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12 Tips On How To Get Better Sleep With Varicose Veins

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Update: June 2, 2023
6 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
How To Sleep With Varicose Veins

Getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging if you have varicose veins. The painful symptoms of varicose veins, such as heaviness, swelling, aching, restless legs, cramps, itching, and tingling, may not let you sleep peacefully.

But no worries, though varicose veins seem to rear up at night, we can still deal with it. Keep reading to learn how to sleep with varicose veins.

Why Do Varicose Veins Hurt Most at Night

Varicose veins are chronic venous insufficiency, which occurs when tiny, one-way vein valves begin to malfunction. Varicose veins are common, with a reported prevalence between 10% and 30% worldwide, and are common amongst people who work in occupations requiring prolonged standing.

Common symptoms of varicose veins include heaviness, swelling, aching, restless legs, cramps, itching, and tingling. However, people with severe varicose veins tend to experience different symptoms. The presence of one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, together with clinical or ultrasound evidence of main stem saphenous reflux, is accepted as an indication for surgery.

And no doubt that the varicose vein symptoms can be uncomfortable any time of day, but varicose vein pain at night is incredibly distressing, and there are mainly two reasons for that.

The first reason is due to your daytime activities. The blood pools throughout the day, so if you spend a lot of time on your feet during the day, the pain will worsen during the night. The second reason could be the lack of distractions while lying in bed at night. 

How Varicose Veins Impact Sleep

Varicose veins are a cosmetic issue, as they can look blue or purple and twisted. They are most commonly found on the calves or the inner leg and develop when blood builds up in the superficial veins of the legs. The veins then swell, raise up and appear purple or blue.

But exactly how varicose veins impact sleep? You may experience swollen feet or ankles that seem to worsen in the evening, or the cramps from your varicose veins may cause a feeling of restlessness in your legs. The feet may feel heavy, difficult to move, disrupting a rejuvenating sleep. So, how to sleep with varicose veins?

How to Sleep Well With Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can impact your resting hours at night. So, here are 12 tips on how to sleep well with varicose veins.

1. Wear Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are a great way to help reduce pain and discomfort. According to a study, treatment with varicose vein stockings is an effective method. It has significant effects on sleep quality. The compression stockings exert pressure on the legs and reduce dependent fluid movement by counteracting pressure.

2. Elevate Your Legs and Use an Elevation Pillow

The elevation is another method to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins. According to Dr Dhanraj Chavan, a dermatologist and varicose veins specialist from VeinMD– Varicose Vein Centre, Pune, when you elevate your legs and knees, your body will find the time to repair and reduce the swelling and pain.

3. Use Essential Oil

Even after using compression stockings and propping up your leg, if the varicose veins leg pain at night isn’t bearable, try using essential oils. According to a doctor of natural medicine, Dr Josh Axe, essential oil like Cypress with witch hazel, 5 drops each, rubbed in the affected area 3 times a day, will help with blood circulation.

4. Sleeping On Your Left Side

Switching sleep positions might help relieve the discomfort at night. According to Dr Hansa Yogendra, an Indian yoga guru, sleep position is critical in deciding your sleep quality and other health conditions. And among all the sleeping positions, side sleeping is the most beneficial for health, especially on the left side. It could help the flow of blood to your heart.

5. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach

Stomach sleeping is not a varicose veins sleeping position because this position is widely discouraged for several reasons. Sleeping on the back misaligns the sleeping position, putting pressure on the body, which may trigger discomfort.

6. Use a Foam Roller

The foam roller is a type of self-massage tool. And according to the analysis of blood flow oscillation, foam rollers help recover from muscle fatigue and blood flow oscillation.

7. Take a Warm Bath or Shower Before Bed

There is no evidence that warm baths or showers can directly affect varicose veins. However, having a warm bath before bed will help dilate your blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more freely. You may want to avoid a hot bath after the sclerotherapy treatment for varicose veins because it may affect the healing process. 

8. Drink Milk Before Bedtime

Milk has been known and used to promote sleep. The scientists have discovered a mixture of milk peptides called casein tryptic hydrolysate (CTH) that relieves stress and enhances sleep.

