10 Tips for Sleeping with a PICC Line or Midline

Photo of Emily in 2016 directly after PICC line placement surgery

Getting a good night's sleep can be challenging for many, especially those living with Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) or midline. The journey to a good night's sleep may seem tedious, but following these simple tips may help you overcome these challenges. Protecting your PICC line or midline is a necessity during everyday activities. Please consider that these tips may affect each individuals differently based on individual medical needs and abilities.

  1. Positioning: Sleeping on your side can damage the PICC line or midline and cause discomfort throughout the night. Find a comfortable sleeping position that avoids putting pressure on your PICC line or midline. Try laying on your back and with your arms supported as a good option.

  2. Pillow Arrangement:Position pillows strategically around your arm to keep it elevated. This can help minimize the risk of damaging your PICC line or midline. Experiment with pillows made from different materials to find the best fit for you.

  3. Maintaining Cleanliness:Messy beds and sleeping areas can cause your PICC line or midline to get caught. Cleaning your bed before sleeping can ensure safety for your PICC line or midline. Items like chargers, phone, and headphones can cause pulling of the PICC line or midline. Before heading to bed, check your surroundings to ensure that there is nothing that can cause any damages to the PICC line or midline.

  4. Loose Clothing: Wearing tight clothing can cause irritation and pressure on the PICC line or midline. Wearing comfortable, loose clothing that won’t damage your PICC line or midline when sleeping can add an extra layer of protection.

  5. Securing the Line:Ensuring that the PICC Line or midline is secured is essential in keeping it undamaged during sleep. This action can help prevent unnecessary movement that could potentially lead to damage. The Mighty Well PICCPerfect® PICC Line Cover provides a double layer of protection and holds the tubing and lumen to help prevent possible entanglement in daily activities. PICC line or midline users will be able to enjoy their day and sleep without having to worry about damaging their PICC line or midline.

  6. Bedding Choice:Rough or textured materials for your bedding can cause discomfort and irritation to the skin around the PICC insertion site. Heavy textures can also cause pulling on your PICC line or midline if not appropriately protected. Opt for smooth, soft bedding to reduce friction against the PICC line or midline.

  7. Temperature Control:If the temperature in your bedroom is too cold or hot, it can cause discomfort and affect the quality of your sleep. Sleeping in a comfortable environment can also reduce the amount of movement throughout the night, and keep your PICC line or midline steady. Unregulated temperatures can cause an uncomfortable night's sleep which causes you to shift more frequently. If you shift too much in your sleep, it can cause damage to your PICC line or midline.

  8. Avoid Sleeping with Pets or Children:Sleeping with pets and children can cause your PICC line or midline to be caught on them when sleeping. There may be movements caused by pets and/or children that you will not be able to control. If any of their movements gets caught on your PICC line or midline, then it can cause dislodgment. You may be able to avoid this situation by teaching your pets and children to sleep in their own beds.

  9. Napping in a Safe Environment:People may have the tendency to nap in places that are convenient for them. These places may include sofas, desks, benches, and much more. It is not advised to nap in these environments since it can include grooves and foreign objects where a PICC line or midline can get caught. Napping in your own bed can ensure the longevity of your PICC line, midline, and health.

  10. Consulting your Healthcare: As always, if you are concerned about sleeping with your PICC line or midline, do not hesitate to communicate your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can offer personalized advice and guidance to ensure comfort and safety.
  11. These tips provide a perfect balance between a night of restful sleep and protection for your PICC line. A good night's sleep holds significance not only for your mental and physical well-being but prolongs your PICC line health and condition. Treating your PICC line as part of your body is an excellent first step in taking care of your PICC line. If you have any questions or suggestions about these tips, feel free to consult your healthcare professional. For more information about PICC lines, refer to PICC Line Care Guide with more blogs about caring for your PICC line.

    “How to Sleep with a Chemo Port: Tips to Reduce Discomfort.” MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-sleep-with-a-chemo-port. Accessed 28 Aug. 2023.
    “About Your Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC).” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/about-your-peripherally-inserted-central-catheter-picc. Accessed 28 Aug. 2023.

1 comment

  • Gabriela Gutierrez

    Excellent tips for sleeping with a PICC line! Thank you so much for all your free resources and videos yo understand how to manage a line 🙏🏽. It can be so overwhelming, but Mighty Well has made this process so much easier and less scary!

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