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You toss, turn, cry out in pain—you’re to the point of giving up on sleep altogether. Insomnia is just going to be your new sleep routine. Trying to get a better night’s sleep after knee replacement surgery can be challenging. Especially during the first few weeks after surgery. No one gave me the heads up on post-surgery insomnia or these other four truths you can find HERE. Man, I wish they had; I could have been more prepared for the journey many of you are probably on right now. So that’s why I made this list of tips, so maybe you will find Mr. Sandman a little easier and be on your way to a better night’s sleep after knee replacement surgery.
Manage Your Pain
Ok, so of course, you only have so much control over managing your pain. But! You do have some power, and I want you to take every advantage of it. Take the medication, OTC, and prescription. On-time, as scheduled. (I liked to use the alarms on my phone to help me with this.) For at least the first few weeks. I know everyone wants to be the tough guy or gal—power through little to no meds. Seriously though, they give you them for a reason, and they will help you get a better night’s sleep. Trust me, I’m NOT a doctor, but I have lived through it. I also tried these natural pain remedies along with my meds to help manage my pain. Check them out. Maybe a couple will help you too!
Wedge Pillow Help
The best thing I used to help me sleep was my trusty wedge pillow (You can get the one I used HERE) when I wasn’t inside my CPM machine. Many surgeons, including my own, did not want my knee bent unless I was doing exercises. Having this wedge pillow put my surgery leg in a comfortable position and made it a little easier to sleep.
Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs. (HERE is a highly rated pillow specific for side sleeping) To be completely honest, I couldn’t do this until I hit more into the middle weeks of my recovery. The pressure, weight, and gravity were just too much early on.
Lazy Boy Couch Potato
When all else fails, try the recliner or couch. These are not my first or even second options because even though I could fall asleep in my recliner… I would often wake up with a stiff neck or back a couple of hours later. I guess some sleep is better than no sleep, but I will leave my couch and recliner for naps only.
Be Smart About Nap Time
Naps are great for recovery, in my opinion. Sleep is great for healing, so why not take it whatever way we can get it right? Plus, medication can make people drowsy, especially pain medication. I found that to be the case with me. I was exhausted, and napping was a favorite pass time for me the first few weeks after my knee surgery. Here are a couple of tips I learned the hard way about napping after knee surgery.
Be smart about when you are taking your naps and how often you are taking them. If you are literally taking a nap an hour or two before you want to sleep, you’re setting yourself up for failure! The body will never be ready to sleep again if you are basically just getting up. Try to stop naps at least 4 to 5 hours before bedtime. I found this to work best for me.
When it comes to how often you are taking naps, of course, everyone is going to be different. I found short little naps (20-40 minutes) after taking medication worked best. I rarely took more than three naps a day. Doing these couple of things helped me feel more tired and ready to sleep at bedtime.
A Cup of Tea Please
I’m a massive fan of tea. I use different varieties for when I’m sick, restless, stressed, or need help sleeping! Here are a few of my favorite types of tea that help me fall asleep.
Here’s To A Better Night’s Sleep Soon!
I hope at least one, if not all, of these tips for a better night’s sleep, helps you. Please leave a comment below or contact me HERE if they do! Also, leave a comment if you have any other tips that have helped you drift off into sleep land a little easier after your knee replacement surgery.
Sleep well! Sweet dreams! Until next time, take care!
Want to read my knee replacement journey from the beginning? Start HERE
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.
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Can’t thank you enough for sharing all of your surgery stories and info. I had a total knee done 2 days ago and ordered several of the items you recommended. It was good to know that it is a very slow recovery process in the beginning. Now I am not so discouraged! Thank you!!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m so glad my story gives you a little comfort. Don’t get discouraged; everything gets better with time and your exercise! Good Luck on the rest of your recovery. I hope it goes smoothly!