A kidney stent is put in place when there’s been a blockage to the kidney, and it helps ensure urine continues to flow from kidney to bladder. While it may be necessary, it’s often uncomfortable and can make day-to-day activities such as sleeping more difficult. However thankfully there are a few things that can be changed to make sure you get a good night’s sleep with a kidney stent. All it takes is a little planning ahead and gathering the right supplies.
We will show you how to sleep with a kidney stent right here. We will explain the right sleeping position, how you can prepare to get the best sleep possible, and more.
But First: The Importance of Sleep and a Healthy Diet
The Importance of Sleep
When your body is healing and adapting to changes, most of that is actually done during sleep. Sleeping is when your body gets the most rest and it’s when the cells repair themselves and replace any dead cells.
People who are able to get quality sleep are able to heal faster and will find themselves not only more rested but also with a more positive outlook on the journey ahead. Which is extremely important.
After any surgery or injury, it is necessary to make sure there’s enough focus on obtaining quality sleep so your body heals as fast as possible and has the energy needed for the healing process. A good sleep, coupled with a healthy diet, will provide your body’s cells with the vitamins needed to remain healthy.
Importance of a Healthy Diet
While your body repairs itself from any form of surgery it needs the correct nutrients and vitamins to do so. When a kidney stent is inserted, your body is not only attempting to heal the scars and incisions but is also adapting to the stent itself. As the stent is not permanent and is removed upon resolve of the blockage, your body will need to adapt to its placement as well as its removal.
Why does this matter, and what does it have to do with diet? Well, choosing healthy foods that provide your body with the vitamins it needs will not only encourage healing after the installation of the stent, but will also help break up the blockage and remove it. It is also necessary to maintain enough fluid to keep your body healthy and to encourage your body to flush out toxins through urination.
Therefore, ensuring that your body is well hydrated is key to a healthy urinary tract and key to treating and preventing blockages, kidney stones, and concerns with other organs within your body. While it is recommended to have enough water and fluids to help flush your kidneys, it is important to not drink too much close to bedtime. That’s because drinking too much can result in waking during the night to use the bathroom and interrupting the sleep cycle.
How to Sleep with a Kidney Stent: Best Sleeping Positions
There is no particular position that you should sleep in which will ensure the least discomfort or the best sleep. However it may be most comfortable to sleep in your regular sleeping position with some minor adjustments for comfort.
You can increase comfort by wearing loose pyjamas that don’t restrict movement, but just make sure they’re not so loose that they become tangled overnight. A light blanket rather than a heavy comforter may allow for easier movement in the night too, because a little added weight on your body can increase discomfort during sleep.
Some patients have reported that it’s more comfortable to sleep on the opposite side of the body to where the stent is placed. The reason for that is it reduces the pressure on the area and removes weight that is pressing on it, therefore avoiding any discomfort. Keeping pressure off the area where the stent is may encourage a better quality sleep which is less interrupted.
Others may find the most comfortable sleeping position to be on their back with their legs supported. That position offers a way to keep pressure off the lower back throughout the night, and will encourage regular circulation that can help keep fluid from building up. Good circulation also produces healthy cells, allows unhealthy and damaged cells to be healed, and damaged or dead cells to be replaced.
Propping up your upper torso with pillows or cushions may also improve comfort by reducing tension throughout the torso and abdomen, which will lower and relieve pain and discomfort in the area. It will also offer support for your lower back and ensure it is in a comfortable position.
Placing pillows around your body may help to keep it still during sleeping too. That will reduce the chances of movement throughout the night which could cause uncomfortable positions and pain.
How to Sleep with a Kidney Stent: What Else You Should Keep in Mind
Keep a Regular Sleep Routine
Prepare for sleep with your regular sleep routine. Studies have shown that having a regular routine before bed, a regular bedtime, and getting up and out of bed at the same time each morning improves sleep. That remains true with a stent, and even more so after any procedure that has left your body under more stress and discomfort than usual.
Maintain Medications as Prescribed
Along with the stent, you will be given medication to treat the cause leading up to the requirement of the stent, and these should be maintained according to any instructions provided. These may include alpha-blockers to prevent or reduce spasms in the area, reduce the discomfort, and ensure urine can pass.
These may cause some side effects and that should be monitored, such as dizziness, but the benefits can outweigh the side effects. Anticholinergic medications may be recommended instead to reduce the number of times that urination occurs throughout the day, and this can then promote an uninterrupted sleep for the night.
Pain medication may be recommended and can be obtained over the counter. Tylenol or Advil can make it more comfortable to rest and move around during the day. These can be taken as directed.
Things to Watch Out For
It is necessary to reach out to your doctor as soon as possible if your pain doesn’t decrease after a few days, and/or the pain is not decreasing after taking pain medication. It is also important to see your care provider if you’re unable to urinate, or if there’s blood in your urine, a fever, or you feel sick. Seek treatment immediately if there are signs of a blood clot, including pain and swelling in your leg, accompanied by redness and/or swelling.
Contact emergency services if you pass out at any time, or there’s chest pain with shortness of breath. Also seek emergency medical attention if you begin to cough up blood. These are all warning signs of medical emergencies and should be treated as such.
How to Sleep with a Kidney Stent: Our Final Thoughts
Once a kidney stent is in place there will be discomfort while adjusting, but any pain should reduce after the procedure and shouldn’t linger. Over the counter pain medications can be taken as needed, and it is necessary to ensure you maintain a balanced, healthy diet, do gentle exercises to encourage circulation, and get quality sleep.
As sleep is key to healing, it is important to maintain a regular sleep routine, find pyjamas or loose clothing that are comfortable to sleep in and sleep in a comfortable environment. If problems occur it is important to seek medical attention quickly, as lasting damage or severe outcomes can occur.
The stent will remain in for different lengths of time depending on why it was put in place and how the body is reacting to the process. Some may include a string that allows for easy removal if the stent is not intended to remain in place for an extended time.
Sleeping with a kidney stent may be uncomfortable or difficult until you find a sleeping position that is comfortable. The more sleep and the better quality sleep that can be obtained, the better able your body will be to heal itself and remove the blockage that has caused the issue.