Best Sleeping Position for Peripheral Artery Disease

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best sleeping positions for peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a prevalent issue among elderly individuals. This disease occurs as a result of narrowed blood vessels that transport blood from the heart to the legs. Typically, people with PAD experience pain in their legs while engaging in physical activity, which subsides when they rest. However, they often encounter difficulties while sleeping, primarily due to inadequate blood circulation in their legs. Nevertheless, specific sleeping positions can aid in maintaining the required blood circulation. The following is considered the best sleeping position for those with peripheral artery disease.

The best sleeping position for people suffering with peripheral artery disease is to sleep sideways along the left side of your body maintaining a straight body posture with a pillow between the knees.

People usually think sleeping on their back with elevated legs or freed legs in the air is better for peripheral artery disease, but that is a blunder misconception. You can find why sleeping on back is not correct further in the article.

Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD is mainly caused by atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty plaque buildup in the arteries. PAD can happen in any blood vessel, but it is more common in the legs than the arms. learn more about PAD here.

Studies have shown a direct correlation between high blood cholesterol and obesity. High blood cholesterol directly raises the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. So, PAD is indirectly linked to some factors like diabetes, obesity, smoking etc..

Understanding the cause of a problem is crucial when it comes to finding a solution. PAD can be caused by various factors, as we have previously discussed. To identify the best sleeping position that can help alleviate PAD symptoms, we need to analyze all the potential causes. By taking into account these different factors, we can make informed decisions about the most suitable sleeping position to improve the condition.

Best Sleeping Position for PAD

Let us first see why sleeping on our back straight with elevated legs or freed legs is not a solution. Sleeping straight on our back is usually considered a comfortable position to sleep. Controversially this position strains pelvis and applies pressure on the lower back and the back of the head. Moreover if legs are elevated blood circulation limits itself because of gravity. If legs are left free, then it strains on knees and contracts the blood vessels which makes the condition even worse.

Now let us see why sleeping sideways is better for PAD. Sleeping sideways frees airway allowing to breathe better. This way blood pumping and circulation of blood becomes better. Remember that sleeping on your left side is better than sleeping on your right side. because, it promotes blood flow to the heart and reduces pressure on blood vessels in the lower extremities.

Placing a pillow between your knees while sleeping helps so much for good circulation of blood as it doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on pelvis and lower back. The leg on top linearly aligns with your shoulder which leads to symmetric circulation. This can get your even better sleep.

Impact of Sleeping position on PAD Symptoms

Sleeping in a better position can’t necessarily help curing and treating PAD. This can only help to sleep comfortably with PAD and can reduce pain to get a better night sleep. It still impact a little on your life style and symptoms of PAD.

  • It can help you wake up with lesser pain.
  • It can help you warm your legs during sleep
  • Helps in reducing cramps
  • Helps to maintain similar pulse in both the upper and the lower body.


In conclusion, choosing the right sleeping position is crucial for individuals with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) to improve sleep comfort and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the condition. While specific sleeping positions, such as sleeping sideways on the left side with a pillow between the knees, can promote better blood circulation and reduce pressure on blood vessels, it is important to remember that sleeping positions alone cannot cure or treat PAD.

PAD, primarily caused by atherosclerosis, presents challenges for individuals, especially during physical activity and sleep. Understanding the factors contributing to PAD and the impact of sleeping positions allows for informed decisions to optimize sleep quality and manage discomfort during rest.

While adopting the best sleeping position for PAD can help wake up with lesser pain, maintain similar pulses in both the upper and lower body, and reduce cramps, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals for comprehensive PAD management and treatment. Lifestyle adjustments, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and medical interventions, play a vital role in effectively managing PAD and enhancing overall quality of life for those affected by the condition.

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