Best Sleeping Position for Peripheral Artery Disease

When the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body’s outer regions, such as the arms and legs, narrow or get blocked, it is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

People with PAD frequently experience pain, cramping, and unease, especially when engaging in vigorous activities. Nevertheless, the repercussions of PAD can also influence sleep routines and the overall quality of rest.

Considering comfort and blood flow optimization, this article will explore the best sleeping positions for individuals with Peripheral Artery Disease.

The Impact of Peripheral Artery Disease on Sleep

Peripheral Artery Disease can lead to a reduction in blood and oxygen flow to the muscles and tissues in the lower parts of the body. As a result, this can result in sensations of unease, numbness, and even pain – a discomfort that can become more pronounced during sleep.

The insufficient blood circulation experienced during sleep can compound these symptoms and interrupt the normal sleep pattern, resulting in both fragmented and less rejuvenating sleep. Selecting an appropriate sleeping position becomes crucial to mitigate these challenges and enhance the overall sleep quality for those with PAD.

Related: Dinosaur Hands Sleeping Position

Sleeping Positions for Peripheral Artery Disease

Here are the best Sleeping Positions for Peripheral Artery Disease.

Elevated Legs Position (Supine with Legs Raised):

Elevating the legs while lying on your back can help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in the legs and feet. Use pillows or a wedge cushion to elevate your legs slightly above the level of your heart.

By promoting blood flow from the extremities toward the heart, this position improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and tissues. Avoid raising your legs too high since this could put tension on your lower back.

Side Sleeping with Legs Slightly Bent:

Lying on your side with your legs gently angled at the hips and knees can ease the stress on blood vessels and lessen discomfort. Place a pillow between your knees to ensure correct alignment and alleviate tension on your hips and lower back.

This posture encourages improved blood circulation and lessens the likelihood of limbs pressing together, thus preventing discomfort linked to circulation issues. Along with it, you can also try Vinyasa Yoga.

Fetal Position:

Curling up in a fetal position on your side with your legs tucked toward your chest can improve blood circulation by reducing pressure on blood vessels. Additionally, this posture can provide relief for any lower back discomfort that could be linked to PAD.

Utilize a pillow to support your head and neck, and contemplate using another pillow between your knees to enhance your comfort.

Prone Sleeping with Elevated Feet:

While prone sleeping is generally not recommended for individuals with PAD due to potential strain on the neck and back, some find relief by lying on their stomachs with their feet elevated slightly using a pillow.

This position can help encourage blood flow from the lower extremities towards the heart, although it may only suit some and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach:

Sleeping on your stomach can lead to neck and back strain and may worsen symptoms of PAD by potentially compressing blood vessels in the legs. This position is generally discouraged for individuals with PAD.

General Tips for Improved Sleep with PAD

  • Use Supportive Pillows: Utilize pillows strategically to provide support and maintain proper body alignment while sleeping. Elevating your legs, supporting your knees, and using a comfortable cushion for your head can all contribute to a more restful sleep.
  • Elevating Your Legs: Imagine lying on your back and placing a pillow or cushion under your legs so they are slightly raised. This elevation can work wonders for your sleep, especially if you often feel discomfort or pain in your legs due to PAD. The blood flow from your legs back to your heart is improved when you elevate your legs. As a result, your muscles and tissues will receive more oxygen-rich blood, which will lessen any cramping or discomfort you could feel at night.
  • Temperature Regulation: Maintaining a comfortable sleep environment can further enhance sleep quality. Ensure your room is at a temperature that promotes restful sleep, and use breathable bedding materials to prevent overheating.
  • Comfort for Your Head: We must remember the pillow that supports your head and neck. Choosing a cushion that feels comfortable and provides adequate support is key. When your head and neck are in the right position, it helps keep your spine aligned and can prevent unnecessary pressure on your blood vessels. A proper pillow can also reduce pain and improve overall sleep quality. Using pillows strategically creates a sleep environment that caters to your body’s unique needs with PAD. The goal is to encourage healthier blood circulation, ease discomfort, and ensure you wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity, within your doctor’s recommendations, can help improve blood circulation and reduce symptoms of PAD. Regular exercise can contribute to better sleep quality as well.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Professional: Since each person’s situation is distinct, it’s vital to seek guidance from your healthcare professional before substantially altering your sleep habits. They can offer tailored advice and suggestions that consider your health requirements.

Experiment to Find What Works Best for You

Though these pillow techniques have benefited numerous individuals dealing with PAD, it’s crucial to remember that each person’s body is distinct. Invest time trying various pillow positions and combinations to identify what suits you best.

You could stumble upon a specific setup that delivers the utmost comfort and effectively alleviates your symptoms.


Peripheral Artery Disease can impact daily life, including sleep quality. Choosing an appropriate sleeping position is essential for managing symptoms, improving blood circulation, and promoting restful sleep. Elevating the legs, side sleeping with proper support, and adopting a fetal position are some of the recommended sleeping positions for individuals with PAD.

By incorporating these strategies and consulting with healthcare professionals, individuals with PAD can work toward achieving better sleep and enhanced overall well-being.


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Khunsha Younas
Khunsha Younas
I am Khunsha Younas, a consultant nutritionist and dietitian. I have 2 years of experience counseling people about their diet and lifestyle. Through my writings, I aim to spread awareness and inspire people to follow a healthier lifestyle paired with a healthy diet.

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