Steps to ease nighttime leg pain

(Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash


Do you have leg pain at night? If so, you are like many other varicose vein sufferers who have this same complaint.

Discomfort and pain from varicose veins are caused when pressure builds up in the legs during the day from weakened veins and valves that do not close properly. These symptoms can worsen for anyone who stands or sits for much of the day.

While some people report leg cramps or throbbing, others say their legs feel heavy, achy or tired. But the bottom line is the same for most these varicose vein sufferers: the discomfort can make it hard for them to sleep.

If this is the case for you, consider the following suggestions to improve the quality of your sleep.

Elevate your legs

Before heading to bed, elevate your legs for 15-20 minutes. By doing this, blood will circulate more quickly from the feet and legs to the heart.

You can raise your legs on a stack of pillows or an ottoman. Or, you can lie on the floor in a 90-degree position with your legs resting up against a wall. Remaining in this position for 15 minutes greatly benefits your vascular system.

If you prefer to relax in your bed, place a small pillow under your legs. As you sleep, the blood will circulate with ease.

Regenerate with exercise

Tight muscles are more likely to cramp and ache. For this reason, spend 5 minutes each evening gently stretching to unwind constricted muscles and improve the flow of blood and the lymphatic fluid throughout your lower body.

For some people, taking an evening walk or spending a few minutes in a restorative yoga pose helps to relax the body.

Remember always to consider your health and comfort level when exercising.

Sleep on your left side

Once you are in bed, sleep on your left side. This sleeping position aids in the prevention of the formation of varicose veins and eases the symptoms of existing varicose veins. For pregnant women, this sleeping position can reduce the pressure that the expanding uterus puts on the large vein in the pelvic area, which is located on the middle-right side of the body.

Hydrate with water

Before bed, drink a glass or two of water. Drinking adequate amounts of water promotes circulation, keeps the blood vessels healthy and prevents muscle cramps.

Drinking water throughout the day also is important for the blood vessels to operate efficiently and prevents leg cramps.

Nighttime leg cramps, swelling, and pain can be caused by a condition other than varicose veins too. A vascular specialist is able to examine your legs to determine the cause and recommend treatment options.

Are you ready for a better night’s sleep? Harvard University educated vascular specialist Dr. Van Cheng at the San Diego Vein Institute specializes in treating varicose veins and can help reduce nighttime discomfort from varicose veins. Dr. Cheng 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