How to Sleep after Gastric Sleeve Surgery
As a bariatric surgeon, I believe my major responsibility is to provide my patients with the reality of bariatric surgery. If you’re qualified for weight-loss surgery, I won’t dissuade you from doing it. Contrariwise, I’m going to encourage you, but make a decision with open eyes. For instance, tell me how much do you know about the side effects of this operation? What about the temporary changes after the surgery. Do you how to sleep after bariatric surgery?
Studies show that in the long run, weight-loss surgical procedures improve poor sleep quality, especially if you have sleep apnea, but this only implies the long-term effects, not in the beginning. Even if you don’t have a lot of pain, your body has undergone basic changes. Of course, the severity of your condition depends on the process and type of your surgery, yet sleeping, just like many other daily activities won’t be the same, at least for a few days after surgery.
Let’s go over the temporary sleeping conditions you might experience, what to do and what not to do in order to sleep deeper and more comfortably, and finally, the appropriate sleeping positions after surgery.
1- Don’t Take Sleeping Pills
Your body’s tolerance for some substances alters after weight-loss surgery. For instance, you’ll get drunk way faster after experiencing gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. The same thing happens with sleeping pills. Any mood-changing medication can be a harm to your body.
Even if you’re facing serious, prolonged insomnia, consult with your doctor before taking any medications.
2- Sleep in a Sitting Position
This is not a rule of thumb, but only a good suggestion for patients who have pain when sleeping on their stomachs or sides. Patients after most major surgeries have to sleep in a semi-sitting position to avoid complications or probable pain.
Some people find sleeping in this position a bit difficult, but due to the exhaustion after surgery, there’s a high chance you might fall asleep fast. Also, using a recliner makes it much easier.
3- Manage Your Naps
In the middle of the day, if you feel like taking a nap, do it. But remember, don’t sleep for too long in the middle of the day as you might disrupt your night sleep. Instead, close your eyes and take a 30-minute nap whenever you feel like you’re running out of battery.
4- Face Insomnia after Surgery like a Jetlag
How do you overcome jetlag? Well, by NOT sleeping for a night and then getting back to sleep like others at your new time zone. This is not strongly suggested as your body needs to rest, but maybe skipping sleeping for one night makes your body tired enough to fall asleep better.
5- Stay Away from TV or Your Phone
The blue light created by these devices during screen time before bed makes your body awake by giving it the signal that it is time to wake up. This is prohibited for anyone facing insomnia, not just bariatric surgery patients.
6- Keep Your Body Hydrated
Drinking enough amounts of water will not only expedite the weight loss process but help the removal of some surgical medications such as anesthesia. As a result, your body will heal much faster with no extra medications in your blood. Also, having a dehydrated body is the reason for many cases of inadequate sleep.
7- Stop Eating and Drinking Before Bedtime
The major problem with eating before sleep is its negative effects on your metabolism which leads to deficiency in losing weight. The second problem is the inconvenience a full stomach causes that makes sleeping peacefully impossible.
But what about drinking? Haven’t I just said you should keep your body hydrated?
Yes, you should drink water and other liquids, but NOT right before sleeping. Who wants to get up in the middle of the night just because nature calls? You want to eliminate all the sleep disturbances, not add to them.
8- Comfortable Clothes
I’ll definitely believe you if you say I need a weight-loss surgery not just for my health, but for better appearance and self-esteem. But don’t you think it’s too soon to start wearing tight clothes?
Give your body some time to heal. Try wearing loose, comfortable clothes that enable you to move with ease.
Not only bariatric patients but all other patients who experience surgical procedures in the abdominal area, pelvis, and lower back should definitely avoid uncomfortable clothes.
9- Surgery Pillows
Buying surgery pillows is one of the essential parts of preparation before surgery. Because weight-loss procedures like sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery are mostly done using laparoscopic methods, the incisions are not that invasive. Still, you need to rest to help your body heal.
Surgery pillows provide you with extra support that will make sleeping much easier, especially if used underneath your knees and lower back. So, don’t forget to add them to your shopping list before bariatric surgery.
There are many pillow options out there that can provide extra support underneath your lower back and knees. By giving yourself this support, you’ll have less of a need to toss and turn to find the right position that won’t tug at your incisions and cause pain.
While weight loss surgery isn’t extremely invasive, your body will still need rest to achieve the best results.
Can I Sleep on My Side after Gastric Sleeve?
If you are a belly sleeper, your most horrifying thought is how am I going to sleep? Sleeping on your belly is not suggested, but it doesn’t mean it is totally forbidden. Try it, if you don’t feel any pain, just give it a shot.
Remember, sleeping in this position can put a lot of pressure on your spine. Use your surgery pillows as extra support for your body. However, if you want my personal opinion, keep on side sleeping or sleeping on your back for at least two weeks after surgery.
If you feel like you can’t give up on being a stomach-sleeper, try forgetting this habit from before the surgery date.