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Laura on Sleep Well-Being

Laura is a ‘double-bagger,’ using Confidence BE® after her colostomy and urostomy operations. A high-flying project manager and dynamic supporter of charities, Laura had sleep problems before becoming ill and knows the importance of recharging her batteries.

How did your illness affect your sleep and how did this impact your day to day life?

Before I knew there was something wrong with me, I wasn’t sleeping well. When I knew I was ill, I began getting up to the toilet a lot. I took sleep whenever I could get it.

Sleep deprivation impacted everything for me, my mood, my reactions to those around me, my family and those who loved me - lack of sleep really restricted my life considerably.

Before I had my surgery, I ended up with two nephrostomies which was very disruptive to my sleep. I was sleeping with two bags the size of a normal urostomy bag which were then connected to two leg bags. So, movement for me whilst sleeping felt very restrictive. 

How did your sleep change following your stoma surgery and recovery?

Due to the sheer impact of the surgery, my mobility was bad so I couldn’t turn on my bed or lie comfortably. Even though I was down to seven stone, I had to call a nurse to move me.

Whilst I was getting used to my bag at home, one of the things I decided not to use was the night bag, I just struggled mentally with this for a while. However, pregnancy pillows helped me a lot in the beginning, I was bolstered up with numerous pillows and ended up sleeping sitting up.

Over time I realised I could lie down and around the three-month mark, I realised I could sleep with just the pregnancy pillow. One evening, when my husband was away on business…

I got the night bag out and I never looked back. I sleep more now than I ever have.

From a comfort point of view, I can go back to sleeping on my side and transition to ‘normal sleep’.

How did sleep levels affect your overall well-being?

If my colostomy is working ok and my work life is struggling a little, I can function fine. But if both become troublesome, I can’t function as well. This results in lack of sleep, and I become irritable, feeling I can’t cope at work and questioning my abilities. Working at a high level, I have high expectations of myself and when I’m doing what I believe is the bare minimum it can be hard to live with.

It’s all about sleep – if I lose sleep, I lose perspective. 

Has Confidence BE® helped your sleep quality?

Any previous bags I used for my urostomy, I was always aware of them - the lack of comfort and quality in the material. Confidence BE® is less bulky, has smoother material so I am just less aware it’s there during the night. Even if I sleep in a certain way and restrict the bag or the tubing, the output will always find a way and into the Night Drainage Bag. I have overall comfort and ultimate confidence in my bag​.

Why is good sleep so important to you?

Having a good sleep allows me to juggle everything in my life. When I have too much to juggle - I focus on the three most important things to me; energy to look after myself, to be there for my husband and to be able to perform well in my work.

Now I don’t push myself, I make the tough decisions to sometimes say no. 

In what ways do you support your own sleep quality?

What I do is focus on the things that might negatively impact my sleep and what I can do to mitigate that, for example – reducing screen times before bed, in terms of my colostomy I will amend my eating time accordingly and if travelling for work have a much lighter meal the evening prior​.

What things can affect your sleep?

Stress doesn’t keep me awake, it’s more the physical impacts from my stomas – if I’ve not eaten well, or too late I can lie awake waiting for my bag to need to be changed.

Which Confidence BE® features help your sleep quality?

The material is number one for me, it’s so comfortable against my skin I don’t even notice it’s there. The tubing of the night bag is also a big plus for me – I can move around and lie on my side. With other bags I could feel the tubing, Confidence BE® Urostomy makes me feel much less aware. I also like that my bags are matching, it really does positively impact my confidence. I know I’m going to bed feeling confident there will be no leaks, my bag will constantly empty, I am not going to wake, and I have the reassurance that things are going to be ok.


We'd like to say a big Thank You to Laura for sharing her sleep well-being story with us! If you have a wellbeing journey you’d like to share, you can get in touch with us here



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