Sleep Recovery After Knee Surgery

Recovering from knee surgery can disrupt sleep due to discomfort, changes in mobility, and medication side effects. However, there are several strategies to improve sleep quality during the recovery period:

  1. Pain Management: Follow your healthcare provider's instructions for pain management, including taking prescribed pain medications as directed. Controlling pain can help you relax and sleep more comfortably.

  2. Elevate Your Leg: If recommended by your doctor, elevate your leg while resting or sleeping to reduce swelling and improve circulation. Use pillows or a leg elevation wedge to keep your leg elevated above heart level. I like the leg elevation wedge because it keeps your knee straight which is likely helpful during early recovery to promote knee extension.

  3. Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the surgical site can help reduce swelling and numb pain, promoting better sleep. Use ice packs for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, as directed by your healthcare provider. If you wish to have a cooling/compression device with time controls (auto cycling time on and off), we recommend NICE Recovery - rentals and purchases can be found HERE.

  4. Comfortable Sleeping Position: Find a comfortable sleeping position that minimizes pressure on your surgical knee. Experiment with different sleeping positions, such as sleeping on your back with pillows under your knee or using a body pillow for support.

  5. Sleep Environment: Create a conducive sleep environment by ensuring your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Use blackout curtains, earplugs, or white noise machines to block out external disturbances.

  6. Relaxation Techniques: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation before bedtime to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

  7. Limit Fluid Intake Before Bed: Reduce fluid intake in the evening to minimize the need to wake up for bathroom trips during the night.

  8. Follow a Sleep Schedule: Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body's internal clock and improve sleep quality.

  9. Stay Active During the Day: Engage in light activities and exercises recommended by your healthcare provider during the day to promote circulation and prevent stiffness, which can improve sleep quality at night.

If you continue to experience difficulty sleeping after trying these strategies, consult your healthcare provider. They may offer additional recommendations or adjustments to your treatment plan to help improve sleep during your knee surgery recovery.