Surgery and Insomnia

Is it common to have trouble sleeping after surgery?

Yes. Many people complain of having trouble sleeping after surgery. You may experience insomnia (an inability to sleep) because of:

Tips for a better night's sleep

If you have pain, take your pain medication about 1/2 hour before bedtime. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position and decrease muscle strain.

In addition, follow these tips:

If these steps do not help you sleep, don't lose hope. Your normal sleeping patterns will return within a few weeks.

When should I call my doctor?

You should call your doctor if:


National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. What is Insomnia? Accessed 10/6/2011

National Sleep Foundation. Can't Sleep? What to Know About Insomnia. Accessed 10/6/2011


This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit or This document was last reviewed on: 9/11/2011