How to sleep better with external hemorrhoids (Tips, positions)

Some things in life truly are a real pain in the ass!!

Hey there! You’re here reading this blog because you have an embarrassing problem, and you want answers. Well, we’re going to help you with that. If you have external hemorrhoids (or any other type of hemorrhoids for that matter), the first thing you need to realize is that it’s OK. Don’t stress about it! Stress will only make things worse. It’s not that big of a deal, and there are many others just like you. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a negative stigma around the word “hemorrhoid”, and it is completely unnecessary. To help you realize that it’s a common problem so that you don’t feel isolated, here are some statistics:

See? It’s perfectly normal, and you are not a lesser person because you have one. Now that we’ve helped you relax a bit, let’s get into it.

What is an external hemorrhoid?

Sleep Positioners for hemorrhoid

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you or someone you know has one, and you likely already know what an external hemorrhoid is. However, just in case, let’s review.

A hemorrhoid is what the medical community calls a swollen vein in the vicinity of the anus, which is… you know… the place where food exits your body.

If the hemorrhoid had occurred somewhere else on your body, it would be called a varicose vein. As the name suggests, an external hemorrhoid is very similar to an internal hemorrhoid, with a difference in location. Basically, to be classified as “external” it protrudes to the outside of the anus.

Good news: most hemorrhoids heal within one to two weeks. Now, what to do about it…

*Disclaimer, you should seek the advice of a medical doctor. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

The best ways to get better sleep when you have external hemorrhoids

The best way to get better sleep while you are dealing with an external hemorrhoid is to lessen the symptoms as much as possible. This is accomplished in two ways. One, is to take actions to avoid making the hemorrhoid any worse. Two, is to reduce pain and irritation. Doing both of these things will help you get better sleep, and most importantly, help it heal!

How to avoid making things any worse

  • Stress:
    • Like we already covered, one of the things that can make your hemorrhoid worse is stress. Stress is also bad for sleep. Sleeping is important for healing, so you can see how this can become a vicious cycle.
      • Before bed, be sure to wind down and relax. Read a book, drink some non-caffeinated tea, or whatever else has worked in the past to relax your mind and body for a good night’s sleep.
  • Strain:
    • Straining your body puts pressure on the vein that is causing the hemorrhoid and could likely be a cause of what made it happen in the first place.
      • Avoid lifting heavy objects, such as heavy weights in the gym, while you are attempting to heal a hemorrhoid.
      • When sitting on the toilet, do not strain to make any bowl movements. If they don’t come naturally or with little effort, just stop and come back to try another time.  Don’t sit for too long either, that means no scrolling social media on your phone; just stick to the business at hand.
  • Diet
    • You want to avoid foods that can cause excessive inflammation or constipation. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process. But when you introduce unnecessary inflammation through diet, it will only make things take longer to get better. The definition of a healthy diet is different for everyone and is hotly debated in current times. Even so, there are some things that everyone seems to agree on.
      • Avoid: sugars, alcohol, sodas or colas, and processed foods
      • Include: Plenty of fiber, water, and whole natural foods
  • Cleanliness
    • This one should be common sense.
      • Keep the area of the hemorrhoid clean
      • Be gentle when wiping the area, if using toilet tissue, use a soft type
      • Change and clean your underwear regularly

How to reduce symptoms for when you sleep

Sitz Bath for Toilet Seat

Once you realize a hemorrhoid is just a swollen and irritated vein, it starts to make sense how to tame it. You help it heal just like any other wound.

  • Sitz bath
    • This is what it sounds like. You fill a tub of water just deep enough to sit and submerge your rear end into it. The water is warm, and a salt like Epsom salt can be used. This has a soothing effect.
  • Medicines
    • Topical
      • There are over the counter creams that are produced just for hemorrhoids with ingredients such as witch hazel that have proven to be effective. 
    • Internal
      • As with other painful injuries, there are over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories that have helped people in the past with hemorrhoids.

Putting it all together

Combining all of these things will have the greatest effect. Manage your stress, strain, diet, and cleanliness. Take a nice sitz bath before bed and follow that up with some medicines (if it’s OK with your doctor). These steps will help attain a peace of mind and the confidence to get quality and healing sleep. Now, how do you actually sleep…

Best sleeping position for external hemorrhoids

Best sleeping position for hemorrhoids

A lot of research went into writing this article for you, to find you the best answers. It may come as a surprise that the best position to get better sleep when you have an external hemorrhoid is…the one that works for you! That’s right. There are no clear and consistent recommendations for sleep positions. You just want to get into a position that is comfortable and isn’t painful. If laying a certain way hurts your hemorrhoid, just make adjustments until you aren’t causing any pain from the way that you are laying. It does not matter if you’re on your back, side, or stomach, because none of them specifically cause hemorrhoids to get worse. Just follow these tips, and sleep whichever way is comfortable for you.

You are now armed with the information you need in order to know how to get better sleep with an external hemorrhoid. Hang in there, things can get better.

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