How To Sleep With A Kidney Stent (Tips & Precautions)

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

A stent, in its general definition, is a tiny mesh device that is used to keep the ureter open when there’s a blockage or narrowing. A stent can be made of either plastic or metal and is used in situations like kidney stones, cancer, congenital abnormalities and injury.

If you are one of those having a stent put in your kidney, this article could be of help. I will briefly discuss how to sleep with a kidney stent, as well as a few kidney stent pain side effects that you could undergo post-surgery. 

What’s a Kidney Stent?

A kidney stent is a tube that is placed into your ureter to expand it and relieve pressure. It can be helpful in cases of kidney stones, infections, or other conditions that cause a buildup of fluid in the kidneys. It can also be used to treat complications from kidney cancer surgery.

In most cases, a kidney stent is placed through an incision in your back and up into the ureter. You’ll need to stay in the hospital for about two days after surgery while the stent is placed and then for another few days while you recover from the procedure.

Why It’s Hard to Sleep With a Kidney Stent?

1. You feel the frequent urge to urinate.

2. You may experience pelvic pain as your body recovers.

3. you may also notice blood in your urine at times while the stent is in place, which could lead to worrying thus depriving you of sleep.

4. You are consciously trying to keep the stent in place, so you might feel stiff and uncomfortable in assuming any sleeping position.

5. You might have problems staying asleep if your body is trying to absorb or digest the device in its sleep cycle.

Best Sleeping Positions for People With Kidney Stent

Having a stent put in the ureter can make sleeping uncomfortable because the tube is thin and can easily become dislodged. It also may cause pain if it presses against surrounding organs or if you roll onto it while sleeping.

laying on the bed uncomfortably

If you’re having trouble sleeping with your stent in place, here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest:

  1. If possible, sleep on your side instead of your back, which will put less pressure on the stent and make it more secure.
  1. If you’re still having trouble sleeping on your side, try elevating one foot on a pillow so that your lower body is elevated while lying flat on your back or side. This will help keep gravity from pulling the stent out of position during sleep—and ensure that it stays put.
  1. If you’re still having trouble sleeping comfortably after trying these methods for several weeks or months (or ever), be sure to talk with your doctor about alternative options such as taking medications that can help reduce pain associated with having a kidney stone or using other devices such as splints or guards.

10 Tips to Sleep Better Even With Kidney Stent

Are you put to sleep for a kidney stent? Sleep management does not just occur pre-operation, but is something that you would need to take care of while you are on the road to recovery. Here are 10 tips to help you sleep better even with a kidney stent.

1. Schedule Your Fluid Intake

If you have a kidney stent and are experiencing trouble sleeping, it may be because of frequent urination. Urinating frequently can make you feel like you’re constantly getting up at night to go to the bathroom, which makes it difficult to get enough rest.

But there are a few things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen. The best way to prevent frequent urination is by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and less as you near your bedtime. You should drink at least six 8-ounce glasses per day, but don’t overdo it.

2. Limit Physical Activity Before Bed

Refrain from doing exercises and limit your physical activity before going to bed. When you go to bed, your body enters a state of rest and recovery, which means that it needs time to restore energy and replenish its resources.

Physical activity before going to bed can interfere with this process, making it harder for your body to fall asleep quickly and get the rest it needs. The more intense the exercise, the more likely it is that you will experience trouble falling asleep after doing it.

This is because intense exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream, which are natural painkillers that also make people feel good. The problem with this is that endorphins work by binding themselves to receptors in the brain called opiate receptors (the same ones that morphine binds to).

These opiate receptors are responsible for helping you fall asleep in the first place, so if they’re occupied by endorphins instead of by their normal neurotransmitters (like GABA), they won’t be able to do their job properly anymore.

3. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you have a kidney stent in place, you may be experiencing pain. Pain relievers work by decreasing inflammation in your body. But if you have a stent in place, this can cause an increased risk of bleeding and other side effects.

picking medicines on the table

While it’s tempting to reach for over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help make the pain go away, it’s important to talk with your doctor before using these medications.

4. Ask Your Doctor About Alpha Blockers

Alpha-blockers work by relaxing your blood vessels, which in turn helps with circulation. When you have a kidney stent, it can be difficult to get the blood flow that you need.

So by relaxing the blood vessels, alpha-blockers help improve circulation to the kidneys and surrounding areas. This can help you sleep better.

