When I was playing football in the yard with my friends, I hurt my knee pretty badly. Granted, I was in my 30s and shouldn’t have played like in my teens, but hey, I go all out. Sleeping with a knee brace was one of my most uncomfortable experiences. Since I like to help people get a great night’s sleep, I wanted to share my top 7 tips on how to sleep with a knee brace!
The terms “knee brace” and “knee immobilizer” can be used interchangeably in this article.
7 Tips to Sleep Better When Sleeping with a Knee Immobilizer
- Use Extra Pillows
- Replacing Your Knee Brace
- Keep the Straps Tight
- Use Cold Therapy
- Check Your Knee Braces
- Keep the Injury Site Moisturized
- Use a Light Bedding
Using these quick and easy techniques can help you get to sleep and stay asleep while sleeping with a knee brace.
Why Are You Sleeping with a Knee Brace?
You can sustain a knee injury for various reasons. Whether it is a sports injury or on the road to recovery from knee surgery, you may be required to wear a knee brace to help with healing and rehabilitation. Whatever the reason, my heart is with you. I understand your pain and discomfort.
No one said physical therapy is fun. Trust your medical professional and the recovery process! From common knee injuries like swelling to knee replacement surgery, restful sleep is even more challenging.
In some cases of injury, doctors recommend using knee braces, or a knee sleeve, even at night, so that the joint stays intact. A correct knee brace supports your knees and can provide some relief. Knee injuries are usually excruciating and, in many cases, may take months to recover. If the damage is terrible, you may even be required to sleep with the knee braces on. It may not be that comfortable to sleep with the knee braces on.
Is it Osteoarthritis? (WebMD)
Here, we shall look at some simple tips on how to sleep comfortably with your knee braces when you wear the brace to bed. I would instead eliminate sleep aids like medications or other supplemental sleep aids in exchange for a comfortable sleep position.
So, how can you sleep appropriately with a knee brace?
It is natural to toss and turn when we sleep at night. So, if you use one of the knee braces when you sleep, sudden movements could aggravate your injury, causing more pain. You can try different methods like using a pillow for comfort, adjusting the straps, and hydrating your knee areas. Let’s cover the seven ways to sleep with a knee pad that makes a better night’s sleep easier.
Tip # 1 – USE EXTRA PILLOWS
When you lie down with your knee brace on, you need to provide some support to your brace so that it does not disturb your sleep at night. Depending on your sleeping position, you can use a pillow between your knees or under your knees.
Use a knee pillow made of memory foam, as they provide much comfort in whatever position you use them. An excellent knee pillow, like this one on Amazon, will work wonders with your sleep. Finding a comfortable sleep position with a hinged knee brace can be challenging.//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US
Finding a comfortable position for your injured knee can help you get a great night of sleep while you recover from your knee pain.
Also, prop your knee above your heart when you sleep. This will help stop some pain and irritation and let you get well-deserved sleep. After all, your body has more to do!
Tip # 2 – REPLACING YOUR KNEE BRACE
Wearing your knee brace for long hours can cause skin irritation due to the accumulation of sweat and dirt. This can cause itchiness around the knee areas and disrupt your sleep. If you are outdoors, getting another knee brace at night is advisable. The knee brace could become sweaty from walking if you are out more often.
Maintaining good hygiene in your knee areas is essential to avoid skin infections. Keep the knee brace clean so that it won’t collect dust. Almost every type of brace will have some cleaning instructions included.
Most of the knee braces on the market are machine washable. Having two or three of these braces on hand wouldn’t be a bad idea, so you can always have a clean one ready. Under normal usage, you should change out your knee brace every two to three days. If you can smell it, it’s time to change it.
Tip # 3 – KEEP THE STRAPS TIGHT
Before you sleep off:
- Remember to tighten your knee brace straps firmly, depending on the seriousness of your injury.
- Make sure it is not so tight that it may cause discomfort.
- Keep the straps firm enough not to loosen or fall off, even if you toss them around at night.
