your bath for a little extra relief as it helps to reduce swelling, and can even help relieve constipation.
Hemorrhoid sufferers might consider purchasing a sitz bath, which fits over your toilet and allows you to soak the affected area without having to run a full bath. Epsom salts can also be used in a sitz bath.
Best Sleeping Position for Hemorrhoids
As you get ready for bed, it’s important first to consider the clothes you sleep in. Avoid anything tight that doesn’t breathe, especially underwear, as tight clothes that don’t allow air circulation can actually cause your hemorrhoids to become worse.
Loose, breathable fabric is a good choice for a good, comfortable sleep, as it allows cool, fresh air to circulate around your anal area, providing room for any irritated skin and tissue to breathe and start the healing process.
Sleeping on your back is also something you’re going to want to avoid as you heal from hemorrhoids. This sleeping position can exert more pressure on your anal area, causing the condition to worsen. Any other sleeping position is going to be a better choice than sleeping on your back.
Let’s take a look at how some other sleeping positions may impact your hemorrhoids and the healing process.
Sleeping On the Stomach
Lying on your stomach is an excellent position choice as you are healing from hemorrhoids. This position is the best way to sleep with hemorrhoids because it relieves the most pressure from your anal area, allowing your body a full night to work on healing.
Many of us toss and turn throughout the night, though, so if you prop a pillow under your hips, you can prevent yourself from rolling over and putting pressure on the affected area.
Sleeping On the Side
Lying on the side, especially your left side, is also a good position choice for those who are suffering from a hemorrhoidal flare-up. Sleeping on your left side will relieve pressure on your pelvic area, potentially offering a more comfortable position to sleep in.
Sleeping with a Pillow Between Legs
Another position that is beneficial for patients suffering from hemorrhoids is to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. This position relieves pressure on the anorectal area and reduces the weight being put on your pelvic floor. Your blood flow will also be improved when you sleep this way, speeding up the healing process.
Finally, this position adds to your comfort level and relieves pain from other areas of the body which can help ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
Sick Of Sleepless Nights? We’re Here to Help
Now you know what causes hemorrhoids and what symptoms to look for, but chances are, you’re already experiencing some of them if you’re reading this. It’s not rare for hemorrhoids to get in the way of good, solid sleep and it’s one of the most frustrating aspects of the condition for many.
This common complaint can be remedied with a few simple changes and tips. It’s important, as well, to do what you can to prevent hemorrhoids during your waking hours as well. But when you’re in the middle of a hemorrhoid flare-up, treatment and care is key.
Doctor Butler’s offers a line of hemorrhoid treatment products that help alleviate all the symptoms of hemorrhoids that can disrupt your sleep. Developed by a proctologist, each of Doctor Butler’s remedies will bring you instant relief while they work to heal your condition.
Doctor Butler’s original Maximum Strength hemorrhoid cream, and the more advanced Hemorrhoid Cream with lidocaine, will both relieve your pain, soothe any burning or itching, reduce swelling and kick start the healing process.
If you prefer a touch free medication, get the soothing hemorrhoid spray instead. It offers fast-acting swelling and pain reduction, perfect for targeting those sleep-disrupting symptoms.
Similarly, wipes help to keep the area clean, and Epsom salts are the perfect addition to an evening bath to get your mind and body ready for a good night’s sleep. Add a memory foam cushion for relief while you sit during your day to stave off worsening your symptoms by the time you’re heading to bed.
In limited cases, you may find that hemorrhoid remedies are showing no obvious improvement over the course of the week. If this is the case, it’s important to see your doctor.
There’s no need to continue to lose sleep over frustrating symptoms of hemorrhoids. Shop the full line of Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid remedies now!