What Things Can I Do After Rhinoplasty to Help my Sleep at Night?

I just had rhinoplasty 4 days ago and have been experiencing trouble sleeping. I am trying to stay away from napping during the day, but i wake up 2 to 3 times in a night. Is there anything I can do during the day or right before I go to bed to improve my sleep?

Doctor Answers 4

Trouble sleeping after rhinoplasty

Sorry to hear about your trouble. it's not too surprising considering that it is probably a little difficult breathing through your nose right now because of the swelling. Try sleeping with your head elevated. You can try some Benadryl or an anti-histamine / decongestant. Before doing so though you should check with your surgeon and family doctor to be sure that it won't interfere with any of your regular medications or conditions.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

What To Do For Better Sleep After Rhinoplasty

Dear Rosey,

I am sorry that you are having trouble sleeping at night; it is not uncommon to have such a difficulty with rhinoplasty patients especially during the first week post-surgery.

That being said, you can sleep at an inclined angle of about 20-30 degrees (you have to find your comfort inclination/position). Also, you may want to check with your surgeon if you can use decongestants and/or sleeping aids.

The main issue is that you are swollen to a point that it is hard to breath when you are sleeping so helping with subsiding the swelling will help you sleep; unfortunately I doubt that ice application will help much at 4 days post-op but you can make sure that your daily salt intake is well controlled and limited.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your inquiry.

The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews


You must be able to breathe through your nose in order to be comfortable at night.  Your surgeon can help you with decongestants and sleep aids.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Things to help you sleep at night after rhinoplasty

This is certainly one of the hardest periods after rhinoplasty. It is especially more difficult if you nose was "packed" in the traditional sense. Some of the things that can be tried:

position - elevate the head of your bed >30 degrees. this can reduce swelling at the surgical site

pain meds - an appropriate dose prescribeed by your physician

ice - can reduce swelling externally but usually more effective in the first 24-48 hours

decongestants - this can allow you to breathe a bit better, but only if you don't have packing since no airflow will be possible

saline spray - it can dislodge soften hard mucus and clots that can be uncomfortable

time - you should feel dramatically better as each day goes by


michael kim, md

Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.