Popular keywords

Sleep calculator

Discover how much sleep you really need

How to Sleep After Kidney Surgery

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: June 29, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer

Medical reviewed by

Sugandh Goel
Dentist & Medical Writer
How To Sleep After Kidney Surgery

So you have undergone kidney surgery and have another hurdle to jump over. It’s a matter of finding comfort in bed, and though doctors and surgeons explain what to expect after surgery, they may not cover a few comfort-related topics, such as how to sleep after kidney surgery.

No worries, this article comprises handy tips on how to sleep after kidney surgery and tips to get a good night’s rest.

Best Sleeping Positions After Kidney Surgery

The best sleeping position after kidney surgery mostly depends on the type of surgery the patient had.

Sleeping On Your Back

The best sleeping position after going through any surgery is resting straight on the back since this position is most beneficial after surgery of legs, hips, spine, and arms. More so if a pillow or rolled-up blanket is tucked underneath the waist or knees for support. 

Sleeping on the back after laparoscopic surgery helps the patients keep themselves neutrally aligned. Specific details regarding the legs, arms, and toes position vary, so be sure to ask the professionals if you have any concerns. 

Sleeping On Your Side

Initially, after the surgery, it is essential to take things easy. For instance, when it comes to side sleeping, only some doctors will be okay with it, especially for those who undergo certain spinal or hip surgeries. Regardless, go for this position only if the doctor approves of it.

The patient can use one or two plush pillows or a specially designed foam block to tuck in between their knees or ankles. For further instructions, talk with your doctor about ways to keep your body safe while sleeping in this position.

These sleeping positions were for people after the surgery, so how to sleep after kidney removal?

How to Sleep After Kidney Removal (Nephrectomy)

Nephrectomy is surgery to remove a kidney, and in partial nephrectomy, part of one kidney or a tumour is removed, but not an entire kidney. Nevertheless, removing a kidney is a major surgery, even with the latest technologies, meaning recovery time can be longer than expected.

Moreover, how you position yourself to sleep can play a large part in your recovery. As discussed, one of the best sleeping positions after kidney surgery is on the back, however medical professionals advise sleeping in a reclining chair, which is especially beneficial for the first couple of days. 

Reclining chairs are tilted just far enough for the patient to be comfortable and are spring-loaded to put them back in an upright position. This position is helpful as the patient tries not to use the stomach muscles too much.

How to Sleep With Kidney Dialysis

Dialysis is the process of removal of waste and extra water from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. And sleeping or lying down during kidney dialysis is no easy feat, especially at the start when the body is still getting used to a foreign object inside it. So, how do you sleep with kidney dialysis? 

You can get as comfortable as possible by adjusting your body, such as sleeping on the same side as your catheter’s exit. Another thing is you add pillows to your side as support, in case you want to switch positions later in the night.

If you notice any pain where the catheter is, look into how much you eat and drink before bed. However, it is best not to have anything around three hours before sleep.

Sleeping Positions After Kidney Stone Removal

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a procedure used to remove kidney stones from the body when they can’t pass on their own. Recovery from this operation can be lengthy and painful, and you may need to visit the toilet more than usual.

Moreover, no medical reports say one sleeping position is better than the other. However, there are things you can do to ensure your comfort at night. 

If you had fitted a stent, doctors recommend sleeping on the opposite side to where the stent has been placed. Ensure to stay hydrated and that the string is easily located, as these can cause discomfort if positioned incorrectly.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep After Kidney Surgery

Even after knowing the best sleeping position for kidney patients, a few things can be done to help you improve sleep quality. 

  • Listen to your doctor or surgeon and heed the prescribed medication.
  • Sleep is critical for healing after surgery. Plan a sleep schedule that works best for you and be consistent with it. 
  • Avoid blue light, such as phones and televisions, and schedule meditation, reading or a warm shower in the evening.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, or aerobic exercise, until the doctor approves. 
  • Keep the lights low, and ensure that the surrounding is quiet and comfortable.
  • Ensure that the room’s temperature is comfortable and that your outfit to bed isn’t restricting.
  • Have someone by your side for support, whether for taking the medicines on time, resting, or carrying out the daily exercise.
  • Stay hydrated. 

How to Get Out of Bed After Kidney Surgery

After a restful night, if you worry about injuring yourself getting out of bed, here is a quick guide to assist you.

  • Keep a pillow on your stomach.
  • Gently pull your legs towards the abdomen, one after the other.
  • Lift your pelvis (the lower end of the trunk) very slightly, and slowly roll towards the edge of the bed (opposite side to your surgery part). 
  • Now hug the pillow on your stomach as you gently place one leg over the bed’s edge, same with the second leg until you feel ready to stand.

Final Words

Having surgery is no easy feat; however, the best sleeping position mostly depends on the type of surgery the patient had. Even so, resting straight on the back is the best option and most beneficial after surgery.

Furthermore, try and incorporate the aforementioned tips to improve sleep quality. Ensure to talk with your doctor if you feel any pain. 


How long should you rest after kidney surgery?

Within a week or two after being back home, you might be able to resume light activity. You must refrain from doing intense activities or heavy lifting for at least six weeks. You will require blood tests to check the health of your remaining kidney after six weeks.

How do I get out of bed after a nephrectomy?

Roll onto your side, and bend your knees until your legs dangle over the bed’s side. Then, using your arms, bring your upper body up until you sit on the edge of the bed. Finally, push off with your arms to stand up.

How long does the pain last after kidney surgery?

Recovery from kidney removal typically takes three to six weeks. You may have some of the following signs and symptoms: abdominal pain or pain on the side where your kidney was removed. Over the course of several days to a week, the pain should subside.

Can you climb stairs after kidney surgery?

Avoid vigorous exercise, weightlifting, or other activities that cause you to breathe quickly or laboriously. It’s acceptable to take quick strolls and use the stairs.

What foods to avoid after having a kidney removed?

High-protein foods should be avoided, while alcohol and caffeine should be consumed in moderation. Eating a diet high in protein can put additional strain on the kidneys because they are responsible for removing the waste products that proteins break down into. To guarantee proper nutrition, consuming a reasonable amount of protein is still required.


people like this article


Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

Medical reviewed by

Sugandh Goel
Dentist & Medical Writer
Meet Dr. Sugandh Goel, an experienced dentist with a passion for innovative healthcare solutions. Additionally, she is a skilled medical writer, dedicated to creating a ripple effect of health awareness and spreading positivity and wellness around.

Read More About Physical Health and Sleep
How To Sleep With Sciatica
Update: May 29, 2023

  • 5 min read

Shortness Of Breath When Lying Down
Update: May 26, 2023

  • 5 min read

Sleep And Menopause
Update: July 6, 2023

  • 5 min read

How To Sleep With A Kidney Stent
Update: June 29, 2023

  • 4 min read

Bruxism: Teeth Grinding
Update: May 25, 2023

  • 3 min read

How To Sleep After C Section
Update: May 23, 2023

  • 6 min read