Nighttime leaks - Seeking advice for consistent morning leaks


I am just about 4 weeks into my ileostomy from stage 3 rectal cancer. The surgery was a success and my cancer is gone. I have about 9 more weeks till reversal surgery, so I am a short timer with my ostomy (I continue to pray this is the fact). My problem is I have leaks every day for the last 2 weeks. I have posted once in the past about this and received excellent feedback.

I had 3 major blowouts this past Sunday, other than that my leaks occur at about 3:00 AM every morning. I am still working and travel the state for my job with no issues getting in and out of the car, looking at job sites, etc. I get up every couple of hours at night to empty my bag. My question is why would my leak occur about the same time every morning? I sleep on my back with very little movement. Getting very frustrated and my home nurse has not been much help.

Looking for advice.

Thank you


Are you flat on your back?  I sleep on my back too, but I pack a bunch of pillows behind me so that I'm actually just reclining rather than flat on my back.  That way any discharge can flow downhill, as it were.  Even when I go to the dentist for a cleaning, I won't let them put me all the way back.  She always says, "oh, you have back problems?"  I answer, "I just need to stay somewhat upright." 


Hi Douglas, that is strange. It is at the same time. I have no idea. I got all kinds of weird results when I googled "waking up at 3 am". LOL Just wanted to say welcome.

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Henry might have something! Laying flat on your back gives the juices time to pool and cause a blowout, also wearing a belt might help.

Good luck. I will be praying for you.


Hi Douglas, I have an ileostomy and can't sleep on my back as others said it pools around the stoma and eventually gets under. I sleep on the opposite side of my stoma with an occasional roll over to the other side for a sip of water and doze off again.

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Reply to HenryM

Very helpful comments, Henry.

I have always appreciated your ability to help advise new and newer ostomates on this site.

Keep up the good work and stay well.

Mike from Cleveland, Ohio


I also agree with Henry's advice. Letting your output pool around the stoma for very long will allow it to start seeping under the flange, particularly if it's quite watery. The fact that you have an ileo will also contribute, as opposed to a colostomy, as your output is more caustic. I hope you are able to sleep on one side or the other. That should really improve things. Good luck!


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