Sleep after a surgery

Whoever undergoes a surgery knows well that after the surgical procedure it might be difficult to sleep. When we sleep in a hospital we are not in our bed and that already hinders the rest; in addition, there are pains, lights, noises coming from the room and schedules, that usually are different from those with which we organize our life around.

According to an Italian research, the sleep of a patient already deteriorates  starting from the first week before the surgery and remains problematic for several days or even weeks. In some cases, even the use of medicines does not manage to improve the sleep quality and sense of rest upon awakening. In the hospital, we can even sleep 83 minutes less per night, and the consequences for the quality of life are understandable.

One of the variables that could improve the sleeping experience is to return home. According to some study, sleeping at home is better and we fall asleep faster.

In case of a hospitalization, we cannot count on our mattress and home environment (at least for some nights), but we can take some precautions instead:

  • ask the clinic manager to see if it is possible to bring and use your own pillow
  • prefer comfort over appearances, bring in your own nightwear even though it is not very nice….
  • Start taking melatonin (it is always necessary to consult your doctor to get medical authorization) for some days before admission into hospital, and proceed until this is necessary.
  • Learn and practice relaxation and anxiety-reducing techniques
  • Listen to relaxing music regularly, even in the ward

If the sleep quality improving protocols were started to be experimented worldwide, learning to relax in the best way possible would be the only thing that can give better nights while waiting to get back home.

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