Can you wear compression socks to bed?
Compression socks have an excellent healing property. They speed up the healing process after leg operations. They also help the muscles recover after demanding exercise. But how long can you wear compression socks? Can you wear compression socks to bed?
Compression socks have a wide variety of use. Runners use them to get a better performance on the track, and then to recover after races. Doctors describe them for bed ridden patients to speed up the healing process. Pregnant women wear them to get rid of varicose veins and swelling during pregnancy. Despite the many uses of compression socks, many people wonder how long should they wear them to get the optimal results. A common question I keep coming across in forums and when I talk to people is: Can you wear compression socks to bed?
How do compression socks work?
Almost all the positive effects of compression socks are the result on how they affect blood circulation. The veins are responsible for transporting the blood low in oxygen and nutrients from the muscles to the heart. There are small valves in the veins. These valves can tire out since they have to aid the flow of the blood against the force of gravity. The valves of the veins can loose their firmness for similar reasons. If this happens the blood flow slows down, and the waste materials get washed out of the muscles slower. At the same time the muscles get their nutrients slower.
Compression socks put pressure on the veins. This pressure tightens up the veins, and reduces their diameter. The blood flows quicker, which leads to all the positive results of compression socks. The muscles recover quicker after running, edema and plantar fasciitis are a thing of the past.
Can you wear compression socks to bed?
Well, the short answer is yes, you can. But the picture is not that simple. For most healthy adults there is no reason why they couldn’t wear compression socks to bed. But there are a few concerns to think about.
First of all, hygiene. Despite the moisture wicking qualities of most compression socks, your legs still sweat if you are wearing them. The best compression socks are made of moisture wicking materials. However if you wear them under a warm blanket for at least eight hours, you are bound to wake up in some sweat. The sweat is an excellent habitat for bacteria.
If you want to wear compression socks to bed, I recommend wearing copper infused compression socks. These products have copper content, which is known to have excellent antibacterial qualities. This has been proven by several researchers. So can you wear compression socks to bed? Yes, but I recommend copper compression socks.
You should also make sure that the socks are not too tight. Most compression socks have a rubber band at the top, which keeps them on your legs and prevents them from wiggling and falling off. If too tight, these bands can cause skin burn and prevent the blood from flowing freely. This would be the exact opposite effect of what we want to achieve with compression socks.
Also make sure that the compression socks have a seamless design. Poorly designed seams can cause chaffing and skin burn. They can prevent you from sleeping well.
Can you wear compression socks to bed? Yes, but should you?
Make sure that there is a sound reason for wearing compression socks to bed. In most cases there is no need to wear compression socks during the night.
If you want to recover after running, wearing them for a few hours after your workout is enough in most cases.
Sometimes after varicose vein surgery, or during pregnancy doctors might advise the patient to wear compression socks to bed in order to heal faster. For pregnant women wearing compression socks to bed might be necessary to stop edema and muscle cramps, so that the soon to be mother is able to rest during the night.
I recommend consulting with a doctor before deciding to wear compression socks to bed. In most cases they will be harmless, but a doctor might be able to find a cardiovascular problem, that makes wearing compression socks to bed a bad idea.
So all things considered, can you wear compression socks to bed? In most cases yes. However in most cases it would have no big positive effect, but it might prevent the legs from breathing, can cause excess sweating, and lead to poor hygiene. Just to be sure, consult with a doctor before deciding to wear compression socks for sleeping.