If you’ve ever experienced hemorrhoids, you know how uncomfortable and irritating they can be. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal and rectal area, and one of the most common symptoms associated with them is itching. While itching can occur at any time, many people find that their hemorrhoids itch more intensely at night.
Hemorrhoids can be internal or external, and they develop due to increased pressure on the veins in the lower rectum and anus. Factors like straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, chronic constipation, and sitting for extended periods can contribute to their formation.
When the veins become swollen, they can become itchy, painful, and even bleed. Itching is often caused by the skin around the anus becoming irritated due to prolonged contact with moisture from bodily fluids. Scratching the affected area may provide temporary relief but can also lead to further irritation and worsen the condition.
Nighttime Hemorrhoid Itching Causes
One of the primary reasons for increased hemorrhoid itch at night is body position. When we lie down, blood flow to the rectal area may increase, causing the hemorrhoids to become more engorged and sensitive. This increased blood flow can intensify the itching sensation, making it more bothersome during nighttime hours.
Warmth and Moisture
The anal and rectal area can become warmer and more humid during the night, especially if you use heavy blankets or sleep in a warm room. Warmth and moisture can exacerbate itching, making you feel more uncomfortable and restless during your sleep.
During the day, you are likely engaged in various activities, which can take your mind off the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. However, at night, when you’re trying to sleep, you have fewer distractions, and the itching may feel more pronounced.
Our bodies’ physiological systems, including our susceptibility to pain and itch, are influenced by circadian cycles. According to several research, changes in the circadian cycle may cause the body to react to itch more strongly at night.
Tips for Finding Relief
Dealing with nighttime hemorrhoid itching can significantly impact your sleep quality and overall well-being. Here are some practical tips to find relief:
Keep the Area Clean and Dry: Maintain good anal hygiene by gently cleaning the area with mild soap and water after each bowel movement. Pat the area dry with a soft towel to reduce moisture and irritation.
Use Cold Compresses: You can temporarily relieve itch by applying a cold compress to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and numb the nerve endings.
Avoid Scratching: As tempting as it may be, avoid scratching the affected area, as it can lead to further irritation and slow down the healing process.
Take Warm Baths: Soaking in a warm bath for about 15 minutes can help soothe the itching and reduce discomfort. Adding Epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal to the water may provide additional relief.
Use Hemorrhoid Creams or Ointments: Over-the-counter creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone can help alleviate itching and reduce inflammation. However, use them sparingly and as directed by a healthcare professional.
Additional Tips for Finding Relief
Elevate Your Legs: If your hemorrhoids are particularly bothersome at night, try elevating your legs with a pillow while lying down. This position can improve blood circulation in the rectal area and may help reduce the itching sensation.
Wear Loose Clothing: Tight clothing around the anal area can worsen itching and irritation. Opt for loose, breathable cotton underwear to reduce friction and promote better airflow.
Maintain a High-Fiber Diet:Eating a high-fiber diet can reduce anal and rectal vein pressure, also aiding in the prevention of constipation and the promotion of regular bowel movements.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water each day can soften stools, making them easier to pass and reducing the risk of developing or worsening hemorrhoids.
Consult a Healthcare Professional: If home remedies and over-the-counter treatments do not provide relief, or if your hemorrhoids are causing severe discomfort, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and personalized treatment recommendations.
Hemorrhoids can be a source of significant discomfort, and their itching can become particularly bothersome at night. You may take action to get relief and have better sleep by realizing the causes of this nightly aggravation. By maintaining good anal hygiene, using cold compresses, avoiding scratching, and considering lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage hemorrhoid itching. Remember to consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms persist or worsen to receive appropriate medical attention and ensure your well-being.