When Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Augmentation?

Jul 8, 2023

Sleeping on your side after breast augmentation concerns many women considering or undergoing the procedure. You probably wonder, when can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation?

Each individual’s recovery timeline may vary. Yet, general guidelines can help you determine when it is safe and comfortable to sleep on your side. This article will explain the breast augmentation recovery process and offer tips on when you can start sleeping on your side.

Sleeping on Your Side After Breast Augmentation and Recovery Tips

Source: Photo Contributor: Terelyuk

When Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Augmentation?

Understanding breast augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that may improve the shape and size of the breasts using implants or fat transfer. This procedure is usually performed for various reasons. Some of them are enlarging breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss, improving breast symmetry, or boosting self-confidence. 

If you decide to do a breast augmentation, you must wonder how to find the best plastic surgeon for you. Choosing a certified and reliable plastic surgeon is important for the outcome of the procedure. 

It is also fundamental to understand that plastic surgery is not “one size fits all”. So, to get an idea of what to expect, you’ll start with a consultation; the surgeon will listen to your expectations and tell you whether that choice is right for you.

Sleeping positions post breast augmentation

After the surgery, you might be looking for some tips and tricks on how to sleep after breast augmentation. It is vital to give your body time to heal and recover. The first few days and weeks following the procedure are particularly crucial. Your surgeon will give you a list of post-operative instructions that you should follow for a smooth and successful recovery.

The sleeping position is an important factor in the recovery process. It can influence healing, discomfort, and the final outcome of the surgery.

In the beginning, it is recommended to sleep on your back in a slightly elevated position. This position may elevate pressure on the breasts and reduce swelling.

Sleeping on your back with your upper body elevated at a 30-45 degrees angle is the best position requiring minimal chest strain. This way, the incisions should heal, and the implants may settle.

Moreover, getting enough sleep and rest is very important in the healing process. When you fall asleep, your brain may produce certain hormones that promote tissue growth. Plus, sleeping boosts immunity and reduces the chances of infection.

Sleeping on your side too soon after breast augmentation surgery might only increase the risk of complications. This might lead to implant displacement, stretching of incisions, or disruption of the healing process.

So, when can you switch to side sleeping?

Sleeping positions post breast augmentation Photo Contributor: puhhha

Side sleeping after breast augmentation

Plastic surgeons, in general, agree that you can start sleeping on your side once you feel comfortable. Yet, consulting with your surgeon and following their specific instructions is essential. Information may vary based on individual factors and surgical techniques. 

Most surgeons agree that you should start sleeping on your side after at least two weeks. During this time, it is crucial to follow the guidelines provided by your surgeon. For example, they may tell you to wear a supportive bra and how to adjust your body for sleep to enhance the healing process. This is important to minimize complications and promote healing. 

At your post-operative appointments, your surgeon will advise when it is safe to start sleeping on your side based on his evaluation. The surgeon considers how well you have healed, your incision, and implant type. Remember that some women rest on the side after breast enhancement after two weeks, while others need six weeks to heal.

However, there is no need for concern as even women who typically sleep on their stomachs find that sleeping on their backs is the most comfortable position post-surgery.

Now, since your question of when can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation is answered, let’s see some extra tips to make sure your side sleeping feels comfortable.

Gradual transition

Once your surgeon tells you it is safe to sleep on your side, it is best to transition to it step by step. Start by sleeping on your side for a short time. Once you feel more comfortable, increase the time sleeping on your side.

Support your breasts

Placing a soft pillow or cushion between your breasts while side sleeping can give you additional support and prevent any pressure or strain.

Choose the right pillow

A suitable pillow can make you feel more comfortable while you are sleeping on your side. The pillow has to support you properly.

Use additional pillows

Supporting your body with additional pillows can prevent rolling while you are sleeping. For example, you can place pillows behind your back or between your knees.

Optimal mattress firmness

A too-firm or too-soft mattress can lead to discomfort. It is essential to have a mattress that gives you adequate support.

Listen to your body

Everyone’s recovery process is different. What works for one person might not work for another. Pay attention to your body’s signals. For instance, if you feel any pain or discomfort while sleeping on your side, then you might sleep on your back for a little longer.

Source: Photo Contributor: fizkes

Importance of Proper Sleeping Positions After Breast Augmentation

Proper sleeping positions after breast augmentation surgery are crucial for an effective recovery. The positioning of the breasts during sleep can impact the healing process and the final results.

Proper sleeping positions are vital because of the following reasons:

Right support

Properly supporting your breasts is important in the post-operative period to prevent any strain or pressure on the implants. So, the best position after the surgery is to sleep on your back. Put a few pillows under your upper back and head. This position allows even distribution of the weight of your breasts. It may also reduce complications and boost healing.

Reduction of swelling

Swelling is a common side effect after breast augmentation surgery. Elevating the upper body during sleep may help reduce swelling by encouraging fluid drainage and improving blood circulation. 

Prevention of implant displacement 

Avoiding pressure or trauma on your breasts in the first few weeks is important. Sleeping on your back prevents accidental movements, which may lead to optimal results.

Comfort and pain management

Proper sleeping positions after surgery may improve comfort and help manage pain.

Prevention of complications

The correct sleeping position may help prevent various complications related to breast augmentation surgery. Sleeping on your back may reduce the risk of distortion of the breast shape. It may minimize the risk of hematoma and fluid collection, which occurs if the breasts are compressed during sleep.

Tips for Sleep Improvement After Breast Augmentation


Moving around is very important from the first day after surgery. You can start with short walks around your house. You might feel in pain; however, walking may enable you to sleep better and prevent blood clots. 


When your surgeon allows you to shower, warm showers in the evening may help you sleep better. Warm showers may relax your muscles.

Support bras

Your surgeon will give you instructions after surgery to wear support bras, even at night, for at least a month. These bras reduce swelling and lower the tension on your incisions.

Although support bras are compression garments, they are, in fact, soft wire-free bras. In the beginning, you should wear bras all the time, except for showering. After several weeks, you can switch to a bra more to your liking.

Limit screen time and sleep disruptors

Avoiding caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and sugar will help you sleep better. Moreover, it is important to stop using screens at least one hour before bed. Blue light prevents the production of melatonin, a hormone needed for sleeping. 

Avoid sleeping during the day

Although sleeping is one of the crucial elements in the healing process, it is best to limit your daily naps to sleep better at night.

Practice mindfulness

It is normal to experience mixed emotions after surgery. Therefore, practicing mindfulness, learning breathing methods, and focusing on positive experiences will help you stay calm and sleep better.

Pain medication

Your plastic surgeon will prescribe painkillers to relieve your pain and help you sleep better. Usually, patients do not need sleeping pills, but in case you can not sleep at all, the doctor might prescribe them.

Healthy diet

It is essential to keep your body hydrated. Moreover, you have to eat healthy food which is easy to swallow. Avoid sugar, spicy, and unhealthy food to recover faster and sleep better.

Pain medication

Source: Photo Contributor: Kim Kuperkova

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after breast augmentation can I raise my arms?

You can raise your arms to your shoulder levels for basic activities such as face washing, hair washing, and eating. After one to two weeks, you can slowly start doing other activities. 

How long before my breast implants look normal?

Besides sleeping positions and curiosities like when can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation, the next big question is when will my breasts look normal.

It usually takes six weeks to three months for your breast implants to look normal. The time frame varies based on your age and the swelling level.