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Surgical Cents 

Sleep Tips After Hip Replacement


Are you feeling like you might never have a good night’s sleep again?????

Rest assured, you will — but it might take some time. 

Here are TIPS for a gradual return to a restful night……….


  • Try to sleep in your own bed if you can – keep things as normal as possible.


  • You can sleep on your back or on your good (non-operated) hip. For a month, keep pillows between your legs while you sleep, stay off your (bad) operated hip and do not turn onto your stomach.


  • Don’t cross your legs at the ankles or turn your toes in (pigeon style).


  • If you turn on your good hip, be sure to have pillows between your knees so that your bad hip doesn’t drift across the mid-point of your body onto the mattress while you sleep. Keep your knees apart.


  • For awhile after surgery, you might need narcotics for pain. Take a pain pill at bedtime if you need it and keep another at the bedside in case you wake up in the night with pain.  Once you don’t need narcotics, you can use Tylenol.


  • Don’t take sleeping pills, even over-the-counter (OTC), while you are taking narcotics. Once you’ve stopped the narcotics, you can take a prescribed sleeping pill (from your family doctor) or an OTC such as Tylenol PM, Advil PM, or Melatonin.  It’s always good to check with your family doctor before taking OTC’s because they can cause problems with certain conditions (high blood pressure, prostate issues, urine retention, bleeding issues, stomach irritation, etc.).


  • At first, it might feel good to nap during the day. As you get further along in your recovery, if you’re napping a lot, it could interfere with a good night’s sleep.  Try to maintain a balance.


  • As you start to exercise and take walks, you will find you’ll be more tired out by the end of the day.


  • A couple weeks into your recovery, you might notice an electric sensation, a prickly feeling, numbness, or skin sensitivity around your incision and even down your leg. These are the nerves regenerating in your leg as a result of your surgery.  This is normal and will gradually become less and less with time.  If you are really uncomfortable your surgeon might be willing to prescribe medication for the nerve discomfort.


  • You might also have muscle spasms in your thigh or calf of your operated leg. These can be quite uncomfortable.  If you’re experiencing these, call your surgeon.  They will discuss your symptoms to be sure you don’t have a blood clot, and might be able to prescribe medication for the muscle spasms.



For the partners out there who might deserve a nursing degree by the end of all this, remember you need to rest too!  The first few nights are tiring for everyone.  Make sure you take care of yourself so you can take care of “the patient”.


Sweet dreams!!!                                                                                                           


***Always follow your surgeon’s recommendations first and foremost.

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