I am sorry you had to have the surgery. I slept with my hard collar for 4 months and even now over a year later I sleep with a soft collar. But I have osteoporosis and they were worried about my fusing. I wore the bone fuser for eight months four hours a day. But it worked. I am fused. Still in pain but not as bad and major symptoms were alleviated. You must give yourself six months to heal and my neurosurgeon said really two years for healing and to know what you are left with for pain etc. so I still hope I will feel better in a year from now.
I would listen to your body and figure out what is comfortable for you and follow your doctors orders. I found sleeping tortuous with the hard collar. At the time I didn't have a recliner and that would have been ideal. I rigged a lawn chair in my living room. And tried to sleep in my bed with lots of pillows. I slept on my back with pillows under each arm and my legs. I also rigged a tray over me so I could read in bed. I would wake up in a panic with that awful thing on. But it serves a purpose.
But each surgery is different so I don't think two peoples situation is the same. You do have to treat your neck like it is broken (it is) and so if you have a broken bone you must not move it until it is healed. Must not put any strain on it, fall, jar it, vibrate it etc. I wasn't even allowed to be IN a car for 4 months! I don't think doctors really tell all before the surgery. It is only later that bits and pieces start coming together that they say. You are very early in your healing!!!
This is a great site and lots of folks who have had the surgery. Ask away and take it real easy and baby that neck so it heals up.
C4-7 ACDF on June 2014:Large plate, 8 screws: done for spurring all levels, vertebrate collapsed and pushing on spinal cord.
Severe osteoporosis, DDD and osteoarthritis - all levels of spine
Failed L5/S1 LD surgery, spondylitheisis, stenosis, etc.
Migraines, cervicogenic headaches,hysterectomy, melanoma
Health nut, fit, active my whole life in spite of: tailgater did me in...