Good Night’s Sleep for People Recovering from Surgery

Good Night’s Sleep for People Recovering from Surgery

After undergoing surgery, it is common to experience trouble getting to sleep. Pain, inflammation, and medication can all result in poor quality of sleep, which may lead to insomnia in the long run. Poor sleep can negatively impact a person’s well-being and quality of life, so it's important to try and mitigate the issue as much as possible.

At Opera, our adjustable beds and profiling beds make it easier to get comfortable after surgery by offering a variety of comfortable sleeping positions to choose from.

All our beds can be purchased directly through our website. However, if you or your loved one would like us to guide you to the perfect solution, get in touch with our friendly team today.

What causes bad sleep after surgery?

Major surgeries and procedures can impact your quality of sleep. This could be dependent on many different things, such as where you are recovering, the type of bed you're using and the form of surgery you've had. Some common reasons why you may experience poor sleep after surgery are:

  • Pain and discomfort: This is probably the most common symptom of bad sleep after surgery. Sleeping when in pain can be very difficult and keep you awake, particularly if you suffer from joint pain, neck pain, upper body pain or back pain. You may find it hard to reach a comfortable position when sleeping due to pain.
  • Disturbances when being cared for: After surgery, it’s likely you will have routine checks carried out in the hospital which are usually taken every few hours. Once you've returned home, this shouldn't be as much of an issue. If you have medication that needs to be taken at a certain time, this can also impact your sleep schedule. 
  • Major surgery: Large surgeries tend to require longer hospital stays, or complex care plans which can lead to longer recovery times. If you are able to recover at home, you may want to consider purchasing a hospital bed for home use.
  • Anaesthesia: If you've had an anaesthetic as part of your surgery, it can make it harder to sleep afterwards. Most types of anaesthesia can cause drowsiness, confusion and disorientation, which can interfere with your sleep. Anaesthesia can also have side effects such as nausea and headaches, which can also make it difficult to relax and sleep. Your health care professional may be able to give you medication so you can get relief from aches and pains you might have.
  • Being Anxious: Hospitals can be stressful and triggering places for a lot of people. Worrying about your surgery and recovery can make it hard to unwind and switch off when trying to fall asleep.
  • Medication: After surgery, it’s common to receive medication as part of the recovery process. Some forms of medication can cause drowsiness in the daytime (especially ones for pain relief), which can make it harder to sleep at night. If possible, you might want to consider taking drowsy medication in the evening to help you sleep better.
  • Your surroundings: Hospital wards and clinical environments are often busy and bright places. Noise from equipment and other patients can make it harder to fall asleep and remain asleep. Hospital beds can also be clinical and make it hard to find a comfortable position when sleeping at night.

Older woman laid in bed looking uncomfortable

If possible, it may be worth recovering from your surgery at home, instead of in the hospital. This will depend on the type of surgery you've had carried out and you'll likely need to spend some time recuperating in the hospital directly after your treatment.

If you'd like to spend your recovery time at home, we have a range of hospital beds available to give you maximum comfort when recuperating. Contact our helpful team to find out which bed might be best for your situation.

How to improve sleep after surgery

Ensuring you get a restful night's sleep is a key part of the recovery process.

Simple changes you make after having surgery can really help to improve your sleep. For instance, if you find you are disturbed by excessive noise, earplugs can be used to reduce sound and help you sleep. If bright lights in the hospital are keeping you awake, sleeping with an eye mask can help block out the light for a better quality of sleep.

Older couple in a brown bed, the lady has blonde hair and is reading a book whilst the gentleman is asleep next to her in bed

There are several other steps you can take to improve your sleep after surgery which might be helpful.

Adjust your sleeping position

Depending on the surgery you or your loved one has had, you may benefit from changing your sleeping position.

The ideal sleeping position after surgery is one that does not place pressure on the affected area. For example, if you have recently had leg surgery, sleeping with your legs raised is a beneficial way to alleviate pressure/swelling and increase blood flow. Using a pressure care mattress may also be beneficial.

Lady with blonde hair sat upright in a profiling bed with her legs raised and holdimg the remote control

Our electric adjustable beds offer a variety of positions by having an elevated back and leg-rest section. Unlike a standard bed, an electric bed has an adjustable bed frame, which allows you to find the perfect position whilst also giving your body proper support. 

Hospital beds are designed to maximise comfort and make it easier to get in and out of bed. Our extensive range of profiling beds have adjustable height options which allow you to raise and lower the whole bed. If your surgery makes it difficult to lie with your legs up, a profiling bed can be set to your desired access height. These mobility beds are perfect for people that may need additional nursing care after leaving the hospital.

You can also use pillows to prop up your head or lift your legs up to get a more comfortable night's sleep. Your doctor can also advise which best position to adopt when recovering from surgery.

If you would like us to guide you to find the perfect size bed to support your recovery, get in touch with our team today

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine can cause mild dehydration which can affect the early stages after surgery. Research shows that reducing or eliminating your caffeine intake before and shortly after surgery helps to provide a smoother transition afterwards.

cafe latte in a white tea cup with saucer and milk pattern

Sleep is essential for our mental and physical well-being, and drinking caffeine after surgery can lead to insufficient sleep, as well as enhancing your pain perception. It is recommended that you find non-caffeine alternatives in the days after your surgery.

Establishing a bedtime routine

After you have been discharged from the hospital, you will likely be told to rest and recover at home. Ensuring you have a routine every night can help achieve a better night’s sleep after surgery.

Bath tray with coffee cup and open book with lit pillar candles in the background

Going to bed each night at the same time helps tell the body it’s time to rest. There are a few ways to help prepare yourself for bed, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, meditating and other relaxation techniques.

Having a relaxing sleep environment

Sleeping in a dark, cool and quiet environment are all factors that can contribute to better sleep post-surgery. Depending on where you had your surgery on the body, it may benefit you to sleep by yourself so you have more room to get comfortable.

Sleeping in a cool environment is ideal, as humans find it hard to sleep if their body temperature is too high. You should also refrain from looking at any screens before bed, as the blue light can keep you awake. If you get easily distracted by noise when trying to sleep, earplugs or white noise can help block out unwanted sounds.

Sleeping with someone who snores can make it harder to fall asleep. Our adjustable beds with anti-snore mode are designed with exclusive sleep technology to reduce snoring. Gently raising the head section of the bed to the optimum position opens the airways, reducing snoring as part of the process.

man and woman laid in an adjustable bed, the woman is reading a book whilst the gentleman is asleep with his head rest section raised slightly

Our adjustable beds come in both single and double sizes. Our double size beds are suitable for two people, allowing both people to change the adjustable bed base to their preferred position.

When to speak to your doctor

It is common to experience sleep problems after having surgery, so there's no need to worry if you have trouble sleeping.

However, if your issues haven’t been resolved on their own after a week or so, it is worth speaking with your doctor for further support. 

How Opera can help you to sleep better after surgery

With over 20 years of experience, Opera supports individuals and their loved ones coming out of the hospital. We specialise in adjustable beds which make life easier for people, including those who have just had surgery. Our rotating chair beds may also help you get in and out of bed easier after surgery.

Our expert consultation process allows our team to find the perfect solution for a great night’s sleep. We understand that everyone has different needs, so we're dedicated to finding the right bed for you.

All Opera products are eligible for VAT relief if you or a loved one have a named medical condition, long-term illness or registered disability.

If you'd like to purchase a new bed and you're not sure which one is right for you, our helpful team will be able to guide you through the process.

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