Are you scheduled for a septoplasty to correct a blockage in one of the nasal passages? If yes, you’re right to be terrified of the procedure. There can be a lot of uncertainty with regards to what to expect after the procedure.
Whether you’ve always nodded off without problems in the past or have a history of insomnia, septoplasty can affect the ability to sleep in many ways. This is why we’ve outlined the best practices to enjoy comfortable nights after the delicate nasal surgery.
10 Tips on How To Sleep After Septoplasty
Sleeping comfortably after septoplasty is no mean feat especially during the first 24 hours when one nostril or the other bleeds with the slightest physical provocation.
The face and cheeks are likely to get bruised and swollen from the surgeon’s incisions and prying tools as well. This can make Dreamland even more difficult to reach.
Here are some easy techniques to help anyone sleep like a baby through the night during the recovery period after undergoing a septoplasty.
1. Get Enough Rest
The first 24 hours after surgery can set the tone for how quickly a patient may heal after septoplasty. This is why getting as much rest as possible is so important. Remember, the physical trauma from the procedure coupled with the use of anesthesia can take a heavy toll on anyone.
The feeling of drowsiness and fatigue is normal meaning the urge to catch some Zs for longer can be greater. However, the plan should be to get as much shuteye as possible as it can enhance the body’s ability to regenerate and heal bruised cells.
This can translate to a quicker recovery time enabling patients to return to work or school.
2. Body Pillows
As stated above, body pillows can come in handy when sleeping after septoplasty. These pillows may provide elevation for the head, neck, and other parts of the upper body while maintaining alignment with the spine and the lower body.
This can mean a smooth positioning of the body throughout the night which may reduce the risk of tossing and turning in bed. Most patients say 2-3 pillows are typically enough to see them through the night but feel free to use as many as possible.
Additionally, avoid extremely soft or firm pillows as they can dent comfort levels and spike insomnia especially among back and side sleepers.
The BioPEDIC Bed Pillows from Amazon guarantees blissful nights for everyone who needs comfort without breaking the bank. It features an all-natural 100 percent cotton shell for serene sleeping even during harsh weather.
3. Recliner Chair
Recliner chairs can be heaven-sent for patients desperate to get a good night of rest after septoplasty. These chairs may provide the correct elevation of the upper body to reduce swelling and bruising of the injury site.
If you’re a stomach or side sleeper who struggles to lie down on the back, these comfy chairs can make life so much easy. The fact that these chairs force everyone to sit with the back means zero chance of rolling over to another position.
Recliner chairs come in several designs, with most high-end models upholstered with the finest leather fabrics.
The JUMICCO Fabric Recliner Chair from Amazon proved life-saving for my girlfriend after undergoing facial surgery 3 months ago. It features breathable fabric with thick padding for the ultimate comfort throughout the night. It also sports an armrest and footrest for elevating the legs.
4. Adjustable Bed
Does the sound of sleeping in a recliner chair sound too stressful for comfort? How about getting an adjustable bed. These beds offer excellent elevation of the body across several angles while you’re lying down on the back.
Adjustable beds may be great not only for sleeping but also for watching TV, reading in bed, and other leisurely activities.
The only downside is that getting one of these may set you back a couple of hundred dollars. However, if you can afford it, these beds can be worthwhile over and over again.
The good news is that they can be extremely useful long after you’ve fully recovered from the surgical procedure.
The LUCID L300 Adjustable Bed Base with 12-inch Memory Foam Mattress from Amazon is the highest-selling combo online right now. It is easy to assemble even among complete beginners and available at a great price too.
5. Ice for 15-20 minutes
Septoplasty can have a damning effect on the face with swelling of areas such as the upper lip, cheeks, nose, and eyes. Since the procedure involves a surgeon making incisions in the nasal region, a higher degree of pain can be inevitable particularly during the first few days.
Putting ice on the affected area can reduce the swelling and bruises from the surgeon’s knife meaning an easier likelihood of good sleep. The key is to place the ice on the bruised area for 10-15 minutes at a time and enjoy the numb feeling that replaces the pain.
Be sure to place a cloth between the ice and the nose to minimize the risk of ice burns.
6. Take A Walk
A daily stroll after the first 24 hours can be important for getting good nighttime rest. You can start slow and build up by increasing the walking distance each night. These walks can be a great way to clear the mind of any distractions that may inhibit sleep.
In my experience, taking a walk after dinner may be the most beneficial for sleep as it can speed up the digestion process. Like any type of exercise, walking can also release feel-good hormones that refresh the body and aid in blissful shuteye.
Additionally, it can improve blood flow while preventing pneumonia and constipation. Sure, brisk walks can be more beneficial but strolls may be rewarding in numerous ways too.
7. Take Pain Medicines
Pain medications can be essential to superior sleep after septoplasty. Surgeons typically prescribe over the counter medications to inhibit the neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the brain.
This can provide soothing relief from the discomfort the majority of patients experience post-surgery. Whatever pain medication is prescribed, make sure to follow the dosage instructions completely.
Avoid skipping on the medications even if your pain has subsided because it can come back to haunt you in the future. Also, do not take any other medications until the surgeon gives you the green light.
