Man and woman wearing compression socks while snuggled under a blanket. Why do Varicose Veins Ache Most at Night?

Everyone enjoys a good night’s sleep. But varicose veins in the legs can often lead to a night of pain, tossing, and turning. One-third of the population is affected by varicose veins, and many with the condition will be painfully aware of its associated symptoms. But why do varicose veins ache most at night? 

 

Why do varicose veins hurt most at night?

Varicose veins are caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which is when the tiny, one-way vein valves begin to malfunction. When vein valves stop closing properly, blood begins to pool in the vein instead of flowing to the heart as it should.

As a result, the affected veins may swell and bulge over time, becoming twisted and rope-like. The pooling blood also doesn't cycle out of the vein fast enough, depriving the veins and surrounding tissues of the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Blood may also leak out of the vein, agitating the skin further. As a result, the nerves activate, resulting in burning, itching, and painful sensations.

What makes the pain worse at night is a combination of different things. First, when you’re in bed, the complete lack of distraction or outside focus means there’s nothing to take your mind off the pain and discomfort you’re feeling in your legs. Additionally, the muscles aren't active when you're at rest, meaning they aren't helping cycle blood out of the veins. The pressure from the bed on your legs may also contribute.

 

Varicose veins

How do I stop my legs from aching?

The good news is you can relieve varicose vein pain at night.

Below, we have outlined some simple ways to support healthy blood circulation and help you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Elevate your feet: When laying in bed, raise your feet on a pillow or two to help the blood flow back out of your legs more easily.
  • Yoga: Do yoga for ten or fifteen minutes before bed to gently stretch the muscles and promote circulation. You’ll feel a difference in your legs. 
  • Compression stockings: Wearing medical-grade compression stockings throughout the day minimises blood pooling and keeps circulation going. If you take them off just before you go horizontal, the veins are less likely to bulge out again and cause pain during the night. 
  • Diet: Reducing salt and fat is important for the long-term health of the veins. You should also eat more vein-friendly foods like berries, asparagus, leafy greens, oats, and nuts. Such foods contain the vitamins, antioxidants, good fats, and fibre your veins need to stay healthy and strong.
  • Ease into the night: Rather than hopping straight into bed after an activity, gently rest. Give yourself a half-hour or so to decompress from the day with your feet up, reading a book, listening to some music, or just sitting and relaxing. This will not only help your veins and muscles over the evening, but it’ll also help your brain sleep better.
  • Varicose vein treatment: If the pain is consistent, happens every night, or you have other symptoms, speak to your doctor or specialist about getting your varicose veins treated. Learn about treatment options here: Varicose vein treatment.

 

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Bauerfeind was founded in 1929, and since then, we've worked tirelessly to develop and improve our extensive range of braces, insoles, and compression products. Our mission is to provide you with top-of-the-line supports so you can reach your fitness goals or live life without pain holding you back.

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