Sleeping After Open Heart Surgery – 5 Tips

Sleeping After Open Heart Surgery – 5 Tips

Open heart surgery is one of the more serious types of surgery you can undergo. And yet, with today’s surgical technology and well-trained doctors, survival rates are amazingly high. Most open heart surgery patients enjoy a full recovery and, as a result of the surgery, longer lives.

Heart surgery involves the surgeons making one or more relatively large incisions in the chest so that they can gain access to the heart cavity. The relatively high level of invasiveness of this type of surgery translates to longer recovery times than for most other types of surgery.

The recovery time after open heart surgery can be 6-8 weeks or longer. During this time, some patients find that they have trouble sleeping. This is due to a combination of the effects of anesthesia, pain or discomfort in the area of the incisions, the post-surgery changes to daily routine, and new types of stress.

If you are having trouble sleeping after surgery, here are 5 tips that can help:

1. Avoid napping during the day: When possible, try to avoid napping. Instead, go to be at the same time each night and get a full night’s sleep.

2. Take your doctor-prescribed medication about 30 minutes before going to bed: Your body likes routines. Take your medication at the same time each night, just before bed.

3. Talk to someone about anything that is troubling you: An amazing amount of stress relief can occur when we talk things out. Find a trusted friend, family member, or social worker with whom you can talk out your problems.

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4. Try taking a slow, relaxing shower: Showers are a great way to reduce stress and get the body ready for sleep.

5. Adjust your body position, using pillows if necessary: When in bed, use pillows to prop up certain parts of your body. And, change positions until you find one that feels comfortable.

Getting a good night’s sleep – along with proper diet and daily habits – after open heart surgery is essential for your healing process. Follow these 5 tips to increase your chances of getting the sleep you need.