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Sleep Help

Hello all,

I am just a little over a week out of ALIF L4-L5; L5-S1 ( yes I know it's soon) and I am having quite a hard time sleeping. Does anyone have any tips or tricks that worked for them that they would be willing to share?

Thanks Jen


  • Pain? Meds? I know when I took oxycodone after a foot surgery that I was wide awake all night, besides the itching it caused. I take hydrocodone for pain after this surgery because of the itching the oxycodone caused me before. Anyway, if it's medicine related you could ask for something else. If it's pain related and you are at your max dosage before bed, you could always try meditation. It's really pretty simple. You can imagine yourself a pebble being dropped into the ocean. Slowly sinking to the bottom of the water. As you imagine yourself going down, you clear your thoughts (and feelings of pain) and focus on the silent descent into a calm state surrounded by quiet and the gentle movement of the water (your breath). As you reach the bottom and settle into the sand you are in a warm and welcoming environment at peace with your body and soul. You should be halfway to sleep at this point or relaxed enough to get there. I can just take a muscle relaxer and I'm zonked out, so I'm not having problems getting to sleep right now, but I have in the past and I used meditation or the supplements below...

    You can try drinking some herbal tea that helps you sleep like chamomile, or you can ask the pharmacist if you can take melatonin or valerian root along with your pain medicines. I know some herbal supplements aren't allowed after surgery for awhile because they can thin the blood, so check on it before taking those. Plus I know some things herbals don't go well with drugs. Kind of like not being able to eat grapefruit with some medications because it alters the way the body breaks it down.

    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • I had the same problem two weeks ago when home from hospital after L3/4 fusion and laminectomy. Mine was due to discomfort from swelling pulling my incision. I have an app on my phone from Darren Marks that I listen to with headphones, and then I listen to rainstorm sounds. Keeps me from being awakened by other noises. I also used pillows to support my back and legs, but the biggest thing that helped was to sleep on top of the covers with a warm blanket and a heating pad where needed for muscles spasms. That way I was not fighting the sheets. I hope any of this is useful.
    Age 44
    Elementary Teacher
    ESI 2/28/14, PT, chiro, etc.
    L3/4 PLIF and extensive laminectomy 6/4/14
  • I am sleeping better. I think mine is mostly nerve pain in my legs although last night it was my back. Just hopping from bed to couch to chair and trying to stay as comfy as possible. Been able to do my walking and I honestly think that is helping a lot. Asked my pain mgmt. about the nerve pain in my legs and they haven't been willing to do much yet. Going back on July 8 and plan to put my foot down.

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