The non-surgical beauty and cosmetic industry brings in millions of dollars each year and is a standard solution for those of us who would prefer not to show our age through the lines on our face. Botox is the most well-known and popular brand of Botulinum Toxin A, a type of neurotoxin which is administered through several tiny injections into different muscle groups. The molecules in the neurotoxins block the impulse of your facial nerves and stop the muscles from contracting.
It’s a relatively straightforward procedure, but it is an excellent idea to prepare yourself for what you should do when it comes to sleeping after Botox.
Due to the increased risk of complications (e.g. Botox migrating to unwanted muscles) it is generally agreed upon practice to wait a minimum of 4 hours before laying flat following Botox injections! After which you should sleep on your back for the first few nights to avoid creating an uneven distribution!
Why You Should Avoid Sleeping After Botox
When you lie down flat or bend over for too long, gravity begins to take over and can cause the Botox to shift. Slight movement may not seem like such a big deal; however, if it transfers to the orbital cavity, the side effects can include drooping eyelids or diplopia (double vision). If you have fallen asleep on your face directly after Botox leading to drooping lids or diplopia, it can take three months or longer for the effects to decrease.
Additionally, you may not need to lie completely flat when you sleep at night, but it is suggested by Botox clinicians that you sleep on your back for the first few days. As the Botox is settling into the muscles, you want to avoid creating an uneven distribution, which can happen if you are sleeping on the side of your face for long periods. If you are usually a stomach sleeper, try these tips for sleeping on your back.
While cases of the treatment spreading to an unwanted location are typically few and far between, it still needs time to settle into the injection site, just to be on the safe side. Minimal doesn’t mean impossible, and since its first use in 1977, there have been enough reports of Botox injections shifting to other areas to warrant the warning.
One thing to keep in mind with your aftercare is that there are some professionals and Botox recipients who don’t believe that lying down or sleeping after Botox has any effects on the diffusion of the treatment. Because each person is different, their muscles are different, and their reaction to the Botulinum Toxin will be different, treat the advice as a preventative measure to avoid complications.
If you are worried that you will begin feeling tired after your procedure or can’t help but take an afternoon nap, try scheduling your injections in the early morning so you’ll be free to rest by early afternoon. It also gives you plenty of time to go about your day without worrying about keeping yourself in an upright position for hours.
For most of us, the purpose of undergoing Botox injections is for skin maintenance, to boost confidence, and to reduce specific cosmetic problems. Droopy eyelids and double vision definitely will not help achieve these desired results, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
How To Deal With the Pain
Because Botox is a non-invasive procedure, any discomfort that you feel afterward should be minimal and shouldn’t impair your sleep. If you do feel pain where you have had the injections or a headache, over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol may be permitted, but consult your clinician beforehand.
If possible, avoid medications such as aspirin, which thin the blood and may result in continued bleeding as well as additional bruising. You should also avoid consuming alcohol for 48 hours before and after the treatment for this same reason.
For relief, gently apply a cold compress to your face when resting. Avoid putting too much pressure on the Botox injection sites, and don’t put ice directly on the injection sites to prevent the possibility of an ice burn. I personally use the PerfeCore Facial Mask Cold Compress (check here for the current price on Amazon) which greatly helps to prevent inflammation and reduce pain after a Botox injection.
Botox Side Effects That May Affect Your Sleep
We won’t cover the extensive list of side effects that come with Botox treatments, but there are just a few that you will want to be aware of that may affect your quality of sleep. Putting the slight pain and bruising aside, the two main ones to consider here are:
- Tiredness – Headaches, and tiredness are a typical report among people who receive Botox injections. As mentioned above, if falling asleep too soon is a concern for you, schedule a morning appointment. Be sure to give yourself a minimum of four hours before you allow yourself to get some rest after your treatment. This side effect usually only lasts for up to 24 hours.
- Anxiety – While not overly common, some patients have noticed an increase in feelings of anxiety after receiving Botox. Studies for Botox have been unable to show a direct link, but it’s worth noting that it is listed as a common side effect, and anxiety-related sleep disturbances have been recorded. If you already suffer from anxiety, consult with your doctor in order to ensure that you are able to sleep after your treatment.
Because Botulinum Toxin is actually incredibly poisonous to the human body, if you sense any other, more severe side effects, please seek medical help immediately. Seeking medical advice is especially crucial if you find yourself struggling to sleep due to shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing after more than a few hours.
Botox For Sleep Issues
Mainstream uses for Botox are generally cosmetic and mostly used to prevent or lessen wrinkles and fine lines, as well as to help with excessive sweating. But did you know that Botulinum Toxin A is also used to help with sleep issues such as snoring, sleep apnea, and sleep bruxism (teeth grinding)?
For over a decade, several studies have been carried out to discover whether paralyzing specific muscles can help with these conditions, and have had positive results. For example, patients with sleep bruxism who have had Botox injected into the masseter (jaw) muscles report that they have experienced less teeth grinding in their sleep. In addition, there appear to be minimal cosmetic problems with reference to affecting their smile, and jaw function (chewing) remains unaffected.
Snoring patients who had Botox injected into the soft palate (the roof of your mouth, in the back) found that, in all cases, snoring was reduced. They, too, reported no adverse side effects.
More sleep studies need to be done on the matter, however, with some practitioners believing that Botox in the throat area (internally or externally) can worsen the potential of sleep apnea due to freezing the muscles needed to keep the airway open while we sleep.
If you think Botox may be an option for your sleep condition(s), speak to your doctor about possible treatment options.
Botox Aftercare Tips
Fortunately, the recovery time from receiving Botox injections is relatively short. You can resume most daily activities as soon as you leave your appointment (often earning the procedure the name “lunchtime facelift”). Here are some general Botox recovery tips to help the injections settle properly.
- Begin using your regular facial expressions. With facial exercises, such as frowning, smiling, and raising your eyebrows, you may speed up the desired results of the treatment. It can also help to work the Botox into the correct muscles.
- Avoid putting pressure on your face. Minimizing pressure applies to when you are sleeping, but also in general throughout the day. For the first 24 hours, try to avoid rubbing your face, as well as wearing accessories such as hats and glasses as these can put pressure on the injections, resulting in uneven distribution. Because full-body massages require you to mostly lie face-down, aim to book your massage beforehand or for the next day. You should also plan to schedule your next facial for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
- Avoid any physical contact with your face. As tempting as we know that it is to touch the wrinkles and lines in your skin to feel if it is working, keep all fingers off, and keep your face clean for six hours after your treatment.
- Light exercise is perfectly fine. While you should avoid strenuous activities, such as weight training or exercises that require you to be inverted, such as yoga or aerial yoga, it is perfectly acceptable to maintain your physical routine.
- Avoid extreme heat. Never place heat directly on your injection site, and avoid places where you may be in extremely heated conditions, such as tanning beds, saunas, and steam rooms. Heat makes the Botulinum Toxin more pliable, making it easier for the substance to spread to other areas.
- Use a revitalizing night cream. Botox shouldn’t be your own tool in your arsenal when it comes to promoting healthy youthful skin. A night cream should be apart of any skincare routine to assist in keeping your skin wrinkle-free while you sleep. I highly recommend THENA Natural Wellness Night Cream (link to Amazon) as your go to night cream. It has been an absolute game-changer in terms of making my face look more youthful with less wrinkles – I’ve been using it for the past 8 months and couldn’t be happier!
If you are curious about specific activities, it is always recommended that you stick to the 4-hour rule. Botox injections typically settle reasonably quickly; however, you want to be sure that it has time to work into the desired muscle before engaging in sleep or any other activity that will cause it to shift.