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close up of a sprained ankle on a bed

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How to sleep with and treat a sprained ankle?

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An ankle sprain is a common type of injury that can occur as the result of improperly moving the ankle through twisting, rolling, or turning the joint.

Along with the added pressure of your body weight on the joint, moving the ankle joint awkwardly or pushing it beyond its normal range of motion may cause the ligaments surrounding the joint to tear. This can lead to instability, pain, swelling, and bruising of the ankle.

The sleep specialists at Polysleep, your mattress expert, understand how pain can impact your sleep, so, we are here to give you tips to sleep with a sprained ankle.

Twisted ankle: first aid

Sprained ankle treatment depends on the severity of the injury. A minor sprained ankle may be treated at home by using the RICE method, alongside over-the-counter medications, such as Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to alleviate pain and swelling.

The RICE method includes:

  • Rest. Rest as often as possible during the first 48 hours following a sprained ankle to help minimize the risk of developing pain and swelling.
  • Ice. Apply ice up to 8 times per day for approximately 20 minutes per session. To avoid the area becoming too cold, wrap an ice pack in a towel and place the towel-covered area of the ice pack on the affected ankle.
  • Compression. Wear a compression bandage, which can be purchased at most pharmacies, for at least two days to help stabilize the joint as the ligaments begin healing.
  • Elevate. Raise the affected joint above heart level to reduce swelling by placing pillows and/or blankets beneath your foot. Elevate the joint as much as possible during the day and throughout the night.

The recovery time for a sprained ankle depends on its severity. While a minor sprained ankle may heal within 2 weeks, it could take up to 12 weeks to fully recover from a severe sprained ankle injury.

How to sleep with a twisted ankle

Sleeping with a sprained ankle can seem difficult as you are left dealing with bruising, pain with minimal movement, and swelling.

However, there are a few things you can do to help get a better night of rest, including resting the joint as much as possible for the first 48 hours.

A comfortable antimicrobial memory foam mattress can help maintain comfort, support, and health safety throughout the night as you sleep.

You can try laying flat on your back with the affected joint elevated to avoid added pressure on the sprained ankle, reduce swelling, and minimize movement of the joint. 

While a compression bandage should be worn during the day to stabilize the joint, remove it at bedtime to reduce the chances of the bandage moving and restricting blood flow.

Foot wearing a compression bandage in order to heal the ankle

How to sprain your ankle while sleeping

A sprained ankle is a common injury among sports players, whether on a professional level or not, but this type of injury can also occur while you are at rest.

For instance, if you move frequently while you are sleeping, your foot can become tangled in the bed sheet or comforter, resulting in an abnormal twisting movement if you roll during the night. 

If the ligaments in your ankle are forced beyond their normal range of motion, a sprain is likely to occur, leaving you to wake up with pain and difficulty putting pressure on the joint.

Best tips to quickly treat a sprained ankle

The most important thing you can do to allow the healing of a sprained ankle is to rest as much as possible in the first few days. The more you walk around, the greater the risk of worsening the injury. 

Minor sprained or twisted ankles can be treated at home through rest, icing the area, utilizing a compression wrap during the day, and elevating the affected ankle as much as possible. 

Other ways to quickly heal a sprained ankle include:

  • Assistive devices. You can wear an ankle brace throughout the day to support and stabilize a sprained ankle as the ligaments surrounding the joint are healing. Many people find additional comfort in utilizing crutches or a scooter to minimize pressure on the joint for the first few days.
  • Over-the-counter medications. Medications, like Advil, Aleve, and Tylenol, are often recommended to reduce swelling and alleviate pain as you heal, but check with your doctor first before taking them. 
  • Therapy. Once the pain and swelling have subsided, your care provider may recommend physical therapy to help strengthen, stabilize, and increase flexibility and range of motion in the affected ankle.

Takeaway

At Polysleep, we know how important a good night’s rest can be for healing the body. Our antimicrobial memory foam mattress is designed to cradle you throughout the night offering the perfect balance of health, comfort, and support.

With additional protection from harmful bacteria, dust, and dander, you will sleep better than ever!

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