Can You Sleep With Knee Sleeves On?

Written By on April 23, 2021 — Medically Reviewed By Kristopher Ceniza

Written by on April 23, 2021 — Medically Reviewed By: Kristopher Cenzia

One question that we see a lot when it comes to knee sleeves is whether they can be worn during the night. We will be taking an in-depth look into the reasons why you can sleep with a knee sleeve on and how to make it more comfortable. This will include the topics;

  • Whether you can sleep with a knee sleeve
  • best sleeping positions post-surgery
  • How wearing your knee sleeve can help with knee pain
  • Why you can wear knee sleeves at night
  • Can you wear knee sleeves all the time?
  • Is it bad to sleep with a knee brace on?

Can I Sleep In Compression Socks Or Sleeves?

Wearing compression socks or knee sleeves to bed is actually good for your joint and circulation. The lower leg benefits from the compression of a night as the mild pressure can alleviate swelling, muscle discomfort and muscle cramps.

There are some positive side effects of wearing your compression socks at night. This includes improved circulation, decreased swelling, enhanced warmth during the night, support for aching muscles.

This means that wearing compression socks or knee sleeves at night can actually benefit your body in many ways.

However, a traditional compression sock, with the same level of pressure throughout, should not be worn all day.

The compression socks that you are able to wear all day, including while you sleep, have graduated pressure. This means that they are tighter around the feet and ankles and this pressure is decreased towards the top.

A sock that offers a mild compression level is perfect. A this level of compression you should be able to feel an increase amount of pressure form a normal sock, and can wear this for longer periods of time.

Best sleeping positions post-surgery

During recovery the discomfort and pain could make it difficult to sleep. Managing the pain post-surgery could extend to finding the right sleep position for you.

This will allow you to sleep comfortably while also facilitating the recovery process. Below are some tips for a good nights sleep no matter what position you prefer.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

slept on your stomach before surgery then you should try and find a new sleep position

If you slept on your stomach before surgery then you should try and find a new sleep position. When you lie on the abdomen puts direct pressure on the site of the surgery and can be extremely painful.

Knee Force Knee Sleeve

Once you have recovered you can begin sleeping normally again. However, if you find that even after recovery this position still causes you pain you should postpone a few more days until the pain subsides while sleeping on your stomach.

Sleeping on Your Back

Patient, sleeping on his back is the best option after surgery

Sleeping on your back is the best option after surgery. You should ensure that your operative leg stays as straight as possible to avoid hypertension of the knee and keep proper blood flow to the area.

While sleeping on your back you should put a pillow under your calf and knee. This will cushion the injured knee from pressure and keep your leg straight. If the pillow is too flat, use a second pillow to elevate the leg.

You should avoid placing a pillow under your footas it puts stress on the knee and will increase pain.

Sleeping on Your Side

sleeping on your side

Sometimes you will find that sleeping on your side is more comfortable. But if doing so lying on the operative side should be avoided.

You can also put a pillow between your legs to cushion the knee and relieve pressure to the injury. If more support is required add another pillow to pad the knee and keep the leg more comfortable.

Many people find sleeping on their side more painful after surgery as the leg is often not kept straight enough. Gradually you will find that you can return to sleeping on your side as the knee heals.

As mentioned above, the only thing you should avoid is sleeping on the operative side. This puts too much pressure on the injured knee and can prohibit healing.

How wearing a knee sleeve to bed helps with knee pain.

A boy wearing blue shorts, white shirt and holding his knee sleeve

There are two main reasons why wearing compression knee sleeves while sleeping can be beneficial for knee injuries. This is because of the compression and the support that is provided by a compression sock, knee sleeve, or knee brace.

The compression helps to improve and boost circulation from the injured area, which in turn reduces swelling and pain.

Compression will help the blood to flow from the lower leg to the heart easier and avoid it pooling in the recovering joint. This is one important reason why choosing to wear your compression garment at night promotes recovery.

It will also help to support the injured joint while you sleep. It is important to keep the leg straight and not move too much while you rest and this is when compression sleeves, socks and knee braces come in handy.

Keeping the leg in place will help especially with early recovery. If you want to speed up the healing process then wearing you knee sleeve to bed should be discussed with your doctor to ensure that this will be effective for your particular injury.

Frequently asked questions

Can I wear my compression sleeve at night?

can I wear my compression sleeve at night

Compression sleeves should be worn before you feel discomfort. If you wear them during the day you will find that they decrease swelling and fatigue when you return home.

Wearing them at night works alongside your body’s natural restoration processes while you sleep. The strongest benefits of compression sleeves is that they increase and improve circulation.

While sleeping, the compression sleeves push blood up from the lower legs to the heart. This is because of the mild and graduated compression levels in the sleeve.
It helps to reduce the risk of harmful blood clots, leg swelling, and muscle cramps.

They can be worn during the day and might to help relieve pain, swelling, and speed up recovery.

Is it bad to wear knee sleeves all the time?

is it bad to wear knee sleeves all the time

Knee compression sleeves can be worn for extended periods of time provided they are at the exact level of tightness needed.

The purpose of a knee sleeve is to boost blood circulation, however, a knee sleeve that is too tight has the opposite effect.

If the knee sleeve is too tight, leaving indentations in your skin after wear, and leaving you with some level of discomfort then it should be removed immediately. This is a sign that it will cut off circulation and it starts by blood pooling in the area.

Knee Force Knee Sleeve

For further reading: Is it fine to wear a knee brace 24/7?

Is it bad to sleep with a knee brace on?

is it bad to sleep with a knee brace on

The time it takes for any particular injury to heal is dependant on the extent of the injury and how it is cared for, especially during the early stages of recovery.

The time spent wearing a knee brace can certainly have an effect on the healing process, so wearing it overnight is beneficial to keep it in place and help to boost circulation while your sleep.

There are two main reasons why you should wear your
knee brace to bed, as it alleviates pain and also stabilizes the joint.

While we sleep we often move a lot, which can be harmful to an injured knee, especially after surgery. The knee brace can help to stabilize the injury, similarly to when you are up and about.

Moving around while sleeping can also result in pain if the knee is not supported. It may wake you and cause discomfort.

Although it has been determined that you will feel pain without wearing a knee brace to bed, it may be a concern that wearing it while you sleep can be uncomfortable too.

It may not be the most comfortable nights sleep, but it is better than the alternative. It will speed up the healing process and help you in the long run. Below are a few tips to make your night sleeping in a knee brace more comfortable.

Tip 1
Think about what position you usually sleep in. For the duration of the injury it is best to have the injured leg on the outside of the bed. This makes it easier to pull blankets off during the night without disturbing your partner.

Tip 2
Remember to check the straps of your knee brace before going to sleep. It should not be too loose so that it may fall off during the night, but also tight enough so that it still provides support.

Tip 3
Keep your knee elevated on a pillow. below the knee brace for the best effect. This means that the best position would be to sleep on your back.

If you choose to sleep on your side then you will need to support your back with some additional pillows.

The above tips can help you to sleep a little more comfortably at night while wearing your knee brace. This gives you added support and will certainly help to speed up the recovery process.

Make sure that you follow the instructions given by your doctor or health care professional for the best results with your knee brace.

Mitch Torres (PT)
Mitch is a physical therapist, personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Fascinated with the knee joint, Mitch poured that passion into writing about knee pain and how to overcome it with movement. His goal is to teach you how to apply this knowledge into your daily life, so you can keep knee pain away for good.