5. Ask Your Doctor About Anticholinergic Medications

Anticholinergic drugs can help you sleep better if you have a kidney stent. These drugs work by blocking acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that can disturb sleep. The most common anticholinergics are benztropine, trihexyphenidyl, and diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

There are many ways to treat insomnia associated with a kidney stent. You can try over-the-counter sleep aids, but these medications may cause drowsiness during the day.

6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You could also try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches people how to change the way they think about their sleep problems. CBT can be especially helpful for people who have anxiety about not getting enough sleep due to their condition.

7. Make Your Bedroom Conducive for Sleeping

The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to make your bedroom conducive for sleeping. This means that you need to make sure you’re in a dark place, with no noise or distractions.

woman stretching on her cozy bed

8. Invest in Your Mattress and Pillows

You also need to make sure that your bed is comfortable, and that you have all the pillows, blankets, and sheets you need to get into a comfortable position. If possible, set up your room so that it’s cool but not too cold—this will help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.

9. Use Essential Oils

Try and use essential oils to help relax your senses and encourage sleep. The most popular essential oil for sleep is lavender. Lavender has been used for centuries as an aid to relaxation and restful sleep.

It works by calming your mind and body down during stressful situations, which helps you fall asleep easier at night when you need it most. Other essential oils that may help with getting some sleep include ylang ylang, jasmine, Roman chamomile and vetiver root.

10. Take Mood Booster Supplements

Take supplements to boost your mood and also improve your quality of sleep. Consider taking a supplement such as Serenity which contains melatonin as well as valerian root before bedtime if you’re having trouble sleeping through the night without waking up multiple times throughout the night.

Melatonin and valerian root, when combined, work well together to reduce anxiety so that it doesn’t keep your mind racing at night—giving your body time to relax enough so that you can fall asleep easily.

When to See Your Doctor

When you have a kidney stent, there are several signs that must be taken seriously. A kidney stent is a small tube that is inserted into your ureter to allow urine to pass through it. The signs of needing to see your doctor include:

  • Pain in the lower back or groin area
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Feeling weak or tired

FAQs About Sleeping With a Kidney Stent

How to Sleep Comfortably With a Kidney Stent?

If you have a kidney stent, there are a few things you can do to help yourself sleep more comfortably.

  • Make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible. You might want to consider investing in a new mattress and pillow, or even just a new pillowcase.
  • Try placing an extra pillow between your legs when you go to sleep. This will help support your body while you are sleeping and may prevent any discomfort from the stent itself.
  • If you find that sleeping on your side causes pain or discomfort for you, try sleeping on your back instead. This may help reduce some of the pressure on your abdomen caused by the presence of the stent itself.
woman smiling while fixing her bed

For How Long a Stent Is Placed? How Long Does a Kidney Stent Last?

The length of time a kidney stent is used depends on your specific situation and what caused your obstruction in the first place.

If you have an infection or other complications, your doctor may recommend keeping it in for longer than usual. If you have an obstruction caused by a stone, you will likely need to keep the stent in until all stones are removed from your kidneys and ureters.

A standard kidney stent is typically left in place for six months. A balloon expandable kidney stent may be left in longer—for up to one year. A ureteric stent may also be left in place for six months or longer if needed.

Why Are Kidney Stents So Painful?

Kidney stents are so painful because they are inserted into the ureter. The ureter is a tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder, and it runs through your pelvis and abdomen.

When you get a kidney stent, they will insert it through the ureter into your bladder. The process of inserting the stent can be painful because it requires stretching of muscles and tissues in the area around your ureter.

The reason that kidney stents are so painful to remove is that they’re covered with barbs so they stay in place. These barbs are really sharp and dig into tissue as they’re pulled out, which means that when you remove them, you’re also pulling out muscle or other soft tissue. This can be very painful, especially if there’s not enough anesthesia during removal.

How Long Does Kidney Stent Pain Last?

The pain from having a kidney stent can last anywhere from a couple days to two weeks, depending on how long your stent was in place.

If you are experiencing severe pain and discomfort, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking some over-the-counter medications. There are also some things that you can do yourself to help ease the pain and discomfort.

Conclusion

I hope this post has been an informative read and will help make sleeping with a kidney stent a more comfortable experience. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions or place any comments you may have in the comments section below.

May I also invite you to join our fb group for more information about health, wellness, and longevity. For more articles about sleep, please check out how to sleep after gallbladder removal, and how to sleep 8 hours in 3 hours (yes, it’s possible!).

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