Post-operative care is extremely important after you have undergone a facelift procedure. And an essential part of that recovery process is getting a good night’s sleep.
Our cells repair and regenerate as we sleep and our bodies perform a variety of restorative functions all of which promote quicker healing after surgery.
But after a facelift procedure, there are some sleep tips you have to keep in mind to make sure you don’t accidentally cause trauma to the delicate tissue that has just started the process of recovery.
#1: Elevate The Head
During the first few weeks after a facelift, sleep in a position where the head is elevated above the heart. When your head is raised to about 35-40 degrees, the amount of fluids accumulating near the incisions reduces too, and swelling subsides more rapidly.
A bulky, 36” x 36” throw cushion or a U-shaped travel pillow can help, or you can just add a couple of extra pillows to the one you already sleep on.
In case you have a reclining sofa or chair that you are comfortable lounging in, you might choose to sleep on it at night as well.
#2: Sleep On Your Back
Less than 14% of people habitually sleep on their backs. Researchers say this is probably because we have unconscious memories of spending 9 months in the womb in a fetal position.
If you are naturally inclined to sleep on your side or on your stomach, start practicing sleeping on your back a few weeks before the surgery.
You don’t want your face crushed against the pillow when there are stitches still healing under the skin, and the best way to ensure you don’t accidentally turn over is to get used to sleeping on your back early.
Try putting pillows on both sides of your body and one under your knees. This should discourage you from flipping over to find your most comfortable position.
Sleeping ‘starfish’ style — lying down flat on your back with yours arms and legs spread wide — may also help, though this can be hard to do if you share your bed with a partner.
#3: Use Ambient Sleep Aids
Falling asleep – and staying asleep – may prove to be a little difficult during the first few days after surgery.
To encourage your mind to unwind and your body to sink into a deep state of relaxation, you can use essential oils like Lavender, Sweet Marjoram and Clary Sage, or play some soothing background music at a low volume. Make sure the room is perfectly dark with no source of light shining through your closed eyelids. Sleeping alone during this phase will also ensure you’re not disturbed by the movements of another person.
Finally, don’t eat or drink anything that is caffeinated later in the day.
Got questions about post-facelift care? Let us know! We will be glad to help you.