Getting plenty of rest after any surgery is important to help your body recuperate and get back to full strength. That may include afternoon naps, but it also means getting a restful night’s sleep without interruption. Trying to avoid sleeping on the sides and stomach can be challenging in the days and weeks after getting breast implants. To my patients throughout St. Louis and Southern Illinois who visit my Glen Carbon practice near Maryville, I offer these helpful tips for a restful night’s sleep.
Why Is Sleep Important?
Recovery takes a lot of energy and sleep not only recharges your batteries but also helps the body repair itself. When you’re sleeping, the brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage the growth of tissue to repair blood vessels. This helps wounds heal faster and restores sore or damaged muscles. Sleep also helps reduce inflammation.
How to Sleep After Getting Breast Implants
Patients often have a difficult time getting comfortable enough to sleep soundly in the first few days after breast augmentation or reconstruction with implants. Here are some time-tested tips that have helped our patients sleep:
Getting used to sleeping on your back before surgery: If you’re used to sleeping on your side or stomach, that’s going to need to change while you recover after breast augmentation. Instead of waiting until after your surgery to adjust, start sleeping on your back for a few weeks before the operation.
Move around during the day: This may sound counter-intuitive because it’s also important to get plenty of rest after elective surgery. But taking short walks around the house—not a power walk—helps boost circulation and helps you feel tired at bedtime. Start the day you return home and gradually increase the time you spend walking.
Focus thoughts on the present: It’s easy to get more and more anxious as you try to get to sleep. Stress at bedtime is something that many people experience. Focusing your thoughts on the present can help diminish stressful thoughts and make falling asleep easier.
Put away the phone: Certain habits inhibit sleep. If you’re used to an afternoon or evening cup of coffee, try decaf for a couple of weeks. Scrolling through your smartphone after slipping under the covers can also make it harder to fall asleep.
Using pillows to prevent rolling onto your stomach: Some patients find it impossible to sleep on their back and they don’t get a good night’s sleep in a recliner. If that’s the case for you, prop up extra pillows on either side of you to avoid rolling on your stomach. The key is to avoid having the implants move during the recovery.
When you recall the beautiful results you saw in those before-and-after photos, the inconvenience of adjusting your sleep habits for a couple of weeks will seem well worth it.
If you’re still thinking about getting breast implants and are looking in Illinois for a board-certified plastic surgeon, contact us using the online form to request a consultation. Or call us at (618) 288-7855 to schedule an appointment.