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    Leg Pain At Night: Causes, Treatments & Tips

    Ways to Relieve Aching Legs at Night for a Better Sleep


    Sore, aching legs after a long day - something many of us know all too well. Luckily, plenty of natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes can bring relief and help you get the restful sleep your body deserves. 

    Whether you’re dealing with tight hamstrings from running or swollen calves from the office chair, there are ways to ease your discomfort. In this blog, we'll explore the symptoms and causes of nighttime leg pain and provide solutions so you can feel better fast and start sleeping more soundly each night.

    Symptoms of Leg Pain at Night

    Experiencing leg pain at night can manifest differently for different people. Some of the most common symptoms include:

    • Aching in the lower limbs, usually starting near the hips and down to the feet.
    • Burning sensations or throbbing in your calves, thighs, and knees.
    • Aching legs when lying down and relieved by standing up.
    • Swelling or tenderness of the legs due to inflammation.

    If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you may wonder what’s causing your discomfort. Let’s explore some of the potential causes.

    What Causes Leg Cramps at Night?

    Got aching legs for no reason? There may be more of an explanation than you think. Pinpointing the root cause of your discomfort can help you find the right treatment. Some of the common leg pain causes at night include:

    • Dehydration - Dehydration can lead to tired and aching legs, especially at night when your body is trying to rest and repair itself. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and before bedtime for better hydration.
    • Muscle fatigue - High-intensity physical activities or overworking your muscles can cause fatigue, leading to pain and discomfort.
    • Nerve issues - Pressure on spinal nerves can result in pain and tingling sensations in the legs.
    • Pregnancy - Pregnant women may experience aching legs, usually in the second or third trimester, due to their extra weight.
    • Medications - Certain medications such as blood pressure drugs, diuretics, and statins can cause side effects of muscle cramping or pain.
    • Sitting for long periods of time - Prolonged sitting can cause tightness in your hamstrings and calves, resulting in pain.
    • Age - As we age, our muscles can become less flexible, leading to leg stiffness.

    Health Conditions That May Result in Leg Pain at Night

    In addition to the causes mentioned above, some health conditions can cause leg pain at night. These include:

    • Kidney Failure - When one or both kidneys are not working, it can cause various unpleasant symptoms such as swelling and pain in the legs.
    • Diabetic Neuropathy - This is nerve damage caused by diabetes, often affecting 50% of people with diabetes.
    • Restless Leg Syndrome - This condition is characterized by a jittery, restless feeling in the legs and a strong urge to move.
    • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) - Peripheral artery disease is a narrowing or blocking of the arteries in the legs which can cause pain, numbness, and fatigue when lying down, commonly called rest pain. Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a severe form of PAD characterized by chronic, insufficient blood flow to the limbs, resulting in tissue damage and potential limb loss if left untreated.
    • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) - This is a condition in which the veins of the legs become damaged due to high pressure in the veins and stagnant venous blood from sitting or standing all day. Blood vessels become weakened and fail to efficiently return blood back to the heart. This leads to symptoms such as leg swelling, pain, varicose veins, and skin changes, and if left untreated, it can result in complications such as ulcers or blood clots. 
    • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) - This is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, which can cause pain and cramping in the legs. 

    How to Stop Aching Legs at Night?

    Different causes of leg pain require different solutions, but here are some general tips for alleviating aching legs at night:

    Compression Therapy

    Wearing a leg compression sleeve can be incredibly beneficial in helping to keep your legs healthy and functioning. The science behind compression therapy is based on the concept of graduated compression, which reduces swelling, boosts circulation, and supports leg muscles and tendons - all of which work together to alleviate aching leg discomfort.

    For arthritis, leg muscle pain and strain, muscle cramps, and other conditions, your doctor may recommend wearing a knee compression sleeve. Budget-wise and quality-wise, the Koprez compression sleeves are your best bet. They have knee compression sleeves featuring breathable, moisture-wicking fabric and graduated compression technology to help relieve leg pain and improve circulation. 

    Hot and Cold Therapy

    Using cold or heat packs on the affected area to help diminish the discomfort. Remember, it is important to be careful with the temperature of the therapy items in order to avoid burning your skin. Hot and cold therapy may take several applications to achieve relief but it is worth trying for those who want to keep their leg pain from keeping them up at night.

    Elevate your Leg

    Positioning your leg slightly higher than your heart while keeping your body flat, allows gravity to reduce the pressure in your veins, improve venous blood flow, and reduce swelling. It's important to ensure that it is done correctly so that you can reap the benefits of this technique. If not done properly, you may risk worsening symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps.


    Try massaging any knots in the muscles; this will help to relax the tension and alleviate some of the aches. You can use your hands or a foam roller for an effective massage.

    How To Prevent Aching Legs at Night

    In addition to using these treatments for relieving aching legs, you can also incorporate some lifestyle changes and preventive measures to reduce the risk of leg pain at night in the future. Here are a few tips:

    • Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids helps with circulation and prevents leg cramps.
    • Avoid sitting for long periods during the day, if possible. 
    • Eat a balanced diet that's high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep your legs healthy.
    • Regularly incorporate exercises that focus specifically on strengthening the leg muscles.
    • Avoid wearing tight clothing or shoes that can cut off circulation to the legs. Reduced blood flow to the legs can exacerbate the symptoms of CVI and hinder the proper functioning of the veins. 
    • Take regular breaks throughout the day and stretch your legs out at least a few times an hour if you are sitting for extended periods.
    • If you are overweight, working towards a healthier weight can help reduce the risk of leg pain.

    Can poor circulation cause aching legs at night?

    Yes, poor circulation can cause aching legs at night. When blood flow is compromised, it can lead to discomfort and pain in the legs. The blood vessels in the legs are responsible to carry blood to and from the lower extremities. 

    What Are Some Lifestyle Changes I Can Make?

    Some lifestyle changes that can promote leg health include maintaining a healthy weight, as excess weight can put a strain on the legs and impede circulation. Regular exercise, particularly activities that target leg muscles and promote blood flow, is beneficial. Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, wearing comfortable shoes that support the feet and promote good posture, and practicing good leg hygiene, such as elevating the legs and avoiding tight clothing, can also contribute to healthier legs.

    When to See a Doctor for Peripheral Artery Disease?

    If you experience frequent, unbearable, or long-lasting leg cramps at night, it may be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and it is advisable to see a doctor. Leg cramps that occur during rest or sleep can be a symptom of reduced blood flow to the muscles due to narrowed or blocked arteries. Seeking medical attention is important because PAD can progress and lead to complications such as poor wound healing, ulcers, and even limb-threatening conditions. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, perform diagnostic tests, and recommend appropriate treatment options to manage PAD effectively. Early diagnosis and intervention can help improve symptoms, prevent further damage, and enhance your overall quality of life.

    Final Thoughts

    No one likes dealing with leg pain that interferes with their sleep. With a consistent approach to prevention and treatment, you can reduce discomfort and keep aching legs from keeping you up at night. For lasting relief, you may consider wearing compression sleeves for extra support. Hopefully, these tips have helped you to find the best ways to tackle leg pain and get the restful night’s sleep that you need.

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