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:
- The affects of anesthesia
- Discomfort related to healing
- Changes in your daily routine
- Stress from personal concerns
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:
- Avoid napping too much during the day. At the same time, remember to balance activity with rest during recovery.
- If you feel nervous or anxious, talk to your partner or a trusted friend. Get your troubles off your mind.
- Avoid caffeine in the evenings (such as chocolate, coffee, tea and colas).
- Listen to relaxing music or a guided imagery audio program.
- Tense and relax your muscles. Begin with your feet and work your way up to your shoulders.
- Take a relaxing shower (or bath, if permitted).
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:
- You notice changes in your behavior
- A lack of sleep is causing problems in your life
- Normal sleeping patterns do not return within two to three weeks
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. What is Insomnia?
www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ Accessed 10/6/2011
National Sleep Foundation. Can’t Sleep? What to Know About Insomnia.
www.sleepfoundation.org/ Accessed 10/6/2011
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