How to Sleep After Limb Loss – Our Guide

Regardless of what age somebody is or what their day by day conditions are, everybody experiences difficulty in sleeping every now and then. It’s a vicious cycle—even the food you ate before going to bed can result in a sleepless night.

Sleeping soundly is especially challenging for individuals who’ve gone through limb loss. Over 1.6 million Americans have gone through this misfortune, and even if not all of them are wearing a prosthetic limb, all of them can experience sleeping issues.

In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on how you can get a comfortable and sound sleep every night. These will also help ensure that your prosthetic limb fits you well for many years to come.


Shower in the Evening

If you’ve been used to taking your shower in the mornings, you should think about switching up your daily schedule after getting and wearing your prosthetic limb. The heat from your morning shower can cause your limb to swell. As a result, your prosthetic limb might not fit you well. This can cause a significant level of discomfort throughout the entire day. So, we recommend showering in the evening so the swelling won’t bother you.


Wear Your Prosthetic Limb Before Sitting Up From Sleep

Following the same logic, when you wake up, it’s not wise to sit up and throw your legs to the side of the bed without wearing your prosthetic leg first. This is because while sleeping, your entire body relaxes: your organs, bones, and body fluids also slept. When you wake up and sit up, the body fluid will flow down to your legs when you throw them to the side right after getting up from sleep.

Put on your prosthetic leg while still lying down, so that when you sit or stand up, your leg would have already adjusted to the prosthetic limb’s opening.


Skip the Pillow Between the Legs

Sleeping with a pillow between the legs is very comfortable and some people love doing it. However, doing so is not advisable for individuals who’ve had an above-the-knee amputation. Putting a pillow between your thighs while sleeping can lengthen your inner thigh muscle while shortening your outer thigh muscle. Over time, these changes may affect how your limb lays during the day or while you’re standing with your prosthetic limb(s) on. This may result in pain.

Another related complication is the development of hip flexion contracture. In this condition, the hip is unable to completely straighten up, causing a patient discomfort every day.


Follow Stretching Recommendations

You can expect your physical therapist to teach you stretching exercises that you should do every day. You should particularly prioritize stretches that allow you to extend and strengthen your legs and hips. Do the stretches in the morning so that you’ll be ready for the entire day.

Following those stretching recommendations will help you to feel comfortable while sitting, standing, walking, lying down, and sleeping.

Figuring out how to live comfortably with a prosthetic limb may take a while, and an individual’s experience will always be different from that of another amputee. These tips are just some of those that you can follow and practice to ensure that you go through this journey as comfortably and safely as possible.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!