Everything you do after spine surgery contributes to your overall recovery and the success of the procedure. Surgical procedures on the cervical spine include spinal fusion, disc replacement, lamindectomy and discectomy. Each procedure has a different degree of invasiveness and length of recovery time. Regardless of what procedure you have had, you want to make sure you are not twisting your spine when sleeping.
Place the cervical collar around your neck. It needs to be secure but not too tight. You don't want to feel as if your breathing is being constricted, but you do want to limit neck movement.
Sit at the edge of the bed and then lie down slowly. You may need someone to help you to prevent any strain on your back. Since you need to pivot from a sitting position with your upper body perpendicular to the bed, you will need to rotate your buttocks while bringing your legs up onto the bed. Sit close enough to the head of the bed to be in the right position for lying down once you have pivoted.
Lie back into a pillow. People want different levels of incline when sleeping. In the hospital, you can ask a nurse to raise the head of the bed so it's easier for you to lean back. At home, ask for help in supporting your back so you don't strain your neck as you lower yourself. If the bed is adjustable, get help with the incline.
Place a pillow under your knees. This eliminates additional stress in your lower back and keeps the spinal curves in their normal position.
You should sleep on your back unless otherwise instructed by the doctor. If you need to move or roll while sleeping to prevent stiffness, ask for help with a "log roll." In a log roll, your hips, shoulders and neck turn at the same time, keeping your spine straight. Expect to sleep for short periods of time and wake up frequently because of the pain and discomfort.
Take pain medications as prescribed and needed. This will help your muscles relax, reduce pain and help you sleep better.