Getting enough rest is an essential part of healing quickly after breast augmentation—or any other surgery, for that matter. Simply resting, though, is no substitute for sound sleep—which may not come easily for some patients in the days and weeks following breast augmentation surgery. As an experienced plastic surgeon, I’ve shared tips with patients over the years that have helped them get a good night’s sleep after surgery.
This blog post includes those ideas and explains why sleep is such an important part of the healing process.
What Happens When You Sleep?
Anyone who’s ever experienced a bout of insomnia knows that lying in bed and closing your eyes doesn’t recharge your body the same way that sleep does. A series of physiological changes that occur when you fall asleep helps your body repair and rejuvenate itself. This is true at any time and it becomes crucial for people after surgery. As you sleep, your body is actively healing itself, reducing inflammation and circulating blood more efficiently to the muscles and tissues that need it most. Sleep even helps mildly reduce post-op pain.
Tips for Sleeping Well After Breast Augmentation
Now that you know why sleep is important, here are some ideas to make it easier to fall asleep:
Wait, what? Yes, making sure to take short walks during the day helps you get to sleep at night. This includes the day of the surgery, after returning home. Walking serves several purposes, including boosting your circulation and helping you feel tired. That results in a better night’s sleep that lasts longer.
Even if you’ve never meditated, focusing your thoughts on pleasant experiences and being aware of your breathing can help settle your mind. Breast augmentation patients often experience many different emotions in the first few days after the surgery, which is normal. Acknowledge those emotions and then set them aside when it’s time to sleep. Of course, avoiding caffeine later in the day and shutting off your smartphone at bedtime are other ways to calm and clear your mind.
Get Used to Different Sleep Positions Before Surgery
Take note, side sleepers: The best position for safe sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is on your back with your upper body slightly elevated. Sleeping in a recliner for the first few nights after your procedure (or with pillows propping up your head and torso) is ideal for reducing the swelling of your breasts and soreness. It’s also easier to get up without using your upper body muscles. Elevating your upper body encourages scar tissue to form and heal. Sleeping flat on your back is an option if you find it difficult to sleep with your upper body elevated.
When Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Augmentation?
If you’ve been faithfully sleeping on your back after surgery, you can usually transition to side-sleeping in about 6 weeks. This gives your implants time to settle more fully and your incisions to heal.
If you just can’t fall asleep while on your back before that 6-week mark, take heart. Sleeping on your side is OK if you position pillows to prevent yourself from rolling onto your stomach. It’s also important to cushion your breasts with a pillow and wear a surgical bra to ensure your implants remain in place and minimize tension on your incisions.
Getting good sleep is a key component of your recovery. If you prioritize rest, nutrition, and following your doctor’s instructions to a “T,” you’ll be able to resume all your favorite activities sooner and minimize complications.
If you’re looking for a cosmetic plastic surgery practice in Granite Bay or elsewhere in the Greater Sacramento area to perform breast augmentation, contact our practice using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (916) 929-1833. You can get an idea of the caliber of breast augmentation results we create by visiting our photo gallery.