Sleep is serious, especially when you are trying to recover from surgery.  Depending on the type of hernia surgery you elect, may greatly effect your levels of pain.  For those electing robotic hernia surgery, pain is often minimal because it is a less invasive procedure.  Patients report they are able to sleep normally the first night after surgery

For those who have traditional hernia surgery, getting a good nights sleep can prove to be more of a challenge.  Patients often feel tired and may experience pain or discomfort first few days post-operation.  Sleep is the best medicine for recovery, but after surgery, it may not be as easy to get the rest needed. Lack of sleep can also make it difficult to do the things needed to heal your body faster such as physical activity.

It’s important to listen to your body and rest when you are tired.  The stitches from hernia surgery prevent you from sleeping on your stomach.  Many patients have to get creative when they sleep, so they can get a good night’s sleep.  Here are some tips and trick to help you sleep well after surgery. 

Tip #1: Sleep in a recliner:
Many patients find it difficult to sit-up from a lying position the first week after surgery, so sleeping on a recliner or couch may be a more comfortable option.

Tip #2: Sleep on your back or side:
Sleeping on your side or on your back is the best way for your hernia to heal because sleeping on your stomach can damage your stitches and result in more pain.

Tip #3: Place a pillow between your legs:
Many patients find placing a pillow between your legs is helpful in alleviating pain.  The pillow will also help keep your spine properly aligned.

Tip #4: Use wooden blocks at the head of your bed:
Wooden blocks are another helpful tool to a good night’s sleep. It is not uncommon for those suffering from a hernia to also experience strong stomach acid reflux.  Using 6 – 8 inch blocks placed on the two head posts on the bed will allow your head to rest higher than your stomach and prevent the acid from your stomach to rise while your trying to sleep.

Tip #5: Invest in a wedge pillow:
Using multiple pillows can hurt your neck or back.  Instead use a wedge pillow as a better alternative because it relieves the pressure in your body.

If you are still struggling to sleep a couple nights after surgery, talk with your doctor.  It may be necessary to adjust your pain medication.