POV about Sleep after Breast Augmentation: You’ve just had breast augmentation surgery, and you’re finally home. You’ve filled your prescriptions, got some groceries, and have a lineup of movies to watch and books to read as you heal. You’re on the road to recovery!
But then comes nighttime, and it’s time to get into bed on your first night after surgery … how in the world are you supposed to sleep while recovering from breast augmentation!? There’s bandages and a compression garment. Your breasts feel high and tight. There’s lots of swelling … is it okay to sleep on your side? On your back? What if you shift in the night?
Okay. Deep breath.
The good news is that your surgeon will have educated you on this. There’s not a chance you’ll be at home after breast augmentation surgery without having received detailed instructions on how to sleep.
Still, we certainly understand if you’re a little unsure. So, below, we’ve outlined a guide on the best way to sleep after breast augmentation.
What Is the Best Way to Sleep After Breast Augmentation?
Sleep is a critical period after breast surgery not only because it’s when most of your healing will actually occur, but also because doing it “wrong” can cause problems for your results.
The general rule after breast augmentation surgery is that you’ll need to sleep on your back with your upper body slightly raised. The reason your upper body needs to be slightly higher than your lower body is twofold.
First, when your breasts are slightly elevated, this will help reduce swelling. Second, this position will allow your breasts to hang in a more natural way than they would if you were laying down completely prone.
In the latter position, your breasts might fall out to the sides or in one direction more than another, depending on exactly how you are situated in bed.
Allowing this to happen for several hours overnight could ultimately be detrimental to your breast augmentation results.
Sleeping primarily on your back for a long period of time can be difficult — especially when you also need to have your upper body slightly elevated. One thing that can help with this is getting a wedge pillow. These can be easily found online.
A wedge pillow will just give a slight boost to your upper body, keeping it in a comfortable position. This will allow you to create that elevation without having to stack pillows in an odd way. Pillows have a habit of shifting during the night, but a wedge pillow will stay put. Placing one pillow on either side of you can help make your arms more comfortable and can improve your sleep after Breast Augmentation.
Tips to Improve Your Sleep After Breast Augmentation
If you’ve struggled with getting a good night’s sleep in the past — even when you weren’t recovering from major surgery — it’s a good time to improve your sleep habits.
Limit screen time before bed. Try to stop using screens at least one hour before you go to bed. The blue light that comes from screens on phones, tablets, and computers can make your body think it’s daytime, and this will prevent the production of melatonin — a hormone that’s needed to put your body to sleep.
Don’t spend time in your bed during the day. It may be tempting to spend a lot of your day in bed when you’re recovering from breast augmentation surgery. After all, you’ll need a place to kick back and relax, and your bed is a great place to do that. On the other hand, spending a lot of time in bed during the day tells yourself that that is a place where you can “hang out” and be awake. Then, when it comes time to go to bed at night, you may feel more awake than you really should feel — and this can cause you to have a hard time going to sleep.
Limit day naps if nighttime sleep becomes a struggle. Once again, it’s certainly good to rest and relax during the day as you recover. You can even spend some time sleeping. But if you are starting to sleep too much during the day, you’ll have trouble sleeping at night. If this becomes a problem, limit your daytime naps so that you can get a longer stretch of sleep at night.
Make your bedroom or sleeping space as comfortable as possible. Taking time to make your sleeping space comfortable will only improve the quality of your sleep. Having comfortable sheets, pillows, and blankets is a great place to start. Keep your bedroom clean and neat. Have everything you’ll need during the night nearby. And get fresh pajamas that don’t twist or bind in confining ways. Making even small improvements can go a long way.
When Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Augmentation?
Dr. Ramanadham gets asked, “When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation?” quite frequently. After all, it can be hard to sleep constantly on your back night after night.
For the most part, patients will need to wait at least four to six weeks before they can switch to side sleeping. For some patients, it may be more like eight weeks.
What happens if you switch too soon? Although unlikely, it’s possible that sleeping on your side after breast augmentation could cause an asymmetry in the long-term appearance of your breasts. In addition, some patients who sleep on their side may end up rolling to their stomach, and this could be truly damaging for your results, not to mention problematic for the healing process.
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Dr. Smita Ramanadham is a female double board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing breast augmentation surgery. Take a moment to peruse our breast augmentation before and after gallery to get an idea of the amazing results that are possible with this procedure. Then, give us a call to schedule your own consultation appointment to learn about when can i sleep on my side after breast augmentation?