How to Sleep With a Cast on Leg

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If you usually sleep well or drift off immediately after getting on your bed, having a cast on your leg can make all of that a nightmare. This is because a cast on your leg adds additional weight to the leg. This makes sleeping at night quite uncomfortable.

Also, lying still at night leads to pains and aches in the injured leg and the rest of your body, disturbing your sleep. Knowing how to sleep with a cast on the leg is one of the most common questions patients ask orthopedic surgeons. If you have a broken leg, this article will help you discover different ways to sleep with a cast on your leg.

Take Your Medication

If you do not take your medication correctly, sleeping with a broken leg can be uncomfortable. The pain may become severe at night, so you need to take your medication to have a good night’s sleep.

Your doctor will prescribe some painkillers to ease your pain. Take the medications prescribed by your doctor to prevent pain and other side effects. Note that abuse of your medications can lead to serious health complications.

Raise Your Leg

Raising your leg is an excellent way of getting better sleep. When you raise your leg, blood will flow more slowly to the injured part of your leg, and you’ll experience less swelling and pain. This also helps your leg have a better chance of healing faster.

There are certain pillows specifically designed to keep your leg elevated, provide support, and keep your leg in place throughout the night.

Use Your Pillows

Positioning your pillows correctly can also help you get better sleep. But you have to do a lot of adjusting and testing until you get the most comfortable position. Place the pillow beside you, under your legs, or beneath your hamstring.

Be sure that it’s well-placed to prevent your leg from rocking back and forth while you sleep. When placed correctly, pillows can support and elevate your leg, and you won’t have to wake up to adjust the pillows.

Alternatively, you can use a duvet or big blanket in place of pillows. You can place a folded or rolled duvet under your broken leg.

Keep Your Body Stable

There’s no doubt that finding the perfect sleeping position with a broken leg can be challenging. You may even have to toss and turn to find the most comfortable position. But, there’s no perfect position if your body is not balanced.

The best way to address this is to keep your body as stable as possible. This way, you’re sure of not having your sleep disturbed unnecessarily.

To keep your body balanced and stable before bedtime, sleep in your most preferred sleeping position and tuck pillows and blankets around your sides to keep you in position. This will ensure that you do not turn or toss, and your body can remain in a fixed position throughout the night.

Sleep on Your Side

Once the swelling in your leg has gone down, you no longer have to elevate your legs as much as possible. It is the perfect time to sleep on your side.

You can choose to sleep on your right or left side but try not to place both legs on top of each other. Keep one leg slightly back and the other further forward. Place yourself in the most comfortable position to prevent aches and sharp pains in the middle of the night.

Man's Broken Leg

Sleep on Your Couch

It may sound weird, but as long as it’s comfortable, sleep on your couch. It allows you to try different sleeping positions that you can not achieve on your bed.

The backside of your couch is a great place to rest your leg and keep it elevated. It’s also a great way to stretch and feel more comfortable.

The armrest is another place where you can keep your leg raised. Be sure that your couch is comfortable enough with lots of space to prevent you from rolling off while asleep.

Wear Breathable Clothes

Your sleep may be disturbed when you do not wear the right clothes at night, so you need to dress comfortably.

Light and breathable clothes will prevent you from sweating. Heavier clothes can make you sweat and cause itching under the cast on your broken leg.

Light and breathable clothes keep your body at the right temperature, speeding up the healing process for your broken leg.

Remember that too much cold or heat can affect your blood circulation. This can make you feel uncomfortable and affect your sleep. You should determine the best form of clothing based on the current weather conditions or season.

Consider wearing clothes made from cotton, bamboo, or linen during the summer since they’re usually light. On cold nights, wear long-sleeved shirts or light sweatpants. You should also invest in good-quality underwear and nightwear to keep you comfy throughout the night.

Keep the Cast Clean

A wet and unclean cast can cause itching and disturb your sleep at night. More so, knowing that you can not get to scratch this itch can be very frustrating! Keep your cast cool, clean, and dry. This way, you can rest assured of having a better night’s rest.

However, itching may occur when the temperature in your room becomes too hot. Use an anti-spray itch to remove moisture and kill bacteria when this happens.

You can also apply an ice pack on the edge of the cast to cool it down and prevent sweating. Alternatively, you can use a cast scratcher to get to those difficult-to-reach spots that itch. They’re easy to use and very comfortable on the skin – and they can be a lifesaver when you need to reach that itch.


Uncomfortable sleeping positions and sudden aches and pains can affect your sleeping pattern for weeks or even months. But you can reduce the pain and sleep better by trying out some of the tips above on how to sleep with a cast on your leg.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos
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