Please don’t cut off circulation to your legs, but keep it comfy. A comfortable knee brace is essential. You may have to try a few new tricks to get back to your regular sleep quality, so make sure you have the correct knee brace. We are trying to promote muscle repair here, not create a tourniquet. Although, using a tourniquet could eliminate the knee problem…
Tip #4 – USE COLD THERAPY
Try the cold therapy wrap before you go off to sleep. The cold therapy wrap uses freezing ice cubes on the affected areas to numb the pain. Cold treatment reduces and eases swelling or inflammation on the site of injury and relieves pain as it numbs the area.
If you are frequently experiencing joint pain or other knee disorders, check out the Vive Cold Therapy Machine on Amazon.
Tip # 5 – CHECK YOUR KNEE BRACES
If you use the knee braces for long periods, check if they cause skin irritations or itchiness around your knee areas. If you feel comfortable wearing them for long hours, you can continue wearing them while sleeping. But if wearing them for long hours causes any problems, then it is better to avoid them for nighttime.
It should be comfortable to wear for at least 8–10 hours while you sleep without causing any irritations. Of course, watch your blood circulation with your knee immobilizer. The type of knee brace or immobilizer you have can significantly affect this too.
If your knee brace was prescribed, let your doctor know about the discomfort you are experiencing. There may be a reason why that specific brace was recommended if you need help finding one that fits you more comfortably.
Tip #6 – KEEP THE INJURY SITE MOISTURIZED
Wearing knee braces for long hours can dry out the skin, further irritating the skin and causing rashes, irritations, and even skin infections. So, it is essential to keep the area deeply moisturized. Dry and itchy skin can cause a lot of discomfort while you sleep.
As you go to bed, apply a good moisturizer or ointment before you wrap your knee with the braces. Also, let your knee get some air before you cover it with the brace. Make it a point to switch the knee braces from time to time. Using one brace for a very long duration can dry out the skin and cause skin irritations.
When you take it off in the shower or bath, go ahead and put some moisturizer on it and let it absorb in before putting your knee brace back on. You want to be sure you keep the area dry and create more problems than you already have.
Ignore everything here if you are a glutton for punishment and pain. Pain medications might help instead. I don’t care to stay on pain medications longer than I need to, but that’s my preference.
Tip #7 – USE A LIGHT BEDDING
When you have a knee injury, you need light bedding to make it easier to toss and turn on your bed with the braces on. Go for smooth sheets so it is not difficult or painful to move around in your bed when you turn. I am in LOVE with Bamboo Sheets. Try these on Amazon, YOU WONT REGRET IT!
You may want to get fancy and stay fancy with those soft and smooth sheets. The bum knee might have given you a new look on bedsheets! A good night’s sleep is priceless!
If you cannot find any soft sheets at home, check out these recommendations below for highly-rated soft bedsheets. You’re welcome.
Now that we have discussed the tips for sleeping correctly with knee braces, let us look at how to prevent knee injuries and choose the right knee braces.
How Can You Prevent Knee Injuries?
There are steps you can take to prevent knee injuries in the future. That can only be stopped if you get sports injuries or get into car accidents. But knee injuries due to falls can be prevented by caring for our weight. Regular exercise is essential to avoid knee injuries.
Learn to stretch your body before exercising so you do not put unnecessary pressure on your knees. Maintaining good body weight is very important for knee health. Being overweight puts excess weight on the knees; it puts extra pressure on your knees and causes you to fall. So, maintain good body weight to prevent knee injuries in the future.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT KNEE BRACE FOR YOU?
Knee braces, no doubt, help to manage pain. Choosing the right knee brace can be overwhelming. There are different types of knee braces – from hinged, compression, wraparounds, bands/straps, and custom knee braces. The doctor will recommend knee braces that fit your knees according to your injury.
It takes some time to recover from a knee injury, though it depends on the severity of the damage. Using a good quality knee brace is essential to a quick recovery.
Here are some recommendations for quality knee braces on Amazon with high reviews. This is your knee; make sure to take advantage of it.
Sleeping with a knee brace is never comfortable. Depending on WHY you are wearing the knee brace can be the difference between what is or isn’t comfortable for you. Try the techniques and tips here and see if it works for you.
If you have some better tips, leave them in the comments!
Check out my other post on Can You Feel Pain While Sleeping?