How Should You Sleep Without Damaging Your Rhinoplasty?


Rhinoplasty surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, aiming to enhance the appearance or function of the nose. Post-surgery, while the excitement of the new change is in the air, there might also be apprehensions regarding the recovery phase, particularly about how one should sleep without affecting the results. If you’ve just had a rhinoplasty or are considering one, it’s important to understand the best post-operative sleeping positions and precautions to ensure optimal healing and results. A study found that a significant proportion (82%) of these patients had poor sleep quality, and 46% experienced excessive daytime sleepiness. Additionally, 27% were at high risk for OSA.

In this article, we will explore some tips and precautions about sleeping after your rhinoplasty surgery.

Sleep in an Elevated Position

One of the initial concerns post-rhinoplasty is the fear of damaging the nose during sleep. Rest assured, while the first few nights might be slightly challenging, there are ways to ensure you sleep soundly without jeopardizing the outcome of your surgery.

Why is it Important?

Sleeping on your back is recommended, especially for the first three days following the surgery. The reason for this is multifaceted:

1. Reduced Swelling and Blood Pooling: Elevating your head and shoulders using pillows can help reduce swelling and prevent blood from pooling in the operated area.

2. Ease in Breathing: Post-surgery, your nose might be congested. Sleeping on your back facilitates easier breathing, allowing you to sleep without discomfort.

3. Minimized Strain: The elevated position makes it easier to get up, ensuring there’s no undue strain on the nose.

For those not accustomed to this position, using travel pillows or towels to stabilize the head can prove helpful. Inadvertently shifting to your side or stomach might lead to additional swelling or bruising, but the protective dressings and splints applied post-surgery can guard against any significant damage.

Manage Your Pain

The postoperative phase can come with its share of discomfort. However, pain management is crucial not just for comfort but also to ensure a restful sleep, which is essential for healing.

Medication: Before the procedure, your surgeon will provide prescriptions to help manage any post-surgery pain. While over-the-counter pain relief like Tylenol might suffice for many, some might require stronger medication, such as Tylenol 3, particularly before bed.

Discontinuation: Although these medications are beneficial, it’s essential to wean off them as soon as they’re no longer necessary. Relying on them in the initial days post-surgery can significantly help in ensuring a comfortable and undisturbed sleep.

Some Research Analysis for Pain Reduction After Rhinoplasty:

A study compared Hilotherapy, a continuous cooling method at 15°C, to traditional ice packs for reducing swelling, bruising, and pain after rhinoplasty surgery.

Study Group: 60 patients who had rhinoplasty were divided into two groups – one got Hilotherapy, the other ice packs for 24 hours after surgery.


Hilotherapy group had less swelling and bruising over 7 days (P < .001).

Hilotherapy group reported less pain in morning and evening assessments (P < .001).

Hilotherapy uses a water-circulating cooling device at 15°C through a mask, avoiding cold burns or discomfort.

Importance: Reducing postoperative swelling, bruising, and pain after rhinoplasty is crucial for patient comfort and satisfaction.

Conclusion: Hilotherapy is effective in reducing post-rhinoplasty complications better than traditional ice packs.

Try to Sleep Alone

While it might sound a bit isolating, sleeping alone for the first few days post-surgery can be beneficial.

Why Consider It?

1. Reduced Risk of Injury: If you share your bed with a partner who’s restless or moves frequently, there’s a chance you might accidentally get nudged, which could compromise the surgical results.

2. Undisturbed Rest: Your sleep pattern might be slightly altered post-surgery. Sleeping alone ensures that movements or disturbances from a partner don’t interrupt your rest.


Rhinoplasty, like any other surgery, requires meticulous post-operative care. While concerns about sleep are valid, by taking some simple precautions like sleeping on your back, managing pain appropriately, and considering sleeping alone, you can ensure that your recovery is smooth and the results are as desired. If you have further concerns or need more detailed guidance, the team at the Premium Clinic in Toronto is always ready to assist. Schedule a consultation at “Premium Clinic” today and start on a safe and successful recovery journey.

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