The Sleep Experts


Staying comfortable during bed rest


It’s likely that at some point in our lives, either we or a loved one will need a period of bed rest. This can be a frustrating time and not knowing what to expect can be stressful for all involved. However, knowing some of the common ailments associated with bed rest and how to avoid these, can help you remain as comfortable as possible.

Stiffness of the joints

When you are confined to a bed, your muscles and joints are not receiving the same workout. Movements can be limited and this has unfortunate side effects. Without regular movement, your joints, along with the muscles and ligaments around them, become stiff and weak.

What you can do

Depending on your medical condition, movement can be restricted or encouraged. If your doctor says it’s ok, go for regular short walks around your room to keep your muscles active. You can also do simple movements in bed like stretches or muscle flexes to reduce stiffness. This will also help in the reduction of joint pain.


Bedsores, or pressure sores, occur when you are in a stationary position in bed for too long. They usually affect the areas of skin that are touching the bed where the blood supply has been cut off. When the blood supply is cut off for a long time, the tissue breaks down, resulting in sores. These are uncomfortable but luckily can be avoided with some simple steps.

What you can do

You can reduce the occurrence of bedsores by regularly changing positions in bed if possible. This will mean that the same skin patches are not always touching the bed. If moving is difficult, you could also invest in an electric adjustable bed. This will allow you to change positions by moving the position of the mattress, helping your blood supply circulate. Another option that may help is investing in special mattress overlays which you can place between yourself and the bed. These help slightly to reduce the formation of bedsores and add comfort.

Circulation problems and blood clots

Just like not moving on an aeroplane, lying in one position in bed can clot the blood. This usually occurs in the leg, where the blood travels more slowly when in a stationary position. Blood clots are a serious condition and if you notice any unusual swelling, pain, warmth or redness in your limbs, contact your doctor immediately.

For more information on blood clots click here.

What you can do

Move your legs whenever you can to increase circulation. Massaging your calves also helps, as does wearing special socks, similar to flight socks, which keep the pressure on your legs. In more severe cases, some physical therapy can be used as well as prescribed medication.

We hope you’ve found some information to make your bed rest as comfortable as possible. For more information on bed rest and sleep tips, stay tuned to our blog!