Why Do My Varicose Veins Affect My Sleep?

Getting the right amount of sleep every night is an important part of good health.  There are many factors that affect our sleep.  Are you avoiding caffeine before bed? Is my mattress too soft or firm? Am I spending too much time in front of a computer or tv screen before bed?  But did you know that having varicose veins can also affect your sleep? Let’s review why varicose veins may keep you up at night and what you can do to get a good night sleep.

Varicose Vein Symptoms That Can Keep You Up At Night

Many patients with varicose veins are just too busy during the day to notice how their legs are feeling.  Once they have time to rest and get into bed, they start to notice some of the symptoms in their legs.  These symptoms may include a dull nagging pain or swelling of their ankles that slowly developed during the day.  Some patients will have night cramps from their varicose veins, that force them out of bed to walk around.  Others may sense a feeling of restlessness in their legs.  Many of these symptoms are due to pooling of blood within the varicose veins, which has slowly developed throughout the day.  Many of the symptoms are a way for our body to tell us that we need to reduce the volume and pressure within our leg veins.  Most symptoms will cause us to move around, resulting in compression of our leg veins, which causes the blood to move out of our legs and up towards the heart.

What Can I Do To Avoid Symptoms Resulting From My Varicose Veins


Position Yourself To Improve Circulation

If you have varicose veins and symptoms related to venous insufficiency, it can be helpful to slightly elevate your legs at night.  This might mean putting a pillow or two under your legs.  This is especially helpful for anyone who has leg swelling at the end of the day.  By elevating our legs, we use gravity to our advantage and move the pooling blood up towards our heart.  The goal being to raise your legs just above the level of your heart.  There are also newer bedframes in the market now that can elevate your legs with the touch of a button.

Go For An Evening Walk

Many more people now have jobs that require long periods of standing or sitting.  This is not ideal for anyone with vein disease.  The lack of motion throughout the day leads to stasis of blood within our veins, which leads to elevation of pressure within our veins.  This will cause a slow progression of the varicose veins and symptoms related to varicose veins.  A simple way to relieve the elevated pressure within our veins is to go for a 20-30 minute evening walk.  Walking is an important part of keeping our legs healthy and reducing the symptoms of varicose veins.  Walking results in contraction of our leg muscles, which in turn compress our leg veins and force the blood, against gravity, up to the heart.  These constant leg muscle contractions and vein compressions keeps the pressure within our veins at a healthy level, reducing the long term progression of vein disease.

Stay Well Hydrated

Proper hydration is an important part of getting a good night sleep and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Drinking plenty of water during the day will keep your circulation healthy and maintain good flow within your arteries and veins as well as all your major organs. 

Wear Compression Stockings

Using compression stockings during the day, while you spend your time on your feet, will aid in reducing the volume of blood within the legs at night and help give you a restful night of sleep.  Compression stockings can also be worn to bed for the more severely afflicted individuals.  Compression stockings come in different strengths and lengths and require leg measurements for a proper fit.  Stockings that are too tight will cause leg discomfort and do just the opposite and keep you up at night.  So if you’re going to wear stockings to bed, make sure they are properly fitted and comfortable.

Will Treatment Of My Varicose Veins Help With Sleep?

You might be already incorporating all the above helpful techniques to improve your sleep and avoid losing sleep at night from your varicose veins but just can’t get a restful night. This might mean it’s time to seek treatment of your varicose veins.  Varicose vein treatment is now easier than ever, with no downtime and most treatments are covered by insurance.  Treatments like radiofrequency ablation (RFA), endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), Varithena, Venaseal and sclerotherapy are minimally invasive and usually take less than 30 minutes to perform.  If you are losing sleep at night from your varicose veins, visit the Center for Varicose Veins a state of the art facility in Wilton, CT or book online and meet vein expert Dr. Vinay Madan.  Dr. Madan has been treating vein disease for over 25 years and will help come up with a personalized treatment plan so you can get back to restful nights of sleep.


Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan, MD, DABVLM Dr. Vinay Madan is a board certified Interventional Radiologist and Phlebologist with over 25 years of experience in treating vein disease. Dr. Madan has served as the Chairman of Radiology and Section Head of Vascular Interventional Radiology at Eastern Connecticut Health Network. Dr. Madan brings a wealth of knowledge which allows him to treat patients with cosmetic and medical vein disease in a caring and compassionate way.

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