It's Medical Monday at Aortic Hope.
Let's talk about the best ways to sleep after open heart surgery. This can be very challenging!
According to a blog from Epic Heart & Vascular Center, "Getting a good night’s sleep after open-heart surgery is crucial for your recovery and overall well-being. However, finding the right position to sleep in is challenging after such an intense, invasive procedure."
Here are their 5+ Positions to Sleep in After Returning Home:
"Once you are back home, sleeping in your own bed after your open heart surgery brings a sense of comfort and ease. You may be overwhelmed at this stage, thinking about the dos and don’ts, but the restrictions are few, such as avoiding sleeping on your stomach. Experts recommend the following sleep positions:"
Sleeping on your back: This snoozing position aligns your head, neck, and spine, relieving pressure on your chest.
Sleeping on your side: You are allowed to sleep on your side; however, do not forget to use pillows to prop yourself up for added support.
Roll over to sit up on the bed: Do not sit up straight; roll over to your side when getting out of bed. Start by positioning yourself at the side and then gradually move into a sitting position.
Minimize daytime napping: With time, you will start regaining strength and be on the road to recovery. At that point, limiting naps or rests during the day establishes a better sleep routine at night.
Use a pillow for support: In case you tend to roll subconsciously in your sleep, consider using a bed wedge or regular pillows to support and maintain a comfortable position.
Reclining: For the first few weeks after your surgery, reclining in a chair is a good option to lessen the incidence of coughing and breathing difficulties during sleep. This is related to fluid buildup around the heart or your lungs. The good news is that it usually improves over time as the excess gets eliminated.
As always, talk to your physician about his/her tips for helping you try to get as much rest as possible after open heart surgery. Use this article as a tool to start that conversation.