Get Plenty of Rest: Recovering From Surgery With Insomnia
Last updated: April 2022
Be sure to get plenty of rest! That is always 1 of the first things we are told when we are sick or have surgery. We all know how important it is for our bodies to get rest while recovering, but what do you do when you have insomnia? Not being able to get enough sleep makes everything more difficult.
Trying to get comfortable after surgery with insomnia
I recently had surgery. 2, actually. I had 2 surgeries in 2 days, so I had plenty of rest in that short time. However, I was unable to get much rest after that. Add pain and discomfort to a stressful situation and it only agitated my insomnia, kicking it into overdrive and keeping me awake.
I found it more comfortable to sleep in my recliner at first. I did not actually sleep much, but I was able to relax without causing myself additional pain. This was important since I had decided not to take any pain medication during my recovery. Still, being able to relax is helpful when you are not getting enough sleep.
Recovering with stress and mobility issues
I also have mobility issues. Doctors tell you to get up and move and get plenty of sleep. I am unable to do much of either of those things. I was really concerned that my lack of sleep and limited movement was going to hinder my recovery.
Trying to get more sleep did not work out for me. No matter how much I tried to get some extra sleep, it was not possible. In fact, I got less sleep, thanks to the stress of the situation. However, I did manage to rest. Just relaxing in my chair and zoning out to rid myself of stress gave me some rest.
Learning to relax and rest when I cannot sleep
As much as I would have liked to have slept more than usual during recovery, it was not possible. I found out that even if you are not able to sleep, relaxing is restful and can have the same benefits as extra sleep.
I feel like I recovered as I should. Not being able to sleep does not seem to have affected the time it took to recover. I am right on schedule. Making the time to simply relax seems to have worked for me. Perhaps I have discovered the secret, for me at least, to getting enough rest when needed to recover from an illness or injury.
Making time to unwind
Several times a day I made time to zone out and rid my mind of all the things stressing me out. I would not call it meditation, but it was certainly something similar. It was a matter of putting everything out of my mind.
Sometimes I focused on things that made me happy or I found funny to avoid dwelling on something stressful. This worked for me. It helped me feel more rested despite sleeping less than usual. I learned something useful during this ordeal.
Learning new ways to cope with fatigue
I have always struggled during times when I suddenly slept less than what I needed to function well. This trick may help me function better during these times. I am adding this to my list of coping skills to get through the worst bouts of insomnia.
Have you had trouble getting enough sleep during recovery? Have you found ways to feel more rested during these times? I would love to hear about your experience.
Do you think insomnia has an impact on your mental health?
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