Sleeping After Breast Augmentation Surgery


10 minute read


Almost every surgery requires you to get adequate rest during your recovery, but some procedures can change how you sleep. Sleep after breast augmentation surgery requires an adjustment if you prefer sleeping on your stomach. The way you sleep after the procedure can affect your comfort level and healing process.

Your body will spend a lot of time healing after a breast augmentation surgery and will continue to work when you’re sleeping. More blood will flow to the injured muscles and tissues when you’re sleeping, delivering oxygen and nutrients to promote healing.

If you’re unsure about the best sleeping positions, the experts at GraceMed plastic surgery clinics can guide you through the process. Breast augmentation surgeons understand the need to get a good night’s sleep and its role in your recovery.

Learning more about how to sleep after breast augmentation surgery can help you stay comfortable, especially in the early stages of recovery.

The Importance of Sleep During Recovery

Sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is crucial in your recovery process, and it can help you in a few ways.

Promotes Healing

Your body will work hard to heal after surgery, so lack of sleep can make your body weaker and inefficient at fighting common infections. If your body cannot effectively fight infections due to lack of sleep, the healing process can take much longer and cause potential complications.

Consistent and quality sleep provides energy to those recovering from a breast augmentation, especially after receiving general anesthesia. Better sleep for more extended hours influences the body’s ability to repair and grow tissue, bone, and muscle. Your body makes more white blood cells when you sleep, which can attack viruses and bacteria.

Reduces Pain

When you get breast implants in Toronto or at any GraceMed clinic location, our experts will help you manage your pain with medication and helpful tips. But, you can further reduce your pain by sleeping well.

A few good nights’ sleep after a breast augmentation surgery can reduce your pain and allow you to recover more comfortably. According to research, sleeping longer can decrease pain sensitivity so sleep can be essential in your pain management plan.

Improves Circulation

When you sleep with your head or body slightly elevated as per post-surgical requirements, you can contribute to better blood flow. Sleeping can improve circulation after surgery, reducing discomfort and allowing the body to heal faster.

Woman sleeping on back elevated with pillows

Ideal Sleeping Positions

When trying to determine how to sleep after breast augmentation surgery, you first need to find the ideal sleeping positions.

On Your Back

Sleeping in the wrong position can affect your breast implants adversely. An uncomfortable position can affect all breast implant sizes and types.

The best sleeping position after a breast augmentation surgery is on your back. Sleeping on your back will allow your body to rest with minimal strain on the chest, making it easier for incisions to heal and the implants to settle. Your breasts will heal in a more comfortable position without the risk of shifting your implants when you sleep on your back.

Elevated with Pillows

Sleeping flat on your back might be comfortable for a little while, but it might not be helpful. Keep your upper body elevated at a 30 to 45 degree angle while on your back to reduce pain and swelling. Sleeping elevated with pillows optimizes blood flow, which can help your tender breasts.

Keeping your upper body elevated also keeps your breasts in a natural position, which can be beneficial as it allows implants to settle in properly. You can also get in and out of your bed quickly without straining your chest, reducing the risk of pain or discomfort.

On Your Side

After breast augmentation, side-sleeping is a common concern among many women. Although sleeping on the side isn’t recommended after most breast augmentation surgeries, you can consider switching positions after you’re in a mid-recovery stage.

You may be allowed to sleep on your side sooner if you’ve undergone a breast fat transfer because it has a quicker recovery time. Wait until the transferred fat is fully amalgamated into your breasts and becomes naturally integrated before sleeping on your side for the best results.

In a Recliner Chair

Many women might find it more comfortable to sleep in a recliner chair or single seater couch after breast augmentation surgery. A chair will allow you to sleep on your back with your head elevated and reduce the risk of you accidentally turning to your side or stomach in your sleep due to limited space.

You can sleep in a recliner chair for the first few days after surgery until you’re used to sleeping in an elevated position on your bed.

Woman sleeping with blanket on a single seater couch

Promoting Better Sleep After Breast Augmentation

Studies have found that sleep disturbances are frequent after surgery for various reasons, such as pain, type of anesthesia, the severity of surgical trauma, and postoperative factors. But sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is essential, so there are a few things you can try to sleep better.

Take Short Walks During the Day

You will need to wait to receive a green light from your surgeon before you start exercising after plastic surgery, but short walks during the day when you feel physically capable can help you sleep at night. Taking short walks also helps your body feel tired, allowing you to sleep peacefully at night.

Walking around after surgery prevents stiffness from being still in one position and reduces the risk of blood clots. You can start by walking inside your home and gradually begin walking outside and performing light exercises after consulting a medical professional.

Get Familiar with New Sleeping Positions Before Surgery

All different types of breast surgery require you to be conscious of how you sleep for a safe and speedy recovery. The best position for sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is on your back with your head elevated. This might not be a position you usually sleep in, so it can be helpful to practice these positions before your surgery.

