Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, and learning how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal is helpful to ease your discomfort and facilitate the natural healing process. The discomfort from the procedure might make it hard to sleep in your favorite position which can cause you to lose vital hours of sleep. Since sleep is important when it comes to recovering from any kind of procedure, it’s important to understand the best tips for a comfortable sleep after your surgery.
How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Take Pain Medication
After your procedure, your doctor’s office should give you pain medication to help ease some of the symptoms. During the procedure, you will be given anesthesia, but as it wears off you may feel some pain.
It’s important to take your pain medication on schedule and not wait until the pain starts. Taking it on schedule per the doctor’s orders will make sure you never experience too much pain or discomfort.
Taking your medicine will ensure you are able to relax enough to sleep. Being in pain will hinder your sleep quality.
Elevate Your Head
It’s important to keep the head elevated for a few days after surgery. You can stack two pillows on top of one another to keep the head properly elevated. If having your head and neck elevated feels uncomfortable, you can also put extra pillows under your back so that the whole body is aligned, but the neck is still slightly elevated.
Keep in mind that you only need to do this for the first few days after surgery. If the position is uncomfortable, you can go back to your normal sleeping positions on the third or fourth day after surgery.
Sleep on Your Side
Your face might swell after the surgery. Sleeping on your side will reduce swelling while sleeping on your back will increase swelling. More swelling means more fitful rest and reduced sleep quality.
If you’re not a side sleeper naturally, consider putting a pillow wedged in between your back and the mattress. That way if you roll over in the middle of the night, you’re still elevated and partially on your side rather than being flat on your back.
Follow All After Care Instructions
When you’re in pain and just want to sleep, it can be easy to skip aftercare instructions. Following after-care instructions will help you sleep better though because they will provide you with more comfort when sleeping.
Following after-care instructions also ensures you are taking all the steps toward an easy recovery. Your oral surgeon should give you a pamphlet or paper showing you all the tips you need to follow for recovery.
Some examples of aftercare recovery include:
- Keeping physical activity to a bare minimum
- Stay hydrated
- Do not drink from a straw
- Do not smoke or use tobacco
- Apply ice and heat as directed
- Try eating liquids such as milk, fruit smoothies, broth, or nutritional supplement drinks
If you have young children at home, consider asking for help taking care of them for a few days after surgery so that you can rest and recover. If you do not think you will be able to follow after-care instructions on your own, you might also want to ask a friend or relative to keep track of when you are taking your medicine.
Make a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Make sure the room you are sleeping in is comfortable and cool. Try to get rid of any distractions and try not to sleep with the TV or radio on. You might also want to consider using the fan or adjusting the thermostat during sleep time to make the room a comfortable temperature.
Your oral surgeon should give you precise instructions on when to apply heat and when to apply an ice pack. They might recommend that you use ice wrapped in a cloth for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Most doctor’s offices will give you a special cloth wrap to use.
Numerous studies have shown that ice applied in the first few days after surgery can reduce swelling and help you recover quicker.
Things Not to Do After Wisdom Teeth Removal
While there are many tips to follow for better sleeping after surgery, there are also many other things you should not do after surgery. Things like smoking or going back to work too soon after surgery can hinder your sleep and prolong your recovery time.
Brushing Your Wounds
You do not need to brush your teeth within the first 24 hours of your surgery. Even after this time period, you should avoid brushing around your wounds for several days. Brushing near your wounds can dislodge blood clots in your mouth, which in turn can cause pain, bleeding, and even make you need to see the oral surgeon again.
Drinking Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and smoking can inhibit the immune system. Drinking can also cause you to get poorer sleep. Try to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until you are fully healed from the surgery. Alcohol can also alter the effects of your pain medication which can be dangerous.
Staying Up Late
Even if you work or school to catch up on, make sure you are going to bed early and getting enough rest the first few nights after your surgery. There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep.
Going Back to Work Too Soon
If you don’t have many sick days off from work, you might be tempted to head back to work soon. Always talk with your boss and company about your surgery so that can expect you to be gone for a few days.
Going back to work too soon can cause you to become stressed which will alter your sleep quality. It will also mean you need to wake up earlier which potentially cuts back on your quality sleep hours.
Sleeping after wisdom teeth removal can be difficult. You’ll have to alter your sleeping position and might experience a bit of discomfort. To ease the journey, always make sure to follow the surgeon’s instructions and take the medication they prescribe you. The body’s healing process largely takes place while we sleep. Knowing how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal can not only help your discomfort, but give your body the proper rest it needs to recover.