sleeping on your back is surprisingly difficult!

I’m 3 weeks post-op (first stage of a 2-stage bilateral mastectomy), and it ‘amuses’ me (not) that one of my bigger problems right now is sleep. I have never slept on my back, I find it really uncomfortable - and now I have no choice! I’m waking up after about five hours sleep in agony - neck, lower back, hips… I mean, how does lying on your back make your hips hurt so badly?!

Tried various configurations of pillows, but so far haven’t cracked it. Does anyone have any tips for making it easier? 

Hello Bookish,  I can sympathise with your sleep issues.   I had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction of my left breast ten years ago.  The long incision on my back where they had removed tissue/muscle, etc., for the breast reconstruction was very uncomfortable but not too painful.  The only way I could find to get any sleep was to prop myself up in bed against the headboard with a substantial pillow behind me to rest on.  Even when the incision on my back healed and I was left with a scar I still propped myself up in the same way.

Maybe not lie-ing flat on your back but propped up, as I have described above, may give you some relief.  Worth a try.  Warm wishes xx

It is really awkward… I have always been a tummy sleeper and sleeping on your back is so difficult. 
I too tried pillows (V shaped etc) ended up fighting with all of them! 
I woke up every 2 hours … and then needed to pee!
My GP suggested a stronger painkiller at night ,which has helped . 3 weeks along and I have just managed to sleep slightly on one side … glorious. 
I have been using my CALM app an AWFUL lot to try and relax into a decent position.

I am also DESPERATE for a soak in the bath!!!

hope you get a good night soon. X

I had same issues! I make a ‘v’ shape with two pillows, put another pillow lengthways between them to support my lower back and then my sleep pillow across the top. Wriggle about till it supports my neck and so far it’s the best I’ve come up with to avoid back/neck/shoulder and hip pain. If it’s still sore on the odd occasion I pop a pillow under my knees to take pressure off my back! I do get much better sleeps this way, it’s a mission every night but definitely helps make back sleeping possible for me. Hope that helps :slightly_smiling_face:

I just may have cracked this… :crossed_fingers: my op is this week and I’ve been practicing sleeping on my back as I just can’t do it. After a hip replacement, I didn’t sleep for more than 2 hours a night with some very short catnapping during the day for the first 4 to 5 weeks. 

On the recommendation of my BCN, I bought a V-pillow. While very snuggly, I’m still not able to sleep on my back. Yesterday, I found the body pillow I got for my hip op and put this at the end of the right hand side (will be the side of my op) of the V-pillow. When I got into bed I made sure the body pillow was very close to me.

Bingo! According to my Fitbit, best night’s sleep (and quality sleep) for quite a while. I know I snored like a pig though!  Perhaps the length of the pillow supporting me down my right side made me think I was on my side? Dunno but it worked.