Day and Night

Day vs. Night Compression Wear

Day Compression Versus Night Compression

People with lymphedema soon learn that their condition is chronic. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that things will get steadily worse, it does mean that patients must take the management of their condition seriously. Among other things, that means following your healthcare providers’ advice regarding compression wear. 

Wearing compression garments is a fundamental component of any plan to combat the progression of the condition. These garments are carefully designed to promote the return and recirculation of lymph. Most rely on graduated compression. This means a given item or garment squeezes more tightly at more distant points, and less so closer to the heart. This graduated compression sets up a gradient; encouraging lymph to drain back into compromised lymph vessels in the legs, for instance, by squeezing you most tightly at the ankles, and less so at the upper calves. 

When lymph pools in the tissues of the ankles, for example, it can cause problems with the health of the tissues themselves, and the skin in affected areas. These areas become more fragile, and more prone to infection, and skin may thicken, discolor, or break down. Compression wear helps with all of these symptoms. 

You should always wear your compression garments as directed. Some patients are surprised to learn that they must to wear specialized garments around the clock. That’s not to say that you can, or should, don a garment and never remove it until it’s time to do laundry. Your doctor will likely proscribe garments that should be worn during daylight hours, and separate garments that are appropriate for nighttime wear, while you sleep.

The Difference is Day and Night

  • Daytime garments are not appropriate for nighttime wear. Daytime garments feature considerably higher compression than nighttime items. Wearing daytime garments at night could backfire, causing new or additional damage to your arms or legs. 
  • Although they feature gentler compression, nighttime garments continue to help squeeze lymph out of affected tissues. 
  • Not every patient needs to wear garments at night. Those who should include patients who experience gradual “refilling” of affected areas during sleeping hours. 
  • Other candidates for nighttime wear include those who experience persistent, localized skin thickening in affected areas.

Who Can Benefit from Nighttime Compression Wear?

  • Anyone who presently wears a custom or off-the-rack compression sleeve during the day may benefit from wearing an appropriate nighttime sleeve.
  • Those who experience daytime changes in the amount of swelling in affected areas could probably benefit from nighttime wear.
  • People who struggle with donning daytime wear due to overnight swelling could benefit from wearing appropriate garments at night.
  • Anyone who feels the management of their lymphedema needs improvement.

Types of Nighttime Garments

There are several types of nighttime garments/items that may be appropriate for evening wear, depending on your particular condition.

  • Foam liner with straps
    • This option relies on an external strap system to supply compression. Go to a trained fitter, therapist, or the manufacturer to ensure proper fit and compression.
  • Quilted fabric with foam fill
    • An external sleeve, sometimes combined with foam and fabric, supply compression for a custom fit.
  • Short-stretch binders
    • These feature no foam component. They can be worn day or night. They rely on inelastic binding, but compression must be adjusted to an appropriate level for nighttime wear.

Comments

  1. I have a special lymphedema sleeve for nightime. However, I can not put it on by myself. My husband has always put it on for me,
    but he recently died. Do you make anything that would help in getting this on my arm?

    1. My dr. told me to use rubber gloves to help get mine on. While still a little hard the rubber glove works. It’s one that you would use doing dishes.

      1. I buy my gloves from Lymphedema site. They work better than gloves worn for washing dishes.

    2. Hi Virginia,
      I use Mr. Clean rubber gloves, found in a grocery store (Marc’s here in Ohio). I have also used playtex washing dishes gloves that worked equally well.

  2. I use a product called “easy-slide”. I found it on Lymphedemaproducts.com. It’s bright green with an orange handle that you put over the door handle to remove. I don’t remember the department but do remember it was about $20 and it sure works. I also use a rubber glove but never bought the fancy ones they talk about on internet. The cheap ones from the dollar store work good. I too am a widow so have learned to improvise. If you have problems finding it on their site,, their phone number is 866-445-9674. Best of luck to you.

  3. I have lymphedema in my left leg due to removal of lymph nodes with my cancer. The cancer is gone and I was left with my leg swelling. My Dr sent me to a therapist. She wrapped my leg every couple of days for weeks. When finally the swelling was gone I was instructed to use a compression of stocking during the day and I have a wrap stocking for night. I cannot put the stocking on myself due to hip problems. I rely on my Husband to put the compression stocking on for me. He has arthritis in his hands and it is painful for him. Most of the time I wear the nighttime stocking during the day, just make it tighter. Some skin below my ankle is dark due to vericose veins. Is it ok to use the night stocking during the day? I am 75 years old.

