How Do You Sleep after a Gastric Balloon?
Spatz3 is the world’s only Adjustable Gastric Balloon System
Rest is important for weight loss as well as general wellness, which is why you need to know how to sleep with a gastric balloon. While your gastric balloon will rarely cause discomfort or difficulty in enjoying a regular lifestyle, it is important to know how to sleep after balloon insertion and for the duration of your gastric balloon treatment.
How to Sleep with a Gastric Balloon: Weeks 1-3
Early in your gastric balloon therapy, you’ll want to sleep sitting up. This is because of the adjustments your body is making to the balloon’s presence.
A gastric balloon is a silicone balloon that is inserted via the esophagus during a relatively non-invasive outpatient procedure under mild sedation. Once the gastric balloon is inserted, it is filled with saline creating a sense of fullness in you.
Many patients experience some heartburn, gas, bloating, and general discomfort including nausea in the first few days and even weeks as they adjust to the presence of the gastric balloon. This directly impacts sleep.
For those who have been pregnant, you may be reminded of the end of your third trimester when heartburn and reflux occurred due to the baby’s size. This is similar; though, a gastric balloon doesn’t make you look as if you’re expecting. You still have the same feeling of discomfort.
Before you go to sleep in those early weeks, create a comfortable area in your bed to allow you to sleep sitting up. Some sleep in recliners or comfortable chairs, so they can get needed rest while also avoiding additional discomfort and reflux while they adjust to the gastric balloon.
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How to Sleep Well with a Gastric Balloon
After the first few weeks, you should be cleared to sleep normally. This means sleep on your back or on your side. Back or side sleep will allow your body’s natural digestive processes to function while you are resting.
If it doesn’t matter which side you sleep on, then your left side is the best side to sleep on as some studies show that it reduces reflux. Importantly, either side is fine as long as you’re comfortable.
Provided you follow appropriate dietary protocols and don’t overeat, skip alcohol and carbonated beverages, avoid sugary foods, and don’t drink too soon before bed, you will not have any discomfort when you sleep after a gastric balloon.
You should also consider getting a pillow to put between your knees at night to keep your spine in alignment; this ensures that you won’t have any added pressure, which could cause headaches.
Wedge pillows or support pillows can also help. If you are prone to reflux anyway, then a wedge pillow can help you avoid developing reflux or heartburn during your treatment period.
What Positions to Avoid Sleeping in after a Gastric Balloon
Some ask is sleeping on your stomach bad for you. The answer is yes. Stomach sleeping with a gastric balloon can add to pressure on your lungs and can cause your stomach to bulge. This can increase discomfort and possibly cause things to slip or even rupture in certain cases.
Bedtime Checklist after a Gastric Balloon
It’s likely you’ll also find it uncomfortable to try to sleep on your stomach if you were previously a stomach sleeper before a gastric balloon. You will eventually get used to whatever new position suits you the best.
It can also help you sleep better if you adopt healthy bedtime practices to sleep with a gastric balloon.
- Have a well-established bedtime routine and go to bed at the same time each night
- Stop eating or drinking at least an hour before bedtime to allow foods and liquids to digest
- Do not eat foods that digest poorly or slowly (such as red meats) and avoid foods that can cause heartburn such as alcohol, refined sugars, carbonated sodas, etc.
- Have support pillows for your neck and spine
- Create a comfortable space
A good routine surrounding your bedtime will enable you to sleep well with a gastric balloon. You’ll find that the extra winks make it easier to eat healthy, feel great, and lose weight!
While adjusting to a gastric balloon may take a few days to weeks, the benefits of gastric balloons are significant; however, there can be minor disruptions. By following your doctor’s advice and best practices such as these, though, you increase your likelihood of experiencing success with your gastric balloon. Contact us at Spatz Medical to find out what a gastric balloon can do for you and how to enjoy your normal life with a gastric balloon.