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Not sleeping after surgery!

Struggling to get some Zzzz’s? You’re not alone. Insomnia after Sx is common.

by Tai Brown • Taime out Massage Owner

Dolls who have just undergone surgery commonly complain of sleep disturbances and nighttime restlessness. Whether you just had a tummy tuck, a fat grafting, or just lipo— finding a good sleeping position at night is rough. As your your circulation slows in the evening hours— you start to wind down and so does your metabolism and energy flows— pressure builds in your tissues. This may increase headaches and overall discomfort.

Not to mention, you may not be in your normal place of refuge to recharge. Recovery houses are full of different personalities and energies, hotel beds are hit or miss, hospitals can be noisy and full of bright lights— all of which can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Inflammation, lingering pain, and medications used during and after a procedure can also disrupt sleep, even once a person is at home.

But quality sleep is crucial to recovery following a surgical procedure.

Here’s 4 tips to get better sleep at night while you heal from surgery:

1. Stretch

Slight stretches make a big difference. Stretch your arms, fingers, and side torso (not putting any tension on incisional body lift lines)— take slow controlled deeper breaths through the stretch expanding the lungs, pushing more oxygen into the tissue and cells.

2. Self-massage thru the faja

Massaging through your faja seems silly but the purpose isn’t to get the warm and fuzzy feel goods— it’s to stimulate controlled circulation to tissue; this is effective even if you have a garment on. In a controlled motion, use your fingertips and heels of palm, push in on your sides, dragging towards your belly button, and then flutter your fingers upwards. You can also massage in light localized circles with your fingertips, staying in the same area for 30 sec before moving on to another area and then fluttering upwards. Take deeper slow controlled breaths as you massage.

3. Don’t use electronics 30min before bed

Minimizing electronics before bed helps you fall into a deeper state of sleep. Tempting as it might be to use your computer or phone before bed, studies have shown these devices can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin, a natural hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for sleep. This leads to neurophysiologic arousals that increase feelings of alertness when you should be winding down instead. We heal and recover during our sleep. Wanna heal faster AND get better sleep? Schedule your sleep (say: “I’m going to be at 10p tonight) & ditch the electronics 30-60min before bed.

4. Sip tea

Drinking warm team after your last meal is so underrated. What you drink, especially in the hours before bedtime, can make a big difference in how well you sleep. Some beverages, like coffee and alcohol, are well-known sleep stealers. Even water can keep you up if you drink too much of it too close to bedtime. On the flip side, some tea can help you fall (and stay) asleep. Try these out:

  • Banana tea: most people are magnesium deficient, which can lead to a restless night's sleep. Because the peel of the banana contains almost three times the amount of magnesium as the fruit itself.

  • Chamomile tea: As long as it's noncaffeinated herbal tea, it can help you fall asleep. Chamomile tea is a great option because it also triggers receptors in the brain that are responsible for sleep. You can create your own sleep-inducing blend by mixing in herbs such as lavender valerian.

  • Passion flower tea: passionflower helps increase levels of GABA in the brain, leaving you more relaxed and less anxious.

About the author

Tai Brown

International massage therapist who’s career has evolved from sports massage, to oncology massage, to leading the industry in postOperative care and body contouring, specifically pertaining to plastic surgery. Tai is the owner of Taime out Massage Studios and a Tributo partner.