Why Nighttime Compression?

Lymphedema swelling is different in every patient, and the same is true for their maintenance routines.  Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph due to an imbalance between the production and transport of interstitial fluid.  While there are no curative treatments that exist, the condition can be managed by complex decongestive therapy including manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise, and skin care.  Optimal therapy outcomes can be achieved by combining day and nighttime compression.1

Nighttime Compression Choices

Nighttime compression choices are varied, there are

  • bandaging,
  • channeled foam garments
  • unique flat knit garments made with cool max fibers (for example - JOBST® Relax products).

Nighttime compression needs to be designed to deliver a much lower compression than daytime compression.  It is also important that it does not disrupt sleep patterns and the garment have a textured surfaced to assist with lymph flow.

Nighttime Compression Product Studies 

While there have not been many studies on nighttime compression the studies that have been done have shown positive results for patients;

  • “Wearing compression 24 hours a day will help rebound oedema. Garments worn in bed overnight need to be comfortable, cool, and easy to do.”2
  • “Nighttime compression reduced swelling and was associated with less pain and better sleep”3

There may be others who just do not want to wear a day garment or are unable to due to their work environment - nighttime compression then becomes the only compression for maintenance. Always make sure to select a nighttime compression garment that is designed to be worn overnight.

Key features to look for in an overnight garment: 

  1. Garment is designed with a compression that is safe to be worn overnight.
  2. Garment is comfortable and will not disrupt your sleep cycle.
  3. Garment should have a textured surface that will assist with lymph flow.

Learn more about nighttime compression in our Night-Time Garments article.



1 British Journal of Community Nursing. Relax in comfort and sleep well: using night-time compression to avoid recurrent oedema. Br J Comm Nurs 2017; 22(10, Suppl 1), S1–24.

2 Whitaker J. Making night-time compression a comfortable reality. In: British Journal of Community Nursing. Relax in comfort and sleep well: using nighttime compression to avoid recurrent oedema. Br J Comm Nurs 2017; 22(10, Suppl 1), S1–24

3 Whitaker J. Lymphoedema management at night: views from patients across five countries. Br J Community Nurs. 2016b;21(S10):S22-S30

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