Getting a new prosthetic limb is often a wonderful experience. A prosthesis can enable a person to achieve new levels of mobility and participate in activities that they formerly could not. At the same time, understanding how to adjust to a new prosthesis can involve a learning curve.
One of the most common questions people ask about their new prosthetic limb pertains to what they should do when they sleep. Should a prosthetic limb be removed before bed? For those with lower-body prosthetics, what if you need to get up in the middle of the night? What are the risks of sleeping with your prosthetic still on? To help you get a good night’s sleep, here is a look at what you should do with your prosthetic limb at night.
It’s Best to Leave Your Prosthetic Limb Off While Sleeping
Sleeping with a prosthetic limb is not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, getting a good night’s rest means making yourself as comfortable as possible. If you leave your prosthetic limb on when you go to sleep, you may find it challenging to find a comfortable position in which to rest your limb.
A prosthesis is to help you achieve greater mobility. When you are trying to sleep, though, a prosthetic limb does not offer any benefit. It only gets in the way of sleeping comfortably.
Secondly, you should not sleep with a prosthetic limb because it can cause injury. Everyone has slept in an awkward position and woke up with a kink or sore spot. This risk is compounded for people with prosthetic limbs because sleeping with a prosthesis increases the likelihood that you will sleep in an uncomfortable position.
Not only will this prevent you from having a restful sleep, but sleeping with a prosthesis can also lead to problems with the prosthetic limb itself. If you injure the limb that you wear your prosthesis on, you might not be comfortable wearing it the next day. All in all, it is best to leave the prosthetic limb off when you go to sleep.
Other Tips to Help You Adjust to Your Prosthetic Limb
In addition to taking off your prosthetic limb before bed, you should also consider showering at night rather than in the morning. Taking a hot shower in the morning could cause an amputated limb to swell and might make it hard to put your prosthetic limb back on. Taking a shower at night will make it easier to put your prosthetic limb on in the morning.
It is also a good idea for people with lower-limb prosthetics to keep a crutch or a walking aid by their bedside. This will allow you to make trips to the bathroom or other areas of the house in the middle of the night without having to put your prosthetic limb on.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time can help you adjust to your new prosthetic as well. Having an established sleep routine will help you to fall asleep faster and wake up easier. A sleep schedule is a good idea for everybody, but it is essential for people who have other factors that could detract from a good night’s rest.
Finding the Sleeping Equipment that is Right for You
Following these tips can help you sleep better at night and enjoy all the benefits of your new prosthesis. Another important part of adjusting to a new prosthesis is finding the bed that is best suited to your needs. For over 25 years, Transfer Master has specialized in making adjustable beds designed to help you get the rest you need.