8. Take Full Course of Antibiotics
Surgeons may prescribe antibiotics for septoplasty patients to aid in healing from infections. Taking the full dose of these medications can be crucial to eliminating the risk of the infection in question.
Even if you’re feeling good, do not stop taking the prescribed antibiotics until the full course is complete. The failure to follow this practice can lead to serious effects including the body losing its immunity against the infection in particular.
Remember, antibiotics typically require being taken at particular times of the day so make sure to follow that as well.
9. Take a Warm Shower
A warm shower can be the secret to sleeping tight after undergoing any type of surgery including septoplasty. After lying in bed all day, a warm shower can cool down the body and set it up to enjoy a restful night.
This is especially true on hot summer nights when room temperatures can be excessively high to the point of discomfort.
Besides, the cooling effects of warm showers can send the right signals to the brain to launch complicated sleep-inducing processes. The brain typically responds by releasing the sleep hormone melatonin as well as slowing down the heart rate and other essential conditions for a quick shuteye.
10. Mind Relaxation
Mind relaxation techniques can be critical to blissful nights after septoplasty. The patient’s anxiety levels may spike in the aftermath of the procedure leading to an unsettled mind which can keep anyone up at ungodly hours of the night.
Several mind relaxation methods are available and sometimes a combination of multiple activities can be the key to sleep. The best mind relaxation techniques include:
These oils are renowned for their sweet aromas and natural mind-calming abilities. From Valerian Root to Bergamot as well as Jasmine, Sandalwood, and Peppermint, essential oils can be either poured directly in a bath or circulated throughout the bedroom to enjoy a rapid shuteye.
The Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser with Essential Oils from Amazon helps me sleep quicker and longer. Recommended by my best friend who went through a recent bout of anxiety and depression, it is one of the most potent weapons for eliminating my insomnia.
Reading is a proven method for calming the mind especially when immersed in interesting material. It can also serve as a healthy distraction from negative thoughts that may be impeding the ability to nod off. The good news is that reading is more relaxing than popular alternative techniques such as exercise and listening to music.
The calming effects of meditation are world-class and this is why the practice has been in use for over a century. Meditation may enable the mind to switch off from disturbing thoughts to focus on more positive subjects.
This is another tried and tested method for relaxing the mind from the deepest levels of stress. It involves different poses that can calm the nerves and lower anxiety levels leading to a quicker journey to reach Dreamland even on a rough day. Yoga can be incorporated with deep breathing techniques such as the 4-7-8 Method, Bhramari Pranayama, Alternate Nasal Breathing Exercises, and the Buteyko method.
What is a Septoplasty?
The cartilage that separates one nasal passage from the other is known as the septum and any deviations in the positioning can lead to chronic blockage of one of the nostrils. This may result in the inability to inhale the amounts of oxygen the body requires to thrive leading to repeated sneezing, painful sinus headaches, and serious breathing problems.
A septoplasty is a surgical procedure that can correct any deviations in the position of the septum to help patients inhale optimally. Septal deviation is one of the most common nasal conditions doctors treat so no need to freak out after being referred for surgery.
Undergoing this procure can also improve the overall quality of your life and help alleviate the signs associated with conditions such as sleep apnea and snoring.
What’s The Best Sleeping Position After Septoplasty?
The best sleeping position after septoplasty is to lie on the back with the head elevated. If you’ve always slept on a single pillow, this can be a great time to indulge in a few more. Most patients say 2-3 pillows typically provide enough elevation while others report deriving more comfort from wedge pillows during recovery.
If you decide to go down the wedge pillows route, make sure to choose one that is slanted enough to keep the head elevated depending on your height and body size. The good news is that these pillows are common on the market and are usually available at affordable prices, especially on Amazon.
I love sleeping on the InteVision Foam Bed Wedge Pillow from Amazon. It provides world-class comfort and elevation for deeply relaxing nights. With over 5,000 5-star reviews from independent buyers on Amazon, you cannot go wrong.
Other Precautions To Take After Septoplasty
There are additional precautions that can make life smooth and comfortable after undergoing nasal surgery. While these actions may not directly impact your sleep, they can save you from a lot of stress. Nodding off should be much easier afterward.
1. Drip Pad Under the Nose
Like other surgical procedures, bleeding is normal after septoplasty. This is why placing a drip pad under the nose to collect the mixture of blood and mucus can be crucial.
The trick is to change the drip pad every hour during the first 24 hours or so depending on the extent of the bleeding.
2. Avoid Physically Stressful Tasks
Doctors recommend that patients stay away from physically exertive activities during the first 7 days after surgery. This may include powerlifting, bicycle riding, playing a sport, or cardio exercises.
Also, refrain from bending to pick up heavy items such as children, grocery bags, heavy backpacks, or other bags.
3. Eat Properly
A proper diet can be essential to the recovery process after septoplasty. To avoid constipation, fiber-rich foods should be incorporated into your diet. Some patients experience may stomach upsets and if that’s the case for you, simple meals like plain rice or yogurt can be a great choice.
Getting satisfying sleep after septoplasty can be a daunting task especially during the first 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Recovery can take up to 2 months so you’ll have to make an effort to gain restful sleep.
The good news is that our sleep techniques described above can be relied upon by anyone to improve their nighttime rest quality.