How to Sleep After ACL Surgery: Tips and Tricks for a Restful Night

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ACL surgery is a major procedure that requires a lot of rest and recovery time. One of the biggest challenges after surgery is getting a good night’s sleep. Pain, discomfort, and limited mobility can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for sleeping after ACL surgery that will help you get the rest you need to heal.

1. Elevate Your Leg

Elevate Your LegSource: bing.comElevating your leg is an important part of the recovery process after ACL surgery. It helps reduce swelling and improve circulation, which can help you sleep more comfortably. When you go to bed, prop your leg up on a pillow or two so that it’s elevated above your heart. This will help reduce swelling and improve blood flow to the area. Make sure the pillow is positioned under your calf and not your knee, as elevating your knee can put too much pressure on the joint.

2. Use Pillows for Support

Use Pillows For SupportSource: bing.comUsing pillows for support can help you find a comfortable sleeping position after ACL surgery. Place a pillow under your knee to keep it slightly bent, which can help reduce pressure on the joint. You can also place a pillow between your legs to help keep your hips aligned and reduce strain on your lower back. If you’re sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your neck to support your head and neck.

3. Take Pain Medication Before Bed

Take Pain Medication Before BedSource: bing.comIf you’re experiencing pain or discomfort after ACL surgery, taking pain medication before bed can help you sleep more comfortably. Talk to your doctor about the best pain medication for your needs and follow their instructions for dosage and timing. Keep in mind that some pain medications can cause drowsiness, so it’s important to take them at the right time to avoid feeling groggy in the morning.

4. Use Ice Therapy

Use Ice TherapySource: bing.comIce therapy can help reduce swelling and pain after ACL surgery, which can help you sleep more comfortably. Before bed, apply an ice pack to your knee for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth to protect your skin from frostbite. You can also use a cold therapy machine, which circulates cold water around your knee to reduce swelling and pain.

5. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practice Relaxation TechniquesSource: bing.comStress and anxiety can make it difficult to sleep after ACL surgery. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle yoga stretches to help you relax. You can also listen to calming music or use a white noise machine to block out distracting sounds.

6. Invest in a Comfortable Mattress and Pillows

Invest In A Comfortable Mattress And PillowsSource: bing.comA comfortable mattress and pillows can make a big difference in your ability to sleep after ACL surgery. Look for a mattress that provides good support for your back and joints, and choose pillows that are soft and supportive. Memory foam pillows can be a good choice, as they conform to your body and provide customized support.

7. Follow a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Follow A Consistent Sleep ScheduleSource: bing.comFollowing a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and improve your ability to sleep after ACL surgery. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Avoid napping during the day, as this can disrupt your sleep at night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, get out of bed and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.


Getting a good night’s sleep after ACL surgery is essential for your recovery. By following these tips and tricks, you can find a comfortable sleeping position and get the rest you need to heal. Remember to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort that is interfering with your sleep. With time and patience, you’ll be back to your normal sleeping routine in no time.

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