Best Sleeping Positions For Peripheral Artery Disease

By Kendra Reed

Updated On

If you’re living with peripheral artery disease (PAD), you know how challenging it can be to get a good night’s sleep. PAD can cause discomfort, pain, and poor circulation, all of which can impact your sleep quality.

Finding the best sleeping position is crucial for managing your symptoms and promoting better rest. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most suitable sleeping positions for individuals with PAD, helping you find comfort and relief.

Key Takeaways

  1. Proper sleeping positions can alleviate PAD symptoms and improve sleep quality.
  2. Sleeping on your back or side can promote better circulation and reduce pressure on affected limbs.
  3. Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice on the best sleeping position for your needs.

Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Before we dive into the best sleeping positions, let’s take a closer look at PAD. This condition occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your limbs become narrowed or blocked, reducing blood flow.

Common symptoms of PAD include leg pain, cramping, numbness, and fatigue. These symptoms can worsen during rest, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Importance of Sleep for PAD Patients

Quality sleep is essential for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for individuals with PAD. Adequate sleep helps your body repair and regenerate, reduces stress, and improves overall well-being.

Poor sleep, on the other hand, can exacerbate PAD symptoms, leading to increased pain, fatigue, and a reduced quality of life. That’s why finding the best sleeping position is so important.

Recommended Sleeping Positions for PAD Patients

When it comes to sleeping with PAD, certain positions can help alleviate symptoms and promote better circulation. Here are some recommended sleeping positions:

  1. Sleeping on your back
  2. Sleeping on your side
  3. Elevating your legs
  4. Using pillows for support

Let’s take a closer look at each of these positions and how they can benefit individuals with PAD.

Sleeping on Your Back

Sleeping on your back is often recommended for PAD patients. This position allows your body to maintain proper alignment, reducing pressure on your limbs and promoting better circulation.

To enhance comfort, place a pillow under your knees to help relieve pressure on your lower back. You can also use a small pillow or rolled-up towel under your ankles to slightly elevate your legs, improving blood flow.

Sleeping on Your Side

Side sleeping can also be beneficial for individuals with PAD. This position can help improve circulation and alleviate discomfort in your legs. If you choose to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned and reduce pressure on your hips. You can also use a body pillow for added support and comfort.

Avoiding Certain Sleeping Positions

While some sleeping positions can help manage PAD symptoms, others should be avoided. Sleeping on your stomach, for example, can put extra pressure on your limbs and restrict blood flow.

If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, try gradually transitioning to sleeping on your back or side. You can use pillows to support your body and make the transition more comfortable.

Other Tips for Better Sleep with PAD

In addition to finding the best sleeping position, there are other strategies you can use to improve your sleep quality:

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine
  3. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
  4. Use compression stockings during the day to promote circulation
  5. Engage in regular exercise, as approved by your healthcare provider

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can create a more conducive environment for restful sleep.

Seeking Professional Advice

While this guide provides general recommendations for sleeping positions, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s needs are different. The best sleeping position for you may depend on the severity of your PAD, other health conditions, and personal preferences. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider or a sleep specialist for personalized advice.

Your healthcare provider can assess your individual situation and provide tailored recommendations for sleeping positions, lifestyle changes, and other strategies to manage your PAD symptoms.

They may also suggest specific exercises, medications, or therapies to help improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Also Read: How To Sit With SI Joint Pain? A Guide To Proper Sitting


Living with peripheral artery disease can be challenging, but finding the best sleeping position can help you manage your symptoms and get the rest you need. By sleeping on your back or side, using pillows for support, and avoiding positions that restrict blood flow, you can promote better circulation and alleviate discomfort.

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and to incorporate other strategies for better sleep, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

With the right approach and a little patience, you can find the best sleeping position for your needs and enjoy more restful, restorative sleep. Don’t let PAD keep you up at night – take control of your sleep and start feeling your best.


1. Can elevating my legs while sleeping help with PAD symptoms?

A: Yes, elevating your legs while sleeping can help improve blood flow and reduce swelling. Try placing a pillow or wedge under your legs to keep them slightly elevated. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends elevating your legs above heart level for optimal results.

2. Is it okay to use a heating pad or hot water bottle for pain relief while sleeping?

A: While heat therapy can provide temporary pain relief, it’s essential to use caution when sleeping with a heating pad or hot water bottle. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause burns or skin irritation, especially if you have reduced sensation in your legs due to PAD. If you choose to use heat therapy, apply it for short periods and always use a protective cover to avoid direct skin contact.

3. How can I make sleeping on my back more comfortable?

A: If you’re not used to sleeping on your back, it may take some time to adjust. To make it more comfortable, use a supportive pillow under your head and neck, and place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees. This helps maintain your spine’s natural curvature and reduces pressure on your lower back. You can also try using a body pillow for added support and comfort.

4. Should I talk to my doctor about my sleep problems related to PAD?

A: Absolutely. If you’re experiencing persistent sleep problems due to PAD, it’s essential to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can offer personalized advice, recommend lifestyle changes, and prescribe medications or therapies to help manage your symptoms. Don’t hesitate to reach out – your doctor is there to support you in finding the best solutions for your health and well-being.

Kendra Reed

Dr. Kendra Reed is a dedicated general medicine physician with 7 years of clinical experience. After graduating from medical school, she completed her residency in internal medicine, developing a well-rounded skillset in diagnosing and treating a diverse range of conditions. Patients appreciate Dr. Reed's warm bedside manner and commitment to providing comprehensive, personalized care. In addition to her clinical work, she is actively involved in community outreach programs, educating the public on important health topics. Dr. Reed is known for her ability to establish trusting relationships with her patients and help them achieve their wellness goals.

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