Many people are familiar with the common side effects of varicose veins, such as redness, irritation, itchiness, and burning sensations. However, there are less common side effects, including severe dryness and sleep disruption. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 23 percent of adults living in the United States have varicose veins.
“According to the American Heart Association, nearly 23 percent of adults living in the United States have varicose veins.”
Sleeping with varicose veins can be challenging. People suffering from them can experience multiple symptoms, including leg cramping, swelling in the ankles and feet, a heavy feeling in the legs, pain when walking or standing for long periods of time, and fatigue. These aggravations can get worse at night. You’re most likely up and moving throughout the day, which can create a distraction, but unfortunately, this discomfort worsens during sleep because the mind is free from outside diversions, thus making it easier to concentrate on the pain and discomfort in the legs.
How Can I Sleep Better At Night With Varicose Veins?
Any vein in the body can become varicose. It primarily occurs in the legs and calves, and if the veins become weakened, the blood begins to flow backward, causing swelling and enlargement.
“Relieving pain for your varicose veins at night could be as simple as changing your sleeping position.”
If you suspect you have varicose veins, schedule an appointment to speak with your doctor. If you’ve already been diagnosed, here are ways to temporarily alleviate discomfort for a better night’s rest:
- Water is critical to your overall health. Water positively impacts blood and lymphatic flow, so stay hydrated! Maintaining hydration keeps the circulatory system healthy and sends blood flow to your veins and arteries. Tip: Reducing alcohol and salt intake helps the body lock in that valuable water content!
- Wear compression socks to prevent swelling and inhibit blood from pooling in your legs. Not only does this reduce pain and bulging, compression socks improve circulation to the ankles and calves, where varicose veins are prominent.
- Many people have jobs that require prolonged hours of sitting or standing. This is not ideal for those with varicose veins because the inactivity can cause blood stasis, which can lead to increased blood pressure. Taking a pre-bedtime walk for about 20 to 30 minutes is a great preventative tool because it returns the blood up to your heart.
- Stretch, stretch, and more stretching! Regular stretching improves blood circulation as well as strengthens the muscles that support your veins.
- Use heat to loosen the muscles so they don’t compress the veins when you go to bed. This reduces pressure and relieves pain because this allows the blood to move more freely.
- Drink a glass of milk before bed. As long as you don’t have a dairy allergy, the calcium in milk is a great way to be able to relax more easily when you’re tense and tight.
- Seek medical treatment if you continue to struggle with pain from varicose veins.
It’s not easy sleeping with varicose veins, but know you’re not alone. A recent study showed that nearly 300 patients with varicose veins reported that their discomfort increased at night. Try to remain positive and remind yourself that this unpleasant pain won’t be forever.
What Are The Best Sleeping Positions for Varicose Veins?
Relieving pain for your varicose veins at night could be as simple as changing your sleeping position. Depending on the severity, there are a few things you can do, such as:
- Avoid sleeping on your belly. This position puts unnecessary pressure on the back of your legs and could be the main trigger for symptoms.
- Sleep on your left side side. It is shown to be the best position for people with varicose veins because it distributes the pressure more evenly between the legs and hips, while also supporting better blood flow and helps the heart pump more efficently.
- Sleep with your legs elevated so your blood can easily flow up to the heart. You only need to raise the legs between 3 and 4 inches to ensure there’s no compression on your veins.
It can be frustrating to fight sleep and not understand where the source of your bedtime restlessness originates. Keeping up with a mindful routine is a must to remain healthy and reduce the discomforts of varicose veins. Sufficient sleep is essential for rejuvenating the mind and body, as it promotes the healing of the body and enables you to lead a better quality of life.
If you’re experiencing discomfort and can’t find relief, it’s best to speak with your doctor. We know how painful varicose veins can be, but they don’t have to interfere with your life. The treatments we offer at Indiana Vein and Laser Center are performed in our office and have a short recovery time. They are minimally invasive and are provided on an outpatient basis.
We focus on ensuring you’re happy and healthy with your legs every day. If you’re ready to take the next step in treating your varicose veins, we hope you’ll call us and schedule your consultation today.
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