Sleeping with a Broken Bone
Broken bone? Ouch! One of the biggest challenges people face when they have a broken bone is figuring out what to expect when a broken bone is healing, and how to sleep comfortably when they have fracture pain at night. Some are afraid of whacking themselves (or their partners) in the head with their cast, waking up every few hours in excruciating pain or they're simply worried about crushing their healing broken bones by tossing and turning all night.
But a broken bone shouldn't prevent you from a good night's rest. The experts at Mattress Firm have some quick tips for how you can catch your Zzz's while resting a broken bone injury:
Make rest a priority.
Quality rest should always be a priority, but even more so when your body is trying to heal from broken bones. Sleep is crucial for proper healing as your body releases growth hormones and recovers while you sleep. Make a conscious effort to go to bed early and ensure you're getting the proper amount of sleep each night.
A simple way to tell if you're getting the proper amount of sleep at night is to notice if you're waking up before your alarm goes off in the morning. If you are, you're sleeping just right! It may take some sleep schedule adjustments and getting used to, but you won't regret it when you heal perfectly.
Elevate your injury.
Regardless of the type of bone you've broken, all broken bones have one thing in common: they require elevation. By keeping your broken bone raised above your heart, you prevent blood from pooling and causing swelling around the break, so it's a good practice to sleep with it elevated.
It depends on the type and location of your injury, but it will likely be most comfortable to sleep on your back with your injury propped up with slings and pillows. The best way to sleep with broken ribs in particular is lying on your back, to avoid adding pressure on the injury site.
Especially when you struggle with broken bone pain worse at night, elevating your injury can make a large improvement. The challenge here is making sure your broken bone stays elevated the whole night while you sleep, but one easy solution is to use an adjustable base to make your healing (and sleeping) process easier.
Aside from the challenge of keeping your injury actually elevated while sleeping, many people are slightly nervous to sleep when they have a broken bone because they're afraid they will unintentionally roll on top of it and cause even more damage or pain. Although it's hard to control your movement while you sleep, you can do some things to keep your body still at night. Grab some pillows (Mattress Firm has a great selection) and blankets to act as a guardrail for your mattress so you can't roll around through the night. We like to think of this as a comfortable little cocoon for healing.
Consider other potential disturbances.
When finding your ideal sleeping position, you will also need to consider the other elements that might disturb your injury. If you have a large dog that shares the bed with you, for example, be extra careful to stabilize your injury as much as possible. Ultimately, missing some nights with your pet next to you will be worth it once your injury is healed properly.
Broken bones are an inconvenience. You have to lug around a heavy cast, deal with pain as you heal, face activity limitations... the list goes on and on. Resting your body should be the easy part. Not only may you heal faster and stronger if you make rest a priority when you have an injury, but you can also create some good sleep habits to carry with you once you're healthy again!