How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on December 6th, 2022

Patients must refrain from engaging in demanding activities while recovering after umbilical hernia surgery, including carrying heavy objects, engaging in vigorous exercise, and overstretching the affected region. Sleeping is another activity that is impacted by recovery after umbilical hernia surgery.

For the incision region to heal correctly, patients must be careful not to overstress it. To do this, they may need to alter how they sleep. But what posture is ideal for an umbilical hernia?

Man waking up in the morning and suffer for back pain

How to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery 

The ideal mental and physical health needs adequate sleep, especially post-hernia surgery. An easier and quicker recovery is possible with good sleeping habits.

Although the recovery period following hernia surgery is usually short (1-2 weeks), most patients feel some amount of pain and discomfort, which may interfere with sleep.

Sleep in an elevated position 

Your doctor may have already advised you of this, but it’s typically preferable and less uncomfortable to sleep in an elevated posture following hernia surgery. It might be very unpleasant to lie down completely on your sides or your back.

It is advised to sleep on at least one pillow that you can arrange behind your back to maintain a half-lying/half-sitting position.

After surgery, this position will likely be the most comfortable. Additionally, raising your entire torso rather than just your head can reduce neck pain.

Take care of the incision while getting in and out of bed

Be mindful of your incisions as you get in and out of bed. The last thing you want is to increase the weight or pressure on your wound and cause your stitches to come undone. You must be slow and cautious when getting in and out of bed after surgery since your muscles and primary abdominal region will be sore, especially in the first few days.

Carefully arrange all of your pillows. Then, while you move, hold a pillow against you and hug it to your belly to ease the pain and give your wound a sense of security and protection.

Try sitting on the bed first, then reclining on your side on your pillows, and rolling onto your back if this seems like it would be helpful. Moving around as you settle in should be reduced as a result.

Repeat the previous steps backwards as you get out of bed. Instead of using your core muscles to support yourself, roll onto your side, put your feet on the ground, and prop yourself up with your arms and elbows. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply during this process, as if you were doing some physical activity or meditation.

Try breathing out as you sit up, even though it can seem paradoxical. This process ought to support you during the struggle. You might also request someone stay with you at your home to assist you for a few days after surgery.

Consider investing in an automated recliner or wedge pillow 

For the majority of us, sleeping on our backs and in an elevated position can be very unnatural. As a result, you might want to consider buying a recliner, as it can be more solid and comfy than resting on a ton of pillows.

You might want to think about a wedge pillow if you are not ready to invest in a full recliner. This triangular foam pillow can elevate your chest, either on its own or in conjunction with other pillows, to assist you in maintaining your balance or supporting your neck.

This choice could be smart, especially if you have other medical conditions that could eventually necessitate you to have a portion of your body elevated.

Tips for side sleepers 

In reality, many people sleep on their sides. Changing that pattern could be difficult, especially if you have to watch your sleep following surgery.

Put a pillow by your side (perhaps under your hip) to give your body a slight side inclination if you simply cannot imagine sleeping entirely on your back.

Consider relaxation and meditation

If you have had hernia surgery, you might want to try some relaxation techniques like meditation.

Even for patients new to meditation, these techniques have been proven effective in managing post-surgery pain. Meditation and relaxation have been shown to improve sleep quality even when a patient has persistent sleep problems like insomnia.

Even in hospitals, meditation is occasionally suggested. As a result, it might be a very excellent idea to consider this solution and keep in mind that the advantages go beyond your recovery time. Many people believe that practicing relaxation and meditation can significantly enhance their lives.

What to avoid after hernia surgery?

Avoid twisting your abdomen no matter what to minimize pain and enable the surgical incision to heal. Also, avoid resting on your front. And keep in mind that it is preferable to breathe gently and deeply through pain rather than holding your breath.

You should be able to sleep post umbilical hernia surgery as long as you are familiar with the fundamentals of sleeping after the surgery.

What happens in an umbilical hernia surgery?

You merely need to refrain from eating and drinking for a predetermined number of hours before procedures for umbilical hernias. After being given anesthesia at the hospital, the surgery will start.

The surgery is rather straightforward: the surgeon makes a little incision at the side of the abdomen and forces the protruding hernia back into the abdomen. Do you still recall how weak abdominal muscles created the bulge? They are sewn together to reinforce them and stop new hernias from developing.


As with any medical operation, it is crucial to prioritize your sleep following hernia surgery and make sure you are receiving adequate rest. Always abide by all medical recommendations and specific instructions given to you by your doctor since doing so will be essential to a speedy recovery.


Editorial Staff

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