Sleep problems after surgery you have had anesthesia are normal. And the more severe the surgery, the greater are usually the sleep problems. It is a reaction of the body to the trauma of surgery. This stress response affects your sleep and can lead to sleep problems after anesthesia.
Bad sleep after anesthesia
Due to the anesthesia and surgery, many hormones are released. You often have fever and the sympathetic nervous system has been activated, which increases the adrenaline level.The pain of the surgery itself, the use of drugs, an empty stomach, another bed, snakes on your body are all factors that negatively affect your sleep and make you sleep poorly.
Also, the effects of the hospital itself, such as: odd sounds, other waking and sleeping times, observing nurses, procedures, higher temperatures and bright lights can disturb your sleep and sleep quality.
Change of sleep pattern after anesthesia
After surgery, the amount of REM sleep (associated with dreams) is the first 1 or 2 nights less and then just a little more. Nightmares around the 4th night after surgery are therefore very common. Deep sleep also affects the first few nights. After about a week most people again show a normal sleep pattern. Only 25% experience sleep problems after 1 week.
There is also no difference between people who have a general anesthetic and people with local anesthesia. Thus, it is not the overall anesthesia itself which causes the sleep problems, as often mistakenly thought, but the body’s reaction to the procedure and the changing (sleep) conditions.
Tips to sleep better after surgery
The following tips may help to quickly recover a normal sleep alertness after anesthetic surgery.
1. Provide pain relief
Get a recommendation from your doctor about pain relief after your surgery. Pain relief is essential to restore a normal sleep pattern.
2. Provide a comfortable bedroom
Prepare your bedroom for your operating date with extra pillows for support and other items such as tissues, water, snacks, etc.
3. Provide a day and night rhythm
During daytime only take naps if needed. Try to keep your sleep wake up as much as possible. Open the curtains in the morning to get plenty of daylight in your bedroom.
4. Slaughter hygiene
Keep your bedroom cool and well ventilated at night. Turn off tablet and phone so you do not get distracted or distracted. Regularly clean your bed, especially if you are sweaty.