How To Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery? 

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How To Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery? 

Of course, after a major operation like gallbladder surgery, you need enough rest to let your wounds recover soon. But alas, a gallbladder surgery, like any other, makes it difficult to sleep.

You have pain near the incision site.

You don’t get sleep and feel anxious all the time.

You feel discomfort while sleeping, even in your bed. Altogether a deep mess in your sleep cycle!

That is when how to sleep after gallbladder surgery becomes a significant concern for you. It ought to be! Would you like to take a read and adopt a few essential lifestyle hacks during your post-surgical recovery period to get a good sleep? This blog can assist!

What is Gallbladder Surgery, and When & Why Do Doctors Perform This Surgery?

Doctors make cuts or incisions near your abdominal area to remove a part of the whole of your gallbladder, a pear-shaped, small organ resting right below your liver. That is what we call gallbladder surgery. Your doctor may go for a traditional open method or a minimally invasive laparoscopic one.

Doctors perform such surgical procedures to eliminate any abnormal growth, like –

  • Gallbladder Stones, which lead to blockage in your pancreatic duct, leading to pancreatitis (or pancreas inflammation),
  • Gallbladder polyps, which are large and cannot be removed entirely without surgery or throws symptoms of organ inflammation,
  • Tumors in your gallbladder, benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous),
  • Abnormal tissue growth in your gallbladder, and
  • Other infected lesions.

Doctors also perform gallbladder surgery to treat – Cholecystitis, i.e., inflammation or swelling of the gallbladder due to various reasons, like cystic duct, infections, tumors, etc.

Sleeping Difficulties After Gallbladder Surgery

As you already know, you are likely to witness sleeping difficulties after gallbladder surgery. I  will tell you why!

[Please Note: The sleeping difficulties vary depending on which type of gallbladder surgery you had, the cause of the surgery, what type of anesthesia was used, and how was your sleep cycle previously.]

You may have difficulty sleeping at night due to abdominal cramps and bloating. This is common after gallbladder surgery and occurs due to bile regulation. While your gallbladder functions to store liver-produced bile, removal of the gallbladder burdens the small intestine with excess bile, causing such a condition.

Likewise, post-anesthesia insomnia may also appear in the picture after gallbladder surgery. This condition occurs because the anesthesia dosage administered during the operation tampers with your body clock. This may be an interference with the brain’s hormones and neurotransmitters.  So, you feel insomniac.

Do you believe every one of us has the typical sleeping position that gives us more comfort? After gallbladder surgery, you ought to realize its essence. With the incision, you cannot sleep on your stomach and positions where the cuts face pressure and may open up. This makes you more anxious while sleeping, and you end up spending sleepless nights.

How To Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery: Strategic Tips!

If you want to sleep well after gallbladder surgery and recover soon, the below-given tips can be of great help. Try and see!

1. Sleep On Your Left Or Back Side

Doctors make the incision typically on the right side of your abdomen during gallbladder surgery. While you avoid sleeping in this position to reduce pressure and discomfort, try sleeping on your back or left side.

This shall leave your wounds to heal naturally and simultaneously get you a proper sleep.

2. Take Oral Medications

Did your doctor order any pain relief medication after your gallbladder surgery? You need to take that before you go to bed. This can manage and reduce your pain due to body wear and tear and let you sleep properly.

Sometimes, doctors may recommend pain relievers after the surgery. In that case, you may take over-the-counter painkillers, those non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ones.

Disclaimer! OTC pain relievers may lead to other health issues. So, not advisable too often!

3. Keep Your Room Clean And Calm

A good sleeping environment that’s clean, calm, well-organized, and well-maintained may help reduce your stress and anxiety, enabling you to sleep peacefully. This is not just for gallbladder surgery but any serious operation, I must say!

You have to keep everything in your room in place before you go to bed so that you do not have to get up and put pressure on your incision site if you need something at night.

Do not forget your phone charger and a jug of water!

 4. Continue Regular Exercise 

Did your doctor give any guidance about how to start exercising after your gallbladder surgery?

You need to follow it. If not given, how about you take the initiative to ask back?

Your doctor is likely to recommend simple exercises, like walking, climbing the stairs, etc. 15 to 30 minutes of exercise daily can enhance the blood circulation in your body, and digestive organs can function properly, as can all the others.

 5. Say No To Heavy Meal Before Sleep

Sometimes, we love our Curries and Daals so much that we end up overeating the dinner. Is it just me or anyone else?

If you do and have had gallbladder surgery recently, this habit of yours can fall heavy on your health and sleep; both! Small, light meals at night work great as they are easy to digest and shall not expand your stomach. You can even eat frequently throughout the day but try to avoid saturated fats.

6. Use Diffuse Essential Oils 

Do you use scented oil diffusers in your room while sleeping? If not, you can try it out to get instead of panicking about your wounds after the gallbladder surgery. This rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender oil can make you feel relaxed and have a sound sleep.

Aromatherapy is what we say it! It believes in reducing the perception of pain you have after the surgery, the one causing stress and insomnia.


Above all, please make sure that you stay in touch with your doctors and keep them updated about your health condition after the gallbladder surgery. If you have any other symptoms like –

  • Chronic abdominal pain,
  • Nausea, or
  • Constipation,

With your post-surgical insomnia, only your doctors can detect the cause and ensure treatment.

You can also include using supportive mattresses, eye masks, and ear plugs for a comfortable sleep.

Did this blog on how to sleep after gallbladder surgery serve the purpose? Write to us in the comments below. For more information on what to expect after gallbladder surgery, keep an eye on

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About author
Hi, I’m Alka Tiwari, healthcare marketer at HealthFinder. I started this blog to help you provide better healthcare information directly from the doctors.
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[…] you are determined to reduce your post-surgical bigger stomach, or to be precise, after gallbladder surgery, adopting the below-given strategies and following them consistently may […]

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