How to Sleep After Rhinoplasty – Why Sleeping On Your Back is Best

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nose doctor examining female patient

The best things you can do for your body after any surgery are to eat well, drink plenty of water and get lots of rest and sleep. This may sound relatively easy, but with a tender, sore nose after rhinoplasty surgery, sleeping may be more difficult than anticipated.

You may inadvertently bump your nose in the night, roll over onto your face and even absent-mindedly scratch your nose in your sleep. Keep reading to learn how to sleep after rhinoplasty to avoid these situations and achieve better healing.

Where and how to sleep after nose surgery

You’ll have plenty of time to rest and relax after your procedure, and sleeping the time away is a great way to speed up your recovery. So why not grab your favourite book or put on some good movies and snuggle up in bed?

There’s no reason you can’t sleep in your usual bed, but it might be a good idea to kick your spouse and pets out during your recovery. This will reduce the risk of any accidents happening overnight, and ensure you don’t bump your partner or have your pet lick your healing wounds.

How to sleep after rhinoplasty – The basics

It’s best to sleep on your back in an elevated position. Doing so will reduce post-operative swelling and congestion (which can be hard to clear after rhinoplasty, as you can’t blow your nose). Sleeping elevated and bolstered with pillows, rolled-up towels or even foam blocks makes it less likely that you’ll roll over onto your side. If you have a comfy recliner, this can often be a better option as you’re almost guaranteed not to end up on your side.

Take your prescription pain medication just before bed and avoid caffeinated drinks from the afternoon onwards for the best sleep.

How long do I need to sleep elevated after rhinoplasty?

Thankfully, most healthy adults heal very quickly after nasal surgery. You do need to be extra careful during the first seven to ten days and it is recommended you stay elevated as much as possible during this time. If you feel comfortable enough to sleep elevated longer than this, by all means do so, as it’s beneficial beyond early recovery time. If you’re struggling to sleep like this though, you should be fine to lower your sleeping position after the first week.

How long do I need to sleep on my back after rhinoplasty?

You might find it uncomfortable to sleep on your back and you’re not alone. One of our most frequent questions is “how long after rhinoplasty can I sleep on my side?”. Thankfully, you’ll be able to tentatively change your sleeping position after about ten days. If you’re worried about accidentally rolling onto your side during slumber before this, don’t worry. Your nasal splints and bandaging are pretty tough and should prevent any major wound trauma.

If you do find yourself waking up with your nose pressed into your pillow, and later  experience additional swelling and congestion, your surgeon should be able to provide guidance if you require a longer healing period.

Trust us to have the answers to all your rhinoplasty questions

If you have any other questions or concerns during your healing phase, contact the friendly team here at Sedgh Plastic Surgery for a chat, or check out our article about additional recovery tips for rhinoplasty.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.