Do you suffer from painful, swollen legs? Have you been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or are you predisposed to this condition? Have you recently suffered an injury or been diagnosed with an illness that will leave you bed-ridden for a while? Whatever the case may be, your health care provider may have recommended compression socks as a solution.
While compression socks have been used for decades as a remedy for a variety of conditions, including edema (swelling), pain, and poor circulation, in order to yield the best results possible – and to avoid potential negative side effects – you have to wear them correctly. If you’re new to compression socks, you probably have a few questions, and one of those questions may be: Can I wear my compression socks to bed?
To learn more about compression socks – and to find out if you can safely wear them while you are sleeping – keep on reading.
What are Compression Socks?
Before we explore if you can safely wear compression socks while you are sleeping, let’s take a minute to review what compression socks are.
Compression socks may look similar to standard socks, but they function quite differently. They’re constructed of dense, stretchy materials that are tightly knit, and as the name implies, they compress your legs, ankles, and feet. The pressure that these socks put on your lower extremities can help to improve blood circulation, which can help to minimize swelling, reduce pain, and prevent the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT, a condition that occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins, most commonly in the legs).
Compression socks are available in a variety of different styles, they can apply different levels of pressure, and they can apply continued pressure (the same amount of pressure on the ankles, feet, and legs), or they can gradate (they apply more pressure on the ankles and the pressure lessons as the sock moves up the leg).
Many people have found that compression socks are highly effective. They’re commonly used by:
How Compression Socks Work
Compression socks, as discussed above, apply pressure to the legs, ankles, and feet. This pressure helps to improve circulation and supports the veins, which in turn helps to prevent blood clots, swelling, and pain. The heart circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body, and once the oxygen has dispersed, the blood circulates back up to the heart, where it is re-oxygenated, and the cycle continues repeatedly for your entire life.
In order to circulate blood back to the heart, the veins in the legs have to work against gravity. Age, certain health conditions, and certain lifestyles can reduce the efficiency of the veins in the legs, making it even more challenging for the blood to circulate back up to the heart. As a result, blood, as well as other fluids, can build-up and accumulate in the veins and the tissues of the lower extremities, which can lead to swelling, pain, and in severe situations, can reduce mobility, and can even lead to more pressing health issues, such as liver damage or kidney disease.
Because compression socks apply pressure to the veins in the legs, ankles, and feet, they help to increase circulation and support the veins. This helps to prevent blood and fluid from building up in the veins and tissues, and in turn, helps to reduce swelling, pain, and all of the other issues that can be associated with edema. Many people who wear compression socks have reported excellent results. Some say that they notice a reduction in pain almost immediately, and with continued use, the swelling in their legs reduces significantly. Of course, when swelling and pain decrease, your overall health and well-being increases.
Can You Wear Compression Socks While You’re Sleeping?
So, can you wear compression socks while you are sleeping? In short, yes, you can. In fact, many people wear compression socks when they are confined to bed for prolonged periods of time, such as while they are recovering from an illness or healing from a surgery or an injury, as the compression they apply can help to prevent the development of blood clots in the legs.
As mentioned, compression socks allow blood to flow properly, meaning that your veins in your legs, ankles, and feet can transport blood back to your heart more efficiently. The compression the socks apply to the legs push back against the effects of gravity. When you are lying down, the pressure expands dissemination, which helps to ensure proper circulation.
It should be noted, however, that while wearing compression socks while you are sleeping is generally considered safe, there are some considerations that need to be made. Namely, you need to make sure that they fit properly. If your compression socks are too tight, they can cut off your circulation, having an adverse effect, and actually worsening the conditions that you are trying to treat. Tight compression socks can also damage the skin, causing bruises, scratches, scrapes, and chaffing.
Summing It Up
While wearing compression socks to sleep is generally considered safe, do make sure that you speak with your health care provider before doing so. While these socks may be able to yield positive benefits, if they aren’t used properly, they can actually have a negative impact on your health and well-being. In order to ensure that you are able to reap the benefits that compression socks can provide, consulting with a doctor is always recommended.