How to sleep after rhinoplasty? Tips for a comfortable recovery

Resting and sleeping are undeniably important factors for a speedy recovery period after nose surgery. Good quality sleep is much needed after a rhinoplasty procedure. An important part of this quality sleep is the position of sleeping. The right position for slumber plays a crucial role in swelling subsiding. But how to sleep after rhinoplasty? The best sleeping position after rhinoplasty is to sleep with your head elevated at a higher level than your heart. 

But the patient has to be careful not to cause any damage to the nose while sleeping. This damage can happen by bumping your nose while sleeping, or sleeping face down while your nose is deep into the pillow under a lot of pressure. 

In this article, we tend to talk about how patients should sleep after rhinoplasty and its importance on the surgery’s outcome.

Finding your sweet spot: Best sleeping position after rhinoplasty

You require plenty of high-quality sleep within the first two weeks. Yet you should be extremely careful about how to sleep after rhinoplasty. Undeniably, the nose is highly sensible after the nose job and even the smallest pressure or trauma to the nose can affect the healing process and thus the final result. That’s why you should sleep in a position that does not put the nose at risk of damage. (1)

The right sleeping position prevents any inadvertent damage to the delicate structure of the post-op nose.

How should you sleep after rhinoplasty?

On your back,
with your head elevated,
above your heart

What is the best sleeping position after rhinoplasty?

The best way is to sleep on your back with your head in an elevated position. Your head and neck should be at a higher level than your heart. To do so, you can sleep on your back and tilt your head by using a couple of extra pillows below your head. Sleeping on a recliner chair or foam wedge pillow is also another good option for your resting.

This position helps reduce post-op congestion and edema, as well as prevents bumping the nose while sleeping. The elevated position for slumber enhances the blood flow to the surgical site and boosts the immune system. In addition to being beneficial for the recovery and healing process, this way of sleeping is comfortable. This brings you long hours of sleep with good quality. Exactly what you need after your rhinoplasty surgery.

How to sleep after rhinoplasty cast removal?

The cast is usually removed 7 days after the procedure. It is safe to sleep on your back or side after the cast removal. However, you have to be careful not to bump into anything or anyone as the nose is still delicate and tender. 

❗We should also remind you that sleeping on your side may cause longer periods of swelling and uneven swelling. This asymmetrical bloating is temporary, but of course unpleasant and worrying for you.

When can I return to normal sleeping habits after rhinoplasty?

A frequent question among patients is “When can I sleep normally after rhinoplasty?” as they find sleeping on their back uncomfortable. Even though they can start resuming their usual sleeping position 7 to 10 days after surgery, it is recommended to postpone it to at least two weeks after surgery. This is to achieve a better result during the initial recovery period.

When is it safe to start sleeping on my side or stomach again?

To be fair you can start sleeping on your stomach or side after 7 days. Yet it is highly suggested not to do so at least until the second post-op week. Nasal tissues are still delicate and it is better to give them more time to recover and heal on their own. While sleeping you might roll and end up face down on the pillow. This can put pressure on your nose and even minorly dislocate the freshly attached structures. 

What happens if you sleep on your side after rhinoplasty?

Some people are used to sleeping on one side. Sleeping on the back and straight is not easy and comfortable for them. But they should do so for at least one week, as their sleep position on one side is associated with a few inconveniences. While the right position for sleeping helps with successful recovery and healing process, some poses can affect the healing period.

How can sleeping positions affect the healing process? It can impact this period by:

  • Prolonged swelling and bruising
  • Longer healing period
  • Nasal congestion
  • Temporary asymmetrical swelling

This is because when you lie down on one side the pressure is not distributed evenly on both sides of the nose. The blood circulation to the surgery site is also affected by this position and leads to more bruising.

Tips for better sleep during rhinoplasty recovery

To have a sweet and comfortable there are a few things you can do. By following these easy yet effective steps, you can enjoy your much-needed rest and light up the recovery process. These steps are:

  • Sleep alone 
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • More pillows for your whole body 

Sleep alone

It is indeed comforting to sleep with your loved one or your beloved pet. But this is not a good idea after nose surgery and during recovery time. An unintentional trauma by a hand, an arm, or even a cute paw can have ever-lasting effects. It’s absolutely ok to ask for the whole bed to be completely yours while your body is recovering from the surgery.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Caffeine will keep you awake for a long time and deprive you of the rest you so much need. Even if coffee or tea is a part of your daily routine, cut them off for a while to sleep better.

More pillows for your body

It can be difficult for some people to stay still during sleep and not roll. If there’s no recliner available, you can limit your range of motion by placing several pillows around your body. You also do this tactic with rolled-up towels.

Another option is to put a travel pillow around your neck to reduce the damage in case you roll and put your face downward. 

In addition to these suggestions, you can place some pillows under your leg. This is a great help to reduce back pain.

How can you manage pain and discomfort while sleeping?

Another reason for an uncomfortable sleep is because of the post-op feeling of pain and discomfort in the nose. Reliving this pain and discomfort helps the rhinoplasty patient to get hours of quality sleep. But how? You can take painkillers to get rid of this unpleasant pain and rest. Rhinoplasty surgeons often prescribe painkillers after surgery to help patients with this inconvenience. You can also take sleeping pills to rest and relax.

Ask your doctor for the best ways to overcome this discomfort and enjoy the land of dreams.

We have reached the end of our article on “How to sleep after rhinoplasty”. We hope it has been useful for you. If you are still concerned about “how should I sleep after rhinoplasty?” and need more information, just leave us a message. We will reach back to you as soon as possible to help you sleep with no difficulties.

🔗 References:

(1) Ishii LE, Tollefson TT, Basura GJ, Rosenfeld RM, Abramson PJ, Chaiet SR, Davis KS, Doghramji K, Farrior EH, Finestone SA, Ishman SL, Murphy RX Jr, Park JG, Setzen M, Strike DJ, Walsh SA, Warner JP, Nnacheta LC. Clinical Practice Guideline: Improving Nasal Form and Function after Rhinoplasty Executive Summary. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Feb;156(2):205-219. doi: 10.1177/0194599816683156. PMID: 28145848.

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