Popular keywords

Sleep calculator

Discover how much sleep you really need

How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 17, 2023
6 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
How To Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Before knowing how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal, let us share a fact about wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth helped our ancient humans to chew coarse uncooked food while hunting. However, after human evolution, we have soft, processed, and cooked food on our table. Therefore, like the monkey’s long tail served no purpose, wisdom teeth are on their way to exit.

Many people don’t have wisdom teeth. At the same time, many individuals have embedded wisdom teeth stuck inside their jawbone. Thus, surgery is needed to remove the wisdom tooth, which may cause pain and swelling. 

Sleeping after a tooth extraction is not easy. Therefore, we have found information on snoozing care after wisdom tooth removal. Keep reading.

How to Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Many patients find it challenging to slumber post-tooth surgery due to the unbearable pain in the mouth. Below are the essential guidelines on how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal.

Take Your Pain Medication

Doctors prescribe pain medication to help ease the pain. Pain medications aid in the prevention of potential infection and minimising pain for better sleep. Applying ice packs to the cheek for pain and swelling reduces skin temperature and nerve activity. 

Choose The Right Position

Post-tooth surgery, the blood may flow from the extraction site. Then how are you supposed to sleep after wisdom teeth removal? Sleeping on the side for the first few days will be an appropriate position for you. Side sleeping is ideal if the tooth has been extracted only from one side. You can easily sleep on the opposite side of the extracted tooth. 

Sleeping on your back will be beneficial if you have both sides of your wisdom teeth removed simultaneously. Use pillows to keep your head elevated for sleep comfort. Lying flat on your back may enhance swelling, thus increasing pain and impacting your bedtime.

Elevate Your Head

Keeping your head elevated at a 45-degree angle while you slumber will ease healing. You may feel uncomfortable and worry about how long do I have to sleep after wisdom teeth removal in this position? Be prepared to sleep by elevating your head for three days. If you lie flat, blood vessels will constrict, and the blood volume near the wound will increase. The wounded area will start punching, leading to an increase in pressure and excessive bleeding. Thus the healing of the injury is prevented. 

With your head elevated, the swelling and pain are reduced, thus providing enough rest for the body to heal naturally.

Follow Your Aftercare Instructions

Your oral surgeon will advise you to take a catnap after tooth surgery. Rest aids in a better healing process of the wound. Not taking enough rest will enhance pain impacting your slumber. 

The ideal way to allow yourself to relax is by setting the room temperature between 60-67 degrees. The body temperature lowers and prepares the body to get into dozing mode. Try to switch off the room lights and keep yourself away from your gadgets to limit the harmful radiation from their blue screen. These aftercare instructions will speed up your healing process.

What to Avoid When Sleeping After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

After surgery, a patient may face many complications. One is blood clots, which help stop the bleeding and relieve pain. Removing blood clots makes the patient suffer from a condition called dry socket. Blood clots also help prevent excessive bleeding and infection. Read below to know what to avoid when sleeping after wisdom teeth removal.

Sleeping Flat On Your Back

Most doctors recommend sleeping upright or sitting to avoid the wounded area getting pressed. It is likely for you to think how long do I have to sleep sitting up after wisdom teeth removal. Doctors recommend that on the first day, sleeping in a sitting position is necessary. However, sleeping flat on your back without keeping your head elevated makes the blood pass through the throat blocking the airways. Thus, you won’t be able to sleep, leading to pain enhancement. Moreover, bleeding may restart, delaying the healing process. Keep a few pillows behind your back for support.

Brushing Around Your Wounds

Avoid brushing for at least 24 hours after surgery to prevent the removal of blood clots which are essential for wound healing. Your surgeon will guide you on when to start brushing based on your injury. After a few days, brush mildly and use salt water to gargle.

Staying Up Late

Sleeping late at night is a new norm these days. However, avoid being awake late at night as your body needs complete rest to heal the wound. Lack of sleep can enhance pain and swelling.

Drinking Alcohol Or Smoking

Alcohol, tobacco, and smoking can halt the body’s healing process. Tobacco can get stuck in the tooth socket and disrupt the recovery process. Thus, avoid them at least 24 hours after surgery. 

