Can You Sleep in a Lymphedema Sleeve?

Sep 9th, 2020

It is not uncommon for breast cancer patients to develop lymphedema. Often, radiation or chemotherapy damages the lymph nodes, and lymph node removal surgery can cause lymphatic system blockage.

The condition is characterized by swelling in an appendage, such as an arm or a leg. Lymphedema can be painful or, at least, very uncomfortable, and doctors usually treat it by recommending patients exercise, massage the swollen site, wrap it, and wear compression sleeves or stockings.

Some people are familiar with the flesh-colored compression stockings and sleeves. wore. Designers have also created beautiful designs that are bold and colorful - from florals to abstract prints - for people to express their personal style.

Can I Wear a Compression Sleeve While Sleeping?

While patients who have developed lymphedema reported they could easily sleep in their  daytime compression garments, doctors don’t recommend it. The gradient pressure created using a compression sleeve is designed to work while you are active and moving around.

When lying in bed, your body doesn’t need to fight gravity to circulate blood and lymph, so a compression sleeve at night is usually unnecessary and could be dangerous. Physicians worry that unintentional bunching, folding, or shifting of the sleeve could cut off blood flow to the limb and cause more complications.

You should only wear a compression garment with the lowest possible compression level (10-15 mmHg) to bed to minimize the risk of circulatory problems. If you find you need more support at night, speak to your doctor or lymphedema therapist for recommendations.

What is Overnight Compression Wear?

Overnight compression wear consists of sleeves and stockings that don’t fit as snuggly to your skin as their daytime counterparts. These garments allow your skin and muscles a break from regular compression therapy while also giving you the benefits you may require.

Typically, sleeves meant for overnight wear are  bulkier and larger than day time compression wear. They usually have padding and adjustable straps to allow the wearer to control the amount of compression applied to the affected limb. They’re great for both full compression and gradient compression use and can also be worn during the day or when you just need a bit of break from your standard compression sleeve.

Because of the materials used to build these  compression garments, they tend to be more expensive than daytime models. If the price is a concern, speak to your doctor about a prescription to have your insurance cover the cost.

Who Benefits from Nighttime Compression?

Anyone who wears a compression garment during the day may also benefit from nighttime use. If you feel like you could get more out of your lymphedema management or if you’ve noticed changes during the day in the amount of swelling you experience, then it may be a good idea to try nighttime compression wear, too.

Bottom Line

Compression therapy for lymphedema is vital for the care and treatment of post-surgical swelling. While looking after swollen limbs during the day can be easy, anyone who struggles with discoloration or swelling overnight could benefit from using an overnight lymphedema sleeve from Mastectomyshop.com.

We offer a wide variety of sleeves for daytime and nighttime wear in several compression levels to meet your health needs. Explore our range online, and talk to our experienced staff at (877) 413-2272 to determine which sleeve is right for you.