Can Sleeping in a Recliner Cause Blood Clots

If you are asking this question, then you must know what a recliner is all about, but for clarity’s sake, I will go over it briefly.

A recliner is a chair that that serves as a sofa or an armchair that has an adjustable backrest and footrest. The backrest can be tilted back in a reclining position while the footrest can be lifted to remove pressure from the legs.

These adjustments are typically controlled using levers designed to be on the side of the recliner. While numerous benefits come with sleeping in a recliner. It also comes with some disadvantages and during the course of this article, we are going to be going over one of those disadvantages.    

Sleeping in a recliner can cause blood clot

The reclined sleeping position maintained from sleeping in a recliner often leaves the joints of users bent and confined for an extended period. This position confines users in such a position where they have to be motionless and have limited room to move and adjust throughout the night. This has been known to increase the chances of developing blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, DVT.

Deep vein thrombosis is what happens when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins in the body. It is typically known to happen in the leg region but it can also develop in any other part of the body and it can be life-threatening.

Essentially, when either the arms or the legs are bent and motionless for a long period, it can lead to blood clots developing, and sleeping in recliners is known to eventually lead to this. However, this is not intended to scare you because wearing compression socks can prevent DVT from developing.

I will also go over the proper way to use recliners that are safer and would essentially not lead to blood clots developing in your body. Now, let us see a bit more into what blood clots are and how they come about.  

Causes of blood clot

A blood clot is a gel-like substance that was formed by a clump of liquid blood turning into a semi-solid substance that looks like a clump of gel. Although, clotting in itself is not necessarily a bad thing because it is meant to happen biologically in certain situations when the body is trying to prevent you from losing a lot of blood all at once.

These situations are either in cases of injury or cuts and the blood clot acts as a seal for the bleeding regions. However, it becomes an issue when the blood clot itself poses a threat to the body. Blood clots are sometimes known to block oxygen or blood supply to other regions of the body like the brain and this is a fatal situation that often leads to death.

The case of DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the leg is associated with leg pains and swelling of the leg or region. In some cases, DVT is known to happen without symptoms being associated with it.

Blood clots are created or formed when there is an obstruction or a resistance to free blood circulation. Blood clots will form when your blood flow is restricted or when something is preventing your blood from clotting the normal way. Scenarios when this could happen, include an injury of the vein, confined and limited movement, and after surgery.        

Symptoms of blood clot

Fortunately, there are symptoms we can look out for just in case we may be suffering from blood clots. Also, as far as sleeping in recliners is concerned, blood clot only mostly typically occurs in the lower region of the legs.

Remember I mentioned that these symptoms do not always show up when a person is suffering from DVT? Well, that is true but in the cases where they do show up, these are some of the things to look out for

  1. Leg swelling
  2. A noticeable and reddish discoloration around the region
  3. Pains in the form of soreness and cramps
  4. Tender calf muscles
  5. Feeling of a warm sensation in the leg

The best way to sleep in a recliner

Like I mentioned before, there are numerous benefits associated with sleeping in recliners and these benefits cannot be overlooked. Hence, users of recliners must understand that the best way to use or sleep in a recliner is to fully recline the chair. This is more relaxing and eases up the pressure on the legs.  

Lastly, please note that the blood clots aren’t necessarily caused by the recliners themselves but by the long hours of sleeping in an immobile or inactive position. This means that you could sleep in an airplane chair for long hours and would be predisposed to having blood clots.