Alcohol should be avoided post-tooth surgery as it causes thinning of the blood. Due to thin blood, blood clots are incompletely formed. Thus, the wound does not get healed. In addition, tobacco can get stuck in the tooth socket and disrupt the recovery process.  Smoking, too should be avoided as it decreases the blood oxygen level necessary for wound healing after oral surgery. Thus, it is best to avoid them after your tooth extraction.

Avoid Using Gauze While Sleeping

Gauze helps protect the blood clot around the wound by applying light pressure against it. However, if you are wondering should I sleep with gauze after tooth extraction, the answer is no. Avoid using gauze while sleeping, as you might choke it accidentally. Furthermore, the injury wound will increase, leading to pain and swelling. 

Combatting The Aftermath Of Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Post-tooth removal, you will experience discomfort in various forms. Knowing them beforehand will help you to combat the post-surgery effects.


Pain relievers help to minimise the suffering that comes after surgery. Therefore, your doctor will prescribe the medicine. Moreover, using cold packs, along with pain relievers such as Tylenol, will ease the process of pain management.


You might wonder, can I go to sleep if my tooth extract is still bleeding? Be relaxed, as bleeding is normal post-tooth surgery. However, avoid excessive spitting to reduce bleeding. Moreover, gauze acts as a safeguard for the extraction site and blood clots. Try repositioning the gauze pads, sitting straight, and using ice bags in excessive bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, do consult your dentist for advice.

Swelling and bruising

Swelling and bruising are common with wounds and injuries. The use of ice packs helps in combating the pain. Applying ice packs on strained muscles aids in the reduction of inflammation and numbness in the surgery site. As a result, the blood vessels get constricted, and the blood circulation to the affected area is reduced. Applying an ice pack immediately after the injury boosts the recovery process. Swelling lasts a few days, and bruising lasts a few days longer.


Nausea and vomiting occur due to blood swallowing or strong pain medication and last upto 48 hours after surgery. Having an empty stomach or taking medicines on an empty stomach also causes nausea. Sipping some ginger ale and providing proper rest to your body helps to recover from the wound. If you experience prolonged nausea, consulting your doctor is recommended.

Most people also suffer from headaches after tooth extraction. Dental anaesthesia can cause temporary adverse effects besides nausea and vomiting. Doctors suggest drinking enough water to reduce headaches after wisdom teeth removal.


The above information will guide you post your wisdom teeth removal surgery and help you manage pain. Now, you know how to prevent dislodging blood clots by elevating your head and avoiding sleeping in the wrong position. You can now effortlessly combat the pain and smooth up your healing process.


How long do you have to sleep upright after wisdom teeth removal?

After having your wisdom teeth removed, you must sleep with your head at a 45-degree angle elevated for at least 36 hours.

Can I sleep if my wisdom teeth are still bleeding?

After having your wisdom teeth removed, you should refrain from sleeping on your side for a few days. To keep the bleeding under control, it is advised to sleep upright i.e. on your back. Keep your head elevated as well to lessen bleeding and swelling.

Why can’t I sleep laying down after wisdom teeth removal?

You should try to sleep with your head higher than your heart for the first 24 hours. It’s best to avoid lying flat because it could cause swelling. Because of the pressure on the extraction site, healing may take longer if you sleep on your operated side.

How can I sleep to avoid dry sockets?

Practising certain things like not using a straw for 24 to 48 hours after the removal, avoiding brushing, smoking, tobacco etc. can help prevent dockets.

How do I sleep the first night after tooth extraction?

Try to sleep with your head higher than your heart for the initial 24 hours. It’s best to avoid lying flat because it could cause swelling.


people like this article


Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

Read More About Physical Health and Sleep
How To Sleep With Sciatica
Update: May 29, 2023

  • 5 min read

Shortness Of Breath When Lying Down
Update: May 26, 2023

  • 5 min read

Sleep And Menopause
Update: July 6, 2023

  • 5 min read

How To Sleep With A Kidney Stent
Update: June 29, 2023

  • 4 min read

Bruxism: Teeth Grinding
Update: May 25, 2023

  • 3 min read

How To Sleep After C Section
Update: May 23, 2023

  • 6 min read