Learn How to Sleep Comfortably in a Hospital Chair

No one ever wants to be in the hospital, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Many times, family members of patients may find themselves stuck in the hospital for days or weeks at a time, with no bed to sleep in. Because it is very difficult to find a proper place to sleep in a hospital. The waiting room area is the only place where you can sleep for some time. But the only thing available there is a ‘chair or couch to sleep or relax. It is very difficult to sleep in a hospital chair in the waiting area unless you take your own pillow rest and blanket.

In this article, I’ll try to guide you step by step on how to sleep in a hospital chair comfortably.

If your loved one is admitted to a hospital then it is a big challenge for you to stay there at night. Some of the hospitals provide hospital chairs that turn into beds in private rooms for attendants. But most hospitals don’t have proper arrangements for a guardian to stay at night but a chair only in the waiting area or lobby. We have to make a suitable environment for sleeping on our own.

Let me guide you step by step on what to do in this situation

Step-by-step guide on how to sleep in a hospital chair:

  • First, you need to find a chair or a sofa in the lobby or waiting area wherever it is allowed to stay. The chair or sofa must be in a safe place. A sofa is a better option as it is comfy and gives more space in comparison to a chair. Make sure that the chair/sofa is placed, away from walk-through ways. So that you won’t go through any disturbance while you sleep. If there are hospital chairs with wheels then move them to a less noisy and dim light place to enjoy less disturbed sleep.
  • Find another chair or some ottoman or stool to keep your feet straight up. It will help you to achieve better posture to sleep otherwise your legs will get tired and you will be restless.
  • After you decide where to sleep, the next step is to manage your sleeping accessories such as a pillow and a blanket. Hospital-type places are mostly high jacked by mosquitoes so it is better to arrange mosquito repellent to spend the night there in a chair.
  • Last but not least, you are in hospital so there is a chance to face any kind of emergency. Inform the nurse or receptionist where you are going to sleep to call you in case of an emergency.
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Safety tips to sleep in a hospital chair:

  • The major problem a person faces while sleeping in a chair is ‘deep vein thromboses’. It means when you get motionless for a long time then blood clots in some parts of your body especially your legs and arms. To avoid this problem find a couple of chairs, one to sit and another to keep your feet up. This posture will help your blood to circulate freely so far.
  • Another way to sleep better is to drink sleep-inducing beverages. For instance, warm milk or lukewarm water. In addition to these, herbal tea is considered a good option too. Avoid tea, coffee, cigarettes, or other stimulants that create difficulty in falling asleep.
  • Sleeping in a hospital chair is very difficult, especially in an upright position. Sitting upright while sleeping is not at all comfortable in any way. It is much better if you find a reclining chair but if not then lean yourself against a surface at 40 degrees and stretch your legs. This posture is the Best way to sleep in a hospital chair in comparison to sleeping upright as it will not let you feel tired while sleeping.
  • Switching off the cell phone is better. But if you are in hospital as an attendant and sleeping away from the patient (waiting area) then turning off the phone is not a good option. Because in the case of emergency you might face trouble.
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How to make a hospital chair more comfortable:

Many hospitals provide comfortable hospital sleeper chair for attendants to stay or sleep overnight but mostly not. So it is better to bring extra pillows or cushion to transform your simple chair into a padded one. Moreover, find another chair or stool to elevate your feet and try to sleep in a reclining position to avail of maximum comfort.


1.      How to sleep in an uncomfortable chair?

If you are really not finding a comfortable chair or Hospital chair bed to sleep overnight there and only have an uncomfortable chair, don’t worry! What you have to do is to bring at least two blankets with you along with a pillow. Place pillow as a backrest and Spread blankets over two chairs; wrap yourself in them and keep yourself warm as much as you can. Whenever you are bound to spend the night and sleep in hospital make sure you follow our instructions in this critical situation. We assure you these will help you to attain safe and sound sleep there.

2.      Can I sleep well in a chair?

It is not a good idea to sleep in a chair frequently or on daily basis, but if you don’t have any other option for a night or twice then you can. Actually, there is another situation; if you are too much tired then it is not difficult to sleep in an uncomfortable place or chair. And on the other hand, if you really need to sleep and are bound to sleep in a chair then you might struggle to fall asleep. The best option is to place a pillow and spread a blanket sheet over a chair and get a cozy feel. Recline yourself over it and stretch your feet on another chair. Cover yourself with a warm blanket and then yes you can sleep well in a chair.

3.      What can happen to my body when I sleep in a chair?

There are many problems you might face when you sleep in a chair such as:
Joint stiffness: This term refers to the condition when it is difficult to move joints due to limited space.
Deep vein thrombosis: This problem usually occurs in the body when a blood clot is formed. It normally forms in deep veins of the thigh or lower leg due to the least movement of body parts.
Swelling in ankles: This condition is obvious! Whenever you sleep while lowering down your legs; it will affect blood circulation badly and will result in swollen ankles and unbearable pain.
Backache and shoulder ache: When you will sleep in a chair without reclining or in an upright posture without having a pillow as a backrest then you will definitely suffer from these traumas. 


Sleeping in a hospital chair can be comfortable and restful with the right preparation. Taking the time to bring your own bedding, position yourself in the chair correctly, and adjust it to your individual needs will ensure a good night’s sleep. A hospital is a kind of place where you cannot relax mentally; you remain under continuous pressure depending on your patient’s condition. So if you find some time to sleep even in a chair just avail yourself that time. I know it is very challenging to sleep in such places. However, following the instructions in this article will help you to sleep even better.