  4. Not much known about this surgery do I am putting it out there. I developed lymphedema in left leg post cancer surgery and to many nodes removed. I am in Boston and just had first stage procedure lypo in my leg. It is now smaller than my right leg. Heavy compression 24/7 for at least 9 months then second stage procedure of lymph node transplant. If anyone is interested look into major hospitals under plastic surgery. I was lucky enough to find out from a neighborhood girl just graduated for PA and assigned to breast cancer unit.💗

  5. Wow, this is good info. No dr/therapist etc EVER went over this with me. I ended up in hospital 2yrs ago because they didn’t even pay attn to what I was saying about sudden weight gain. What type of specialist (I guess since primary care phy doesn’t direct) do I need for lymphedema care? Maybe this group can help since my Kaiser Permanente drs apparently don’t know. Thanks for any suggestions.

  6. I have had right leg lymphedema for a year. Just went for a check up with my lymphedema Dr. she said I was “ well controlled.’ I wear a thigh high 30 mg stocking every day. At night I have a Juzo wrap. Tried different things, what works best is a child’s stocking with toes, then over that the short open compression sock that comes with the wrap ( have gotten two new ones this year from Lymphedemaproducts) next comes the stockinette (/soft white ankle to knee product that comes with wrap, ) next same material that goes from knee to thigh, does not come with wrap but did not like wrap next to skin, ordered what I thought was one from Lymphedemaproducts but they sent a long roll and you cut to fit. Got one email saying needed to discard and get new roll, no,, original lower leg wrap meant for life of Juzo which seems about a year. After that I wrap my lower leg snuggly with a short wrap bandage and finally I don the Juzo wrap. Long process but legs look basically the same if I do this. Meeting with therapist to help me order new wrap. I do not get thigh high stocking from Lymphedemaproducts but from a National catalogue, more reasonable and good, last about 6 months.

  7. I have been trying to purchase additional arm sleeves but have found it difficult to do so using my insurance as my first sleeve was provided at no charge when I was in physical therapy and I am done with my therapy. The original sleeve eventually got a hole in it and tore. Do you have a simple way to order new sleeves, such as a catalog and someone to contact?

    1. Not sure about your insurance, but this blog is part of a store. You can go to their website or call them. There’s a button that says “Back to Shopping” in the upper right corner which will take you to their website and a phone number is also listed there.

  8. What night compression is best? Can I avoid wrapping each night? Is there some type is sock I can wear at night? Show me examples, If day compression is room much then where can I get a night sock? Thanks

  9. I had surgery in February for my lymphedema. My hand greatly improved. It looks like my other hand now. My arm is still thicker than but not as thick as it was. I lost 10 pounds over night after surgery. I am quite satisfied. I would have liked for my arm to reduce more but it is better. My hand looks like my other hand and is more useful. I can pick up small things now. When I had to wear my sleeve during the day, I had an orange glove that had excellent texture to help slide it up my arm. I put the sleeve on up above my wrist about half way between my wrist and elbow. At that point the textured glove could be slid up my arm over the sleeve to move it up the arm. When it got almost to my shoulder, I could then take the top of it and pull it up the rest of the way. Hope this helps.

  10. I don’t know quite how to describe this. My lymphedema therapist showed me how to put on my sleeve by myself. You fold it in half so the top half is inside out, folded over the bottom half which is right side out (if that makes any sense). Put the folded sleeve on your arm from wrist to elbow, then unfold (unroll?) the top half of the sleeve, gently pulling it up until it rests where you want it at the top of your arm. I’m told that you can use this method for putting on compression socks, too.

  11. Should you be wearing compression day & nite? I have lymphedema in both legs & wear I have been wearing Juzo dynamic compression 4 during the Day & Easy Wraps [full set] @ nite. Could this be too much compression?

  12. What are easy wraps? How many hours a day should you wear your daytime compression
    hose. I put them on right after one hour on the pump for my legs. Also have black boots to
    wear at night. Is there something better?

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