Amazing sleep has outstanding effects on your day-to-day mood and overall health. When you obtain the proper number of hours of sleep, days tend to flow better.
However, your quality of sleep is just as essential. To help improve the sleep of certain sleepers with physical conditions, it’s a wise choice to consider alternative sleep positions, including sleeping with your legs elevated.
For others, it's as simple as using a pillow or an adjustable bed, to enjoy the benefits of sleeping with your legs raised and obtain quality sleep.
But, what exactly are the benefits of sleeping with your legs elevated?
Polysleep tells you all.
8 benefits of sleeping with legs elevated
Improved blood circulation
Sleeping with legs raised improves your blood flow toward your legs and feet when you're suffering from circulatory problems or conditions.
When you elevate your legs about six to twelve inches over your heart, it takes the pressure off the veins of your legs.
It also enhances blood flow from your leg veins, allowing the flow of blood to move away from your legs and flow around your whole body.
Reduced symptoms of chronic back pain
If you're suffering from chronic back pain, regardless of if it's a temperamental sciatic nerve or localized joint pain, sleeping with legs raised can help to reduce your symptoms linked with your condition.
While this isn't necessarily the simplest position to achieve in a regular bed, an adjustable bed can help make it easier for you to position your knees perfectly to decrease the pressure your lumbar discs exert on your sciatic nerve roots.
Decreased swollen feet and legs
Sleeping with your legs elevated can soothe muscle tension in your legs and feet by eliminating vein pressure and enhancing the circulation of blood throughout your body.
It decreases your risk of swollen feet and legs, typically caused by intense pressure in your body.
Eased varicose veins and lymphedema symptoms
When you're suffering from varicose veins, your veins are allowing waste products to gather and your blood to pool under your skin.
This creates a buildup of pressure and toxins within your impacted limb, resulting in your legs feeling:
As the day continues, the symptoms often become worse as gravity works to keep the toxins and blood in the surrounding leg tissue.
Varicose veins can also be problematic beyond your legs.
If left untreated, they could lead to lymphedema (damage to your lymphatic system). Your lymphatic system collects lymph tissue fluid from your body and transmits it back through your stream of blood.
When it struggles to do this, you’ll likely experience swelling in your toes and feet.
Fortunately, sleeping with your legs raised can help ease varicose vein symptoms and could work to decrease how much swelling you experience from the lymphedema.
Reduced risk of tired leg pain and swollen feet
When you elevate your legs, it helps drain tensions from your feet and legs. This occurs when you take the pressure off your veins, which allows for better flow from them to your heart and throughout your body.
This helps reduce your risk of swollen feet from the pressure of having to hold up your body and helps ease pain from tired legs.
Decreased inflammation in the lower body
Elevating your legs while you sleep can have a positive impact on inflammation as well.
Sleeping with your legs elevated is easy for most people to do and can reduce the risk of inflammation quickly.
While there need to be more studies on these claims, decreasing the pooling of blood in your feet and legs could help reduce swelling and pressure.
Decreased risk of deep vein thrombosis
A common cause of Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is when your legs are stationary for too long, which is why elevating your legs is so helpful for this.
When you're bedridden for an extended time period (i.e lying in a hospital bed), your feet and legs might not move enough to allow for blood flow stimulation. This could cause DVT to become a problem.
Raising your legs with a pillow or an adjustable bed could help with DVT prevention since these leg elevation methods help with swelling reduction and blood circulation.
Decreased heart muscle strain
When you elevate your legs while you sleep or even incrementally during your day, it helps draw aged deoxygenated blood towards your heart where, to some extent, your blood is cleaned and released back into your bloodstream.
When blood is drawn towards your heart through elevating your legs, it means your heart works less.
Instead of your heart having to pump harder to bring your blood back to it, much of the work is done by gravity instead. Less heart workload means improved cardiovascular function and less strain.
How to elevate legs while sleeping?
How long should you do it?
Many vein professionals suggest raising your legs as long as you can if you're experiencing swelling. The more swelling you have and the longer you've had swelling, the more frequently and longer your need to raise your legs.
You should be elevating your legs a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes to experience the most benefits.
Elevating your legs for less time than that could result in the fluids and blood not having a chance to drain from your legs.
Typically, more is better, but each individual is different.
The length of time to raise your legs while you're sleeping will also depend on why you need to raise your legs in the first place. Your doctor can offer a recommendation as to the timing and frequency of raising your legs.
Elevating your legs does provide short-term benefits, particularly if you're struggling from an acute injury like a sprain that caused rapid swelling.
The RICE method
This is why the RICE method is suggested for quickly taken care of injuries. RICE stands for:
However, you'll experience the most benefits from