A good night's sleep is important not only for feeling rested and refreshed, but also for allowing our body and mind to regenerate, helping fight diseases, chronical conditions and infections.1,2
The natural regeneration during sleep becomes even more important in the recovery period after breast augmentation (or any surgery), however, proper sleep during recovery can be challenging without some tips and guidance.
Why Sleep? Rest is not enough!
You may feel as though resting your eyes and lying down provides the same qualities as actual sleep, but that is not the case.2 Research shows that multiple body functions, such as muscle repair, tissue growth, protein synthesis and release of many important hormones for growth, occur primarily during sleep giving sleep3 a critical role in promoting health.
The relationship between sleep and pain is also reciprocal; poor sleep leads to increased sensitivity to pain.4 Even modest nightly changes in sleep quality (increases and decreases) within an individual determine consequential day-to-day changes in experienced pain (decreases and increases, respectively).5
Sleeping guidance after breast augmentation
Now that you know why sleep is so beneficial, sleeping while recovering from breast augmentation comes with guidelines for your own safety and optimized aesthetic results.
The most recommended position for sleep after a breast augmentation is on your back6, with your upper body slightly elevated to improve circulation. You could use a recliner or a stack of pillows to elevate your body. If you feel you can’t sleep elevated, just sleeping on your back works too.
Later during your recovery, sleeping on your side may also be allowed.6 However, you may need to take extra precautions while opting for this position, such as using pillows on your sides to prevent you from rolling on your stomach during sleep.
Tips for better sleep after breast augmentation
Aside from the guidelines above, here are some tips to make sleep easier after surgery.
You’ll likely experience many emotions after your surgery, all of which can affect your sleeping habits. Focusing on the immediate discomfort may put your mind in a state of alertness and anxiety, which could easily lead to insomnia.
Envision your goals instead of the short-term discomfort and focus on the positive sensations to ease your mind to sleep. You may even want to imagine how your new breasts could make you feel in the future to help create a positive state of mind.
Don't act tough
You just underwent a breast augmentation surgery, but that doesn’t mean you need to experience unnecessary pain. Take advantage of what modern medicine has to offer and take your prescribed medication on schedule as advised by your surgeon.
Research suggests that engaging in regular physical activity during the day can help improve your sleep at night.7 Moving around after surgery is essential for many reasons; besides helping with blood flow, it also improves the quality and duration of sleep.7
You can gradually incorporate mild movements as indicated by your surgeon. Just a slow walk is enough. A study showed that women who took more steps reported better sleep than those less active.7
Everything gets easier after a bit of practice. Try to incorporate these changes into your daily routine ahead of your procedure. It will help you get used to them before handling the surgery discomfort.
Some general tips
Some extra general sleep tips may come handy at this time8:
- Stick to a sleep schedule.
- Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom.
- Consider a screen ban before sleep.
- Avoid large meals in the hours leading to bedtime.
Sweet dreams, until morning light!
We hope our tips help you achieve many restorative nights during your recovery. And remember: your surgeon has the final say about your recovery. Don’t forget to consult on any of our tips before you put them into practice!