A good night’s sleep improves vein health


A restful night’s sleep is a key factor in maintaining good health.

Research shows that there is a relationship between a lack of sleep and vein disease, because those living with varicose veins can have tougher time getting a good night’s sleep.

According to a study by the National Institute of Health, most varicose vein patients complain of experiencing leg cramps and pain (especially at night), swelling and itchiness.

Poor sleep can lead to other health conditions, particularly metabolic related syndromes, such as diabetes and heart disease. This can happen because inadequate sleep creates stress on the body and the major organs. Without the proper amount of rest, your body is in danger of infection and disease.

The average healthy adult should aim for 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When you don’t sleep enough at night, your body also produces fewer cytokines, which are essential proteins that promote sleep.

Consider these lifestyle improvements for better sleep.

· Before you sit down for the evening, wash up and get ready for bed. Then, slowly move your bedtime up to achieve a longer stretch of sleep. Start small by heading to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your normal bedtime.

· Do not consume caffeinated beverages or food with caffeine after 5 p.m.

· Nap before 3 p.m. Napping too late in the afternoon can throw off your sleep patterns.

· Exercise regularly. Exercise relieves the body of stress and tires the body in an effective way. Exercises such as jogging, running, biking, and squats help build strong leg muscles and a strong core, which promotes healthy blood flow.

· Yoga Nidra or bedtime meditation can relax the body and mind. Many people report that techniques which focus on slowing down the breath have a positive effect on sleep quality.

· Sleeping posture affects quality of sleep, especially for those living with varicose veins. Try sleeping on the left side, because this posture takes pressure off the vena cava, or the largest vein in the body located on the right side of your heart. Blood circulation improves, reducing the likelihood of blood building up in your legs. Raising the legs with a pillow also encourages circulation.

· Stretch regularly to allow your muscles to relax. Regular stretching, or short regular walks if your work requires sitting, promote proper blood flow and reduce symptoms of varicose veins including leg cramps and swelling. This often leads to better sleep.

San Diego Vein Institute specializes in treating venous concerns and can discuss if it is time to treat your varicose to improve overall health, including sleep quality. San Diego Vein Institute is located at 336 Encinitas Boulevard, Suite 130, Encinitas, CA 92024. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 944-9263 or visit