Can I Sleep In Compression Socks Or Sleeves?

Compression socks and compression sleeves are amazing tools for recovery after an intense run, cycle, yoga session, or whatever your favorite workout is. Compression keeps your blood pumping to recovering muscle groups and clears away the lactic acid that causes soreness. But, NOT all compression socks and sleeves are designed for recovery, resting or sleeping. Let me explain...

First, let’s focus on compression sleeves. Compression leg sleeves or calf sleeves are similar to socks, but without the foot portion.  They come in a variety of compression levels. Mild compression leg sleeves provide 15-20 mmHg compression and are great for wearing before you run, during your run and after. This mild compression level helps to speed up muscle recovery so your legs don't hurt after a long run or gym workout. Moderate level compression sleeves that provide 20-30 mmHg compression should only be worn DURING your work out to boost performance and protect against injury like shin splints. The stronger level of compression is amazing for enhancing your performance, but it can actually cause foot swelling if you continue to wear it after your work out. The extra tight compression at your ankle can become a tourniquet, blocking blood flow from your ankle to your foot.  Bottom line: be careful to check your sleeve’s compression level before you use it for recovery.  These Core-Sport sleeves are perfect for recovery.

So, now you might ask – what about the moderate compression SOCKS you sell? Does compression level matter for those? Well, you CAN wear mild and moderate compression socks before, during and after your work out. Because socks have the foot portion attached, there’s no risk of foot swelling or cutting off circulation. Wear those bad boys all day long if you want.

Now - the most important question of all - can you sleep in your compression socks or sleeves? The answer is - No, not if you are a generally healthy person.  I know I’ve heard runners and athletes swear by sleeping in their compression socks before and after a big race day, but really it’s not safe.  Graduated compression is meant to be worn when you’re awake and moving around. It’s providing a constant amount of pressure to your circulatory system to fight gravity and pump that blood back to your heart. When you’re lying down, fully horizontal for a long period of time, your circulatory system doesn’t have to fight gravity. That pressure applied to your ankle and calf during the night can cut your circulation off. Now, some people do need to wear compression socks at night because of health issues or post-surgery. Even in these instances, you should only be wearing the lowest compression available (below 15 mmhg).  Do not wear your athletic compression socks and sleeves to bed – the compression level is too high.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

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Comments

David - November 12, 2019

I wear compression socks during the day but not to bed. My feet have a tendency to feel as if the blood is pooling and they get sore in bed. Should I wear the socks in bed?

Mark - November 7, 2019

Stacia make sure to keep your legs warm at night . Cold can cause cramping.

Sandie - October 31, 2019

I have Diabetes II
I have dad what look to be fluid retention or edema around my Right Ankle X’s 10 days. Sudden onset w/o injury and this is my first episode. I have Neuropathy for several years.
What’s up?

lisa - October 20, 2019

compression socks also help in diabetic problems.

Bill - October 20, 2019

Just had leg surgery to clear blocked artery. Dr said to wear compression socks but no mention of how long.

Brita - October 20, 2019

Hi Stacia – This is definitely something to speak with your doctor about before experimenting.

Brita - October 8, 2019

Hi Michael – you should definitely speak with your medical professional, but there are 20-30 mmHg compression wraps that are safe to wear at night time. See: https://www.brightlifedirect.com/collections/wraps

Stacia Moore - October 8, 2019

I have diabetes and had a stroke. I have very bad night leg cramps. Can I wear compression socks at night. I don’t suffer with cramps during the day

MICHAEL DAWSON - October 8, 2019

I wear 20 30 socks for lymphedema I have to sleep with my chest elevated would it still be bad to wear them while sleeping

Brita - September 20, 2019

Hi Jules – You need to speak with your doctor ASAP. As we said in this blog post, most traditional compression garments should NOT be worn at night time and it sounds like the garments you have are cutting off your circulation at night. I believe that traditionally 20-30 mmHg is what is recommended for sclerotherapy, so you may be in a compression that is too strong. Again, most physicians would not recommend you wear these at night – you should be wearing a wrap or some other garment that provides dynamic compression.

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