You can start sleeping on recliner chairs a few days before your breast augmentation appointment or practice sleeping on your back. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, it might be helpful to get into the habit of sleeping in other positions that you’ll be required to sleep in after your treatment.

Engage in Calming Activities Before Bed

Keeping your body calm before bedtime is a great way to promote sleep. Avoid stimulants that can cause disruptions, such as caffeine consumption, alcohol, or extended screen time. Eliminating any triggers that could impact your sleep quality will allow you to get better sleep, which is essential for your recovery.

Try to engage in calming activities that help relax your mind and body, such as reading a book or listening to music. If you’re using a device with a screen, turn the brightness down to avoid straining your eyes or keeping your mind overactive. When your body starts to relax, you’re likely to feel sleepier.

Woman sitting in bed and reading a book

Managing Pain with Sleep

Sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is an effective method of reducing your pain and discomfort from the treatment.

Sleep As Per Requirement

Your body is likely to feel exhausted after surgery and strong medication, so you might feel tired for the first few days. Try to sleep as much as you need to, avoid participating in strenuous activities, and take sufficient time off work after the procedure.

Allowing your body to sleep when required will promote healing and help you recover seamlessly. But, try to be mindful of how much you sleep and engage in activities that require you to occasionally move to promote circulation.

Wear a Post-Op Bra

You will be required to wear specific postoperative bras after breast augmentation to support your healing process. Since your breasts will change after your surgery, you will need new bras to adapt to the change. The right bra can influence your recovery positively. Wearing the wrong bra, or none at all, can adversely affect your recovery and results.

Many women are used to sleeping without a bra, so a common question that often arises is, when can I sleep without a bra after breast augmentation? To speed up your recovery and enhance the results, you need to wear a suitable bra until your breasts have healed from the surgery.

A bra is an essential component of your recovery because the implants need to form capsules gradually, and a bra allows them to settle properly. Wearing a bra allows the implants to settle in and reduce the risk of an uneven shape or displacement.

Speak to a specialist at GraceMed to determine which type of bra is best for your recovery. Compression bras are generally a good option immediately after surgery. When you start to recover and receive the green light from your surgeon to start exercising, you may start wearing a supportive sports bra. The most important thing to remember is to avoid underwire bras as they could be uncomfortable and slow down your recovery.

Happy woman wearing a comfortable bra working on her laptop

Recovery Timeline & Sleep

Your sleeping position will gradually change depending on the recovery stage you’re in after breast augmentation. Follow the guideline provided by your surgeon to avoid complications during your recovery.

First 2-3 Weeks

You might be wondering how long do I need to sleep elevated after breast augmentation? There is no definite answer to this question, as the timeline can vary depending on the type of implants, your overall health, and your recovery process.

You can consult your surgeon to determine when it is safe to stop sleeping elevated for accurate answers. However, you might be able to gradually lower your elevation level after two to three weeks. After a few weeks pass, your implants will start to settle, and your breasts will start to heal, so you might be able to switch sleeping positions.

After 3 Weeks

How well you follow your postoperative guidelines can determine the life expectancy of a breast implant, as the healing process is an essential component of surgery. Sleeping on your side too soon after the procedure can hinder your recovery and sabotage your results while causing discomfort.

You might be ready to start sleeping on your side approximately three weeks after surgery. But the exact time depends on your comfort level and the surgeon’s instructions. If you get a fat transfer instead of implants, you might be ready to sleep on your side sooner.

After 6 Weeks

You can typically stop sleeping elevated six weeks after your surgery. You might even be able to sleep on both sides, depending on how you feel when you switch positions. However, it is still unsafe for you to sleep on your tummy as your breasts will not fully recover by this stage.

As more time passes, your body will gradually become ready to return to your regular sleeping positions, but it is important to follow postoperative guidelines until that time comes.

Woman sleeping in bed on her side

After 12 Weeks

According to studies, sleeping on your stomach can increase the likelihood of back, neck, and shoulder pain. But, many people prefer to sleep in that position because they are used to it, or it helps them sleep better.

Your surgeon might inform you that it’s okay to sleep on your tummy again if you want to after 12 weeks pass. If you still feel discomfort, you can continue to sleep on your back or side.

Prioritizing Sleeping Habits After Surgery

When you learn about how sleeping after breast augmentation surgery can affect your recovery, it’s easier to follow proper guidelines and enhance your results while reducing pain levels. Sleep plays a critical role in your recovery because it can promote healing and allow you to achieve your desired results with minimal effort.

If you have any doubts about sleeping positions and how they affect your recovery timeline, book a consultation at any GraceMed clinics offering breast augmentation surgery. Our specialists are available to help you weigh your options and explain what you can expect post-breast augmentation for a good night’s sleep.


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