Sleep is very important for the healing process and recovery. However, many patients find it difficult to sleep after surgery. Difficulty sleeping and insomnia is a common complaint following surgery. Many patients find that their pain is worse at night. This is usually because you have been active during the day and your joint is frankly tired and feeling overused.Additionally during the day you have many distractions and the pain does not seem as bad as it does at night. Once you begin to rest at night without daytime distractions your mind tends to focus on your pain. Therefore, it is frequently necessary to take pain medicine in anticipation of this. If you are having pain you might want to consider taking pain medicine a half hour to an hour before bedtime. The use of an ice machine at night can also be very helpful to ensure adequate sleep.
Additionally, there are a variety of sleep aids available to you. Tylenol PM is a commonly used sleep aid that has Benadryl in it. However, it is important that if you are also taking Tylenol for pain that you also do not exceed the three gram daily limit. Melatonin is a natural substance that helps regulate the sleep cycle and can be effective for some people. It merely regulates your sleep pattern and is not a “sleeping pill”. In contrast, Ambien at a low dose can be used to help you go to sleep., 2.5mg to 5mg of Ambien is usually sufficient for most patients. However, this has to be prescribed by your physician.