From Surgery to Slumber - A Guide to Sleeping After Hair Transplantation

March 20, 2024

At Tir na nOg Clinic, we receive a lot of queries, during our consultations, about the recovery process following surgery and what it entails. One important aspect of recovery and a successful transplant, is the manner in which the patient sleeps in the immediate weeks after the procedure. Ensuring a comfortable and safe sleep routine after a hair transplant is vital. Throughout the initial postoperative phase, typically spanning 10 to 14 days, it's important to stick to specific sleeping positions and practices to protect the fragile grafts and foster optimal healing. Here we will get into the details of navigating the sleep related aspects of your hair transplant recovery:

The Best Sleeping Positions After a Hair Transplant:

Sleeping on your back with your head elevated: Lie flat on your back with your head slightly raised, ideally at a 45 degree angle. This posture helps to keep swelling to a minimum and prevents direct pressure on the transplanted area.

Use Supportive Pillows: Incorporate additional pillows or specialised varieties like pregnancy or U-shaped travel pillows to uphold the desired sleeping posture and to avoid rolling onto your side.

Consider a Reclining Chair: If sleeping on your back proves challenging, resting in a reclining chair can provide sufficient support and elevation for your head and body.

The Importance of Adhering to Sleep Guidelines:

It will help preserve the grafts: Proper sleeping positions act as a protective barrier, shielding delicate hair follicle grafts from harm.

It facilitates healing: Consistency when it comes to sticking to recommended sleep postures and protocols helps stimulate good blood circulation, minimises swelling, and promotes the seamless integration of transplanted hair follicles into the scalp.

Additional Recommendations for Sleep Post Surgery:

Cleanliness: Keep the bed sheets clean and changed regularly.  Tir na nOg Clinic provide medical bed sheets to place over you pillow.

Avoid scratching: Refrain from scratching the scalp as this can dislodge the healing grafts. If the itch is driving you crazy, you can use recommended solution saline spray provided by Tir na nOg Clinic.

Choose activities wisely: Steer clear of strenuous endeavours, including sexual activity, during the initial healing phase to avoid disrupting the grafts.

Drink water: Ensure you are staying hydrated throughout the day, as it will aid the healing process and can help alleviate discomfort.

The Importance of Quality Sleep,  Post Hair Transplantation:

Supports healing: Quality sleep serves is vital for all of the body’s healing mechanisms. Therefore, taking actions that will help you to get a good night’s sleep will be very beneficial during the recovery phase. 

Promotes restorative sleep: Engaging in healthy sleep habits, such as keeping consistent bedtimes and having a relaxation technique to hand, will foster restorative sleep crucial for the body's graft healing response.

Timeline for Resuming Normal Sleeping Positions:


Side sleeping: Around 10 days post procedure, consider gradually transitioning to side sleeping (only if this is the way you normally would sleep), ensuring minimal pressure on the transplanted area.

Sleeping on your front: We recommend waiting about 15 days before reverting to front sleeping to allow for the formation of protective scabs over the graft sites.

There can be a lot to take in when it comes to the do’s and don’t’s of the recovery process, but it isn’t for long and by being consistent in following these guidelines and recommendations, you can navigate your hair transplant recovery journey smoothly. Most importantly, you will be offering your newly implanted hair follicles the best possible opportunity of success. 

Dr Kevin McDonald will discuss the guidelines with you and may need to adapt them so that they are tailored to your specific requirements and recovery trajectory.