After breast augmentation—or any surgery, for that matter—rest is paramount. But getting the sleep you need during recovery can be tough. Our breast augmentation patients have taught us a thing or 2 about the recuperation process—and we’re sharing their tips for how to sleep well after breast augmentation here.
Why Sleep Is Vital During Recovery
Resting with your eyes closed can feel nice, but it’s simply not the same as sleep. When you fall asleep, your body undergoes a series of physiological changes and enters into a state of repair and true rejuvenation. This applies doubly so after surgery. Sleep is when your body can really get to work at healing itself, reducing inflammation and more efficiently sending blood to the muscles and tissues that need it most. Thanks to these sleep benefits, it can even function as a low-level pain medicine, speeding along the healing process.
How Do You Sleep Better After Breast Augmentation?
1. Set Your Mind at Ease
Falling asleep and staying asleep is tough when you’re feeling stressed, overly tired, or unhappy. You’ll likely experience many emotions after your surgery, all of which can affect your sleeping habits. We discuss some of these emotions in our previous blog post. Knowing what to expect emotionally can help you develop strategies for addressing those feelings as they occur. And dealing with your emotions sets the stage for better sleep.
2. Walk & Move Around Throughout the Day
Moving around after your surgery is important from Day 1. Gently walking around the house after your surgery is essential for your physical health, but it’s also helpful for your emotional health and your sleep patterns. Light movement encourages sleep and improves the quality and duration of your slumber. Just remember: You should not resume exercise until your surgeon clears you for activity.
3. Know Your Best Sleeping Position
After breast augmentation or breast augmentation with lift, you’ll be required to sleep on your back for a time to ensure incisions heal undisturbed and implants can safely settle into their positions. But for patients who are accustomed to sleeping on their stomachs or sides, getting used to falling—and staying—asleep on the back can be tough.
One good way to ensure a comfortable transition is to start sleeping on your back before your breast augmentation. Devote a few nights to the position and experiment with what feels most comfortable to you.
Best Choice: Back-Sleeping
The best position for safe sleeping after breast augmentation surgery is on your back with your upper body slightly elevated. This position, typically achieved by sleeping in a recliner or with a stack of pillows, can reduce breast swelling and soreness. It also improves mobility by reducing your use of upper body strength when you get out of bed. Additionally, keeping your upper half elevated can allow enough scar tissue to form and sufficiently heal. If you find that you just can’t get used to this position, sleeping flat on your back is OK too.
Next Best Choice: Side-Sleeping
The second-best position for sleeping after surgery is on your side. However, it’s important to take some extra precautions if you choose this position. Use a pillow under your breasts to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on them and wear an approved surgical bra to keep your implants and incisions in place.
You can’t sleep if you aren’t comfortable, so making sure you’re not in pain or discomfort after your surgery is our first priority.
Considering Breast Augmentation?
If you’re considering breast augmentation, we invite you to take a look at some of our breast augmentation patients’ before and after pictures and request a consultation online or call us at (310) 784-0644 to schedule an appointment. Breast augmentation patients come to our practice in Torrance, CA, from Long Beach, Redondo Beach, and other nearby communities.
Post was originally published in October 2018 and updated in June 2023.