Many patients worry about how they should take care of their new, fragile follicular units as they leave the clinic to return home. One of the biggest concerns is related to how to sleep after a hair transplant.
In this article, we want to explore this topic and give some helpful advice to blog readers.
A great idea is to sleep with a cervical travel pillow for the first five nights after a hair transplant. This ensures that your head stays in one position and secure and that the transplanted area has direct contact with the regular pillow. We also suggest adding an extra pillow for the first three nights to keep the scalp higher than heart level, this actually helps reduce post-operative swelling..
Why is the sleeping position after hair transplantation important?
Whether you underwent surgery via FUT or FUE, it is important to pay special attention to the time of lying down after surgery. Normal sleeping habits and certain positions you assume at bedtime can cause scalp problems and prolong your recovery beyond what is necessary.
There is also a danger that your delicate follicular units may come loose or be damaged, for example if the recipient area rubs hard against the pillow. This could adversely affect the outcome of the procedure and compromise the success of the procedure.
Suggestions on how to sleep after a hair transplant
In order to get the best possible result after surgery, it is important to follow the directions provided by the surgeon or team that operated on you. This may involve modifying your sleeping habits for the first few days post-surgery.
We want to give you some tips that we believe will help protect your grafts and increase the likelihood of a smooth recovery.
Keep your head and neck elevated – Try to sleep with your head and neck above heart height for the first three nights postoperatively when the risk of swelling is greatest. We recommend using a neck pillow or rolled up towel to keep the scalp in a secure position for the first five nights, until the grafts can be considered safe. If you are used to sleeping on your stomach (prone) you should avoid doing so and try sleeping on your back for the first 5 nights..
Avoid excessive movement – Avoid excessive tossing and turning once in bed as this increases the risk of banging your head against the headboard and causing a outbreak of grafts.
Use a pillow cover – On the first few nights there may be some bleeding or suppuration in the donor area, the use of a pillow cover is recommended to avoid staining the sheets and pillowcases.
If possible, avoid taking sleeping pills – It is preferable to avoid taking sleeping pills which may cause you to fall into a deep sleep during which you may inadvertently bump, rub, or touch the grafted area excessively. Best to avoid sleeping pills for at least 5 nights.
When can I return to normal sleep after the transplant?
If you find it difficult to sleep after undergoing a hair transplant, always remember that this situation is temporary.
The itching, pain and difficulty in finding a comfortable position to lie down will only last a short time.
You will be able to return to normal sleep in a few days, but with the knowledge that you have done everything necessary to safeguard your precious follicular units.
It is advisable to sleep with your head slightly elevated at least for the first 3 nights postoperatively. After this period, the swelling should be gone and you can sleep with your head flat.
In our opinion it is preferable to continue using the cervical pillow until the fifth night post-surgery..
On the sixth night after surgery it is possible to return to sleeping with a normal pillow.
These are just general indications, the advice is to follow the instructions that will be provided to you at the facility where you decide to have surgery.