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Yvonne on Sleep Well-Being

Yvonne was 12 when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s. She spent much of her childhood poorly, missing lots of her schooling, and at the age of 20 had a colostomy. At the last count she’s had 59 related operations. Yvonne also has arthritis and epilepsy, and as a full-time mum knows the benefits of sleep.

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

Before I had my bag, my life was awful. Due to Crohn’s I was going to the toilet up to 10 times a day. It didn’t matter what time of the day it was, I would sit on the toilet for hours. The toilet soon became my comfort zone and sometimes, I would end up falling asleep there. I was in so much pain and totally exhausted.

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

When I had my stoma, I loved it to pieces – I could live again and I did sleep better but the bags I used leaked or pancaked every day.

How did sleep levels affect your overall well-being?

If I didn't have a good night's sleep, I would be a completely different person.

I would be moody and unable to manage. Not only do I live with Crohn’s, I have Crohn’s related arthritis, epilepsy, ankylosing spondylitis and hematometra. All of these require strong pain relief which requires me to sleep more.

If I don’t sleep well, it can also cause seizures.

If I don’t get good quality sleep, the tiredness kicks in and I don’t have enough energy to deal with my Crohn’s and all of my other illnesses. Not having sleep for me, is horrendous but luckily, I have an amazing husband who lets me catch up on sleep at the weekends. 

Has Confidence BE® helped your sleep quality?

Finally after eight years I found a bag that worked for me - Confidence BE® - and I don’t know where I would be without it.

When I first saw the bags, I thought they looked so pretty. The material was just beautiful quality and the colours were like nothing I’d ever seen. They look the real deal, surely, they won’t work!

Before Confidence BE® I always went to bed worrying when my bag would wake me up but now, I go to bed without even thinking about it. 

I almost totally forget my bag is there, I just know it won’t leak or come off.

If you don’t have the right bag, it will always wake you. I thought I had to live with leaks for the rest of my life, but since changing to Confidence BE® I can’t even remember the last time my bag woke me up.

Due to Crohn’s, I went through early menopause and having Confidence BE® during this time was just a gift. Menopause greatly affects your sleep but knowing my bag was doing its job made things so much easier

Why is good sleep so important to you?

I am 100% a better person when I sleep well. Due to my medication and conditions, I can sleep and sleep and sleep some more.

With quality sleep, I am a better mom to my two girls and wife to my husband.

I can take care of the house and cook family meals. If I don’t get the sleep I need, it affects my mental health, I don’t feel like getting up, or showering to start the day. I am a completely different person.

A lack of sleep can make me feel down for the rest of the day, sleep is SO important to me. 8 hours isn’t enough for me, I put my children to bed, and I usually go at the same time.

I’m so happy when I wake up after 12 hours of sleep and Confidence BE® allows me to do that.

In what ways do you support your own sleep quality?

I do hot pod yoga and I find this so relaxing - it takes my mind somewhere else for an hour. I am in pain a lot of the time when I do yoga, but I push through as it’s my way of coping and it calms and winds me down for bed, meaning I sleep 10 times better.

What things can affect your sleep?

Epilepsy can affect my sleep, I have a sleep disorder whereby I can wake up with my hands in the air, I can’t bring them down because of how long I may have laid like it. I usually go straight back to sleep. Pain and bowel movements can wake me up and I will take baths and pain relief but that will always be a part of my life. 

Thinking about Confidence BE®, what features help your sleep quality?

Definitely the seal, the way it molds to me, it’s like it was made for me. As I sleep the bag changes, with every position my belly makes. It adapts to every movement. There is no noise whatsoever from my bag. I really like the viewing window; I can see when I wake up what the day may have in store for me! Because I hardly ever have any ballooning, I am comforted that the filter is always working. The fact my bag doesn’t fall off or leak is just huge. I just love everything about my bag.


We'd like to say a big Thank You to Yvonne 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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