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How to Sleep With a Broken Ankle: Tips for a Restful Night

Suffering from a broken ankle can be a painful and frustrating experience. The road to recovery often involves a significant amount of discomfort, particularly during sleep. Finding a comfortable sleep position that minimizes pain and promotes healing is crucial. In this article, we will explore some helpful tips on how to sleep with a broken ankle.

1. Elevate your ankle: One of the most effective ways to reduce pain and swelling is elevating your ankle while sleeping. Prop your ankle up on a pillow or two, ensuring it is positioned higher than your heart. This position helps to improve blood circulation and reduces pressure on the injured area.

2. Use pillows for support: Placing pillows strategically can provide additional support to your broken ankle. Consider supporting your leg with a pillow beneath your calf and another one between your ankles. This will help to keep your leg elevated and immobilized throughout the night.

3. Invest in a knee scooter or crutches: If you have mobility aids like a knee scooter or crutches, keep them within reach of your bed. This will allow you to easily move around without putting pressure on your injured ankle when you need to get up during the night.

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4. Apply ice before bed: Prior to going to bed, apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to your ankle for 15-20 minutes. This will help reduce swelling and numb the area, leading to a more comfortable sleep.

5. Take pain medication as prescribed: If your doctor has prescribed pain medication, take it as directed before going to bed. This will help alleviate pain and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.

6. Use a night splint: A night splint can provide support and stability to your broken ankle while you sleep. This device holds your foot in a specific position, preventing it from rotating or flexing during the night.

7. Practice relaxation techniques: Falling asleep with a broken ankle can be challenging due to discomfort and anxiety. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music can help ease your mind and promote better sleep.

Common Questions about Sleeping with a Broken Ankle:

1. Can I sleep on my side with a broken ankle?
Sleeping on your side may put pressure on your injured ankle, leading to increased pain and delayed healing. It is best to sleep on your back or in a slightly elevated position.

2. Should I use a pillow under my broken ankle?
Yes, placing a pillow under your broken ankle helps elevate it, reduces swelling, and promotes blood circulation.

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3. Can I sleep without a night splint?
While a night splint provides stability and support, if you find it uncomfortable or restrictive, you can discuss alternative options with your doctor.

4. How long should I keep my ankle elevated while sleeping?
Keeping your ankle elevated for at least a few weeks or until the swelling subsides is recommended. Consult with your healthcare provider for specific guidance.

5. What if I need to use the bathroom during the night?
If you need to get up during the night, use your mobility aids like crutches or a knee scooter to avoid putting weight on your injured ankle. Ensure they are within reach of your bed for easy access.

6. Can I take sleep aids while recovering from a broken ankle?
Consult your doctor before taking any sleep aids, as they may interact with other medications you are taking or affect your healing process.

7. How can I manage pain if it wakes me up during the night?
If pain wakes you up during the night, try changing your sleep position, applying ice, or taking over-the-counter pain relievers, if approved by your healthcare provider.

In conclusion, sleeping with a broken ankle can be challenging, but by following these tips, you can find relief and promote a more restful night’s sleep. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice on managing your specific injury.
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