Dr Hansa Yogendra explains that it is essential to practise some exercise to strengthen the muscles and prevent varicosity aches and pains. She introduced some asanas such as talasana, utkatasana, and sarvangasana that will help with varicose veins. She also advises walking regularly 4-5 km to keep circulation going.

9. Avoid Drinking Too Much Fluid Before Bedtime

Although adequate fluid intake is needed to keep your internal organs at their healthiest, however, drinking water just before you sleep might not be the wisest move. Because when a person lies down, all excess fluid pools in the lower extremities. This condition is called Edema, typically caused by more than one factor, such as venous insufficiency, varicose veins, obesity, or pregnancy.

10. Gentle Stretching Exercises

Dr Hansa Yogendra explains that it is essential to practise some exercise to strengthen the muscles and prevent varicosity aches and pains. She introduced some asanas such as talasana, utkatasana, and sarvangasana that will help with varicose veins. She also advises walking regularly 4-5 km to keep circulation going.

11. Use Maternity Pants

During pregnancies wearing maternity pants may help ease your varicose veins. The maternity pants are special gears; they gently compress the leg muscles and squeeze the veins to help push the blood back toward the heart. They can also hold up the extra weight, which helps reduce the pressure on the walls of your veins.

12. Stay Positive and Don’t Stress

Sleeping with varicose veins is difficult, but stressing over sleep loss will not solve the problem. Instead it can aggravate sleep latency because stress and sleep are closely linked. Just remember, varicose veins are a curable condition. All you need is discipline, a proper exercise schedule, walking and a change in your working conditions.

4 Tips When Varicose Veins Cause Leg Pain at Night

Though several things can help reduce pain caused by varicose veins, it’s better to consult your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies.

1. Compress With Cold Water

Use cold water for compression; it can cause blood vessels to shrink. The shrinking of blood vessels alleviates swelling and the associated feeling of heaviness, as well as overall discomfort and leg cramps

2. Go for a Walk

Walking is an excellent way to maintain healthy circulation. And as mentioned before in the article, Dr Hansa Yogendra advises at least 4-5 km walks daily, along with some asanas, for better circulation and alleviation of any aches.

3. Take Medicine Inflammation

If you’re experiencing inflammation from the varicose veins, taking an over-the-counter medication might help reduce the inflammation and pain. However, do consult your doctor before administering any medicines.

4. Talk to Your Doctor

If the varicose veins are getting severe, talk to your doctor. The doctors will provide a much better solution based on the severity of the situation. 

Can dietary changes also help in getting proper sleep while dealing with varicose veins?

While dietary changes alone may not directly address varicose veins, they can indirectly contribute to better sleep quality. A healthy diet can support overall cardiovascular health, which may help alleviate symptoms associated with varicose veins, such as leg discomfort or restless legs syndrome. Additionally, a balanced diet promotes general well-being, which can positively impact sleep patterns. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive approach that combines dietary changes with other recommended treatments for varicose veins.

Final Words

Varicose veins can make sleeping difficult, but with the tips mentioned above, you can get much-needed rest at night. Also, remember the varicose vein is a curable condition. You need discipline, a proper exercise schedule, walking, and a change in your working conditions, and speak with your doctor.


How do you stop varicose veins from hurting at night?

Your varicose veins’ blood flow will improve if you elevate your feet while you sleep. The symptoms will then lessen as a result. To do this, you don’t need to purchase an expensive hospital bed. Place a pillow at the end of the mattress instead.

Why do varicose veins hurt more at night?

Varicose veins are uncomfortable at night for two main reasons. First, blood accumulates throughout the day. As a result, the pains and aches will be exacerbated at night if you spend a lot of time standing throughout the day. Second, lying in bed at night eliminates all outside distractions.

How can I calm my varicose veins down?

Although they seldom disappear on their own, varicose and spider veins can fade in visibility. Additionally, you could discover that symptoms occasionally disappear for a while, especially if you reduce your weight or up your physical activity. Your vein symptoms, though, will probably come back eventually.

Should you massage varicose veins?

While it won’t cause any harm, it won’t make the vein disappear or improve. A varicose or spider vein appears once and remains there until it is treated.

What causes varicose veins to flare up?

Several small valves that open and close to let blood through stop the blood from flowing backwards. Blood can flow backward and gather in the vein if the valves become weak or broken, eventually causing it to swell and grow (varicose).


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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