One of the questions that many people have about air casts and walking boots is whether they need to sleep with them on. In most cases, you do not need to sleep with a walking boot on, and you have the opportunity to let your foot and leg breathe. It is important to note that everyone and every case is different, so some people will need to wear one to sleep.
If you are wearing a walking boot, you may have many questions about when it needs to be worn and why it varies from person to person. Read on to get answers to the questions you may have.
Table of Contents
- Do I Sleep With My Walking Boot On?
- Why Do Some People Have to Wear a Boot to Sleep and Not Others?
- How Do You Keep Your Foot Safe If You Are Not Wearing a Walking Boot at Night?
- How Can You Stay Comfortable If You Have to Wear the Boot While Sleeping?
- How Can I Air My Boot and Foot Out If I Have to Sleep With My Boot On?
- Are There Dangers to Wearing a Boot to Sleep If a Doctor Says You Do Not Need To?
Do I Sleep With My Walking Boot On?
In most cases, you are allowed to take your walking boot off at night when you are going to bed. It is important to note though that if you do take the walking boot off, you should avoid putting any weight on your foot or ankle if you have to wake up in the middle of the night and use the restroom.
Once you wake up in the morning and prepare to get out of bed, you should put the boot back on. There are a few exceptions to taking the boot off at night.
Some doctors recommend wearing the boot all night for certain injuries or in certain situations. As such, you should refer to your doctor for guidelines for wearing and removing the boot. If you are in doubt as to whether you should sleep with your walking boot on, you should err on the side of caution and do so until you speak with your doctor.
Why Do Some People Have to Wear a Boot to Sleep and Not Others?
Every situation is different. A walking boot is primarily designed to help keep weight off of your foot and ankle when you are upright, either walking or sitting.
When you are lying flat at night, your foot is not weight bearing, and as such, many doctors will allow you to take it off at night. However, if you get up multiple times per night to use the restroom, a doctor may recommend you keep it on so you do not accidentally put weight on your foot while it is healing.
Additionally, if your injuries are severe and/or are slow to heal, a doctor may recommend keeping the walking boot on for added support as you sleep.
Lastly, a boot helps to stabilize your foot and prevent you from making sudden movements that can reinjure your foot. If you move around a lot in your sleep or your feet twitch or move a lot, it is recommended that you wear your boot to sleep in.
How Do You Keep Your Foot Safe If You Are Not Wearing a Walking Boot at Night?
If your doctor has stated that you do not need to wear a walking boot at night, you will likely still need to avoid placing weight on the foot.
If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom or grab a drink of water, you have two options. The easiest option is to keep a pair of crutches right by your bedside. Should you need to get up and you don’t have your boot on, you can use the crutches to avoid putting weight on your foot.
Alternatively, you can put your boot right by your bed and put it on if you have to move in the middle of the night, but it can be a hassle to put the boot on and take it off.
How Can You Stay Comfortable If You Have to Wear the Boot While Sleeping?
While not everyone has to wear a walking boot while sleeping, some people do have to wear it all night.
If you are one of these people, you may find that wearing the boot at night is uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help increase your comfort.
One of the tips is to wear a breathable sock when your boot is on. One that wicks away moisture is also recommended. This keeps your foot cool and dry.
Another tip that you may want to follow if you have to sleep with your walking boot on is to loosen the straps while you are sleeping. You do not need the boot to be as tight as you need it during the day.
Loosen the straps so that your foot or ankle is still supported, but is loose enough that your foot can move enough to offer you some level of comfort. If you find that your boot is still too tight and uncomfortable, you may want to consider purchasing a looser boot solely for the purposes of sleeping.
Lastly, if you have to wear a walking boot while you sleep, you may wish to prop your foot up with some pillows. Your leg may be uncomfortable if you try to place your leg flat on your bed while wearing a walking boot. This is because the walking boot has more girth than your foot, which prevents your leg from truly lying flat.
A pillow helps to raise your leg and add some cushioning, which can help you to sleep with a walking boot on.
How Can I Air My Boot and Foot Out If I Have to Sleep With My Boot On?
It is strongly recommended that you air your boot and your foot out for at least an hour or two per day. This helps your foot to breathe, while also helping the boot to breathe and get some fresh air.
If you do not wear a boot to sleep, you can air your boot and foot out at night. Sprinkle some baby powder or baking soda on the boot and on your foot to reduce odors.
If you do wear a boot to sleep, it is recommended that you remove the boot about an hour or so before you go to bed. Prop your foot up on a recliner or coffee table while you read a book or watch television.
Sprinkle the boot and your foot with baby powder or baking soda to help eliminate odors and to reduce sweat on your foot once you put on a sock and put your boot back on before you head to bed.
Are There Dangers to Wearing a Boot to Sleep If a Doctor Says You Do Not Need To?
In some cases, a doctor may tell you that you can wear the boot to sleep if you want to or if you feel it is necessary.
In other cases, a doctor may tell you that your injury is healing well and wearing a boot to sleep is no longer needed. This may leave you wondering if there are any dangers or downsides to wearing a walking boot to sleep if a doctor does not outright say you need to.
Wearing a walking boot to sleep is generally uncomfortable, but it does not present any dangers to the person wearing it. As such, you can wear the boot at night, even if your doctor has not said you need to. S
ome people feel more comfortable wearing the boot to sleep, because they move around a lot and they do not want to run the risk of reinjuring themselves. Other people feel achier if they do not sleep with their foot in the boot as it is healing.
And some people are so groggy upon waking, that they may forget about their injury and step down, running the risk of reinjuring their foot or ankle, if they do not sleep with the boot on.
Ultimately, you need to do what you feel is best for you, and if you feel wearing a boot while sleeping is right, or it helps limit the pain you feel, there is no risk or danger associated with wearing a walking boot to sleep.
A walking boot is designed to help your foot or ankle to heal after an injury or after surgery. The boot helps to stabilize your foot or ankle, while also helping to redistribute weight so you can safely walk without worrying about reinjuring your foot.
If you have never worn a walking boot before, you may find yourself wondering if it is something you need to wear when you are headed to bed.
In many cases, the boot should be worn when you are awake and moving. If you are going to be sleeping and lying with your foot flat, you may not always have to wear the boot.
However, every person is different and every injury is different.
As such, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor, podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon about your specific case and whether they expect you to wear the boot while you are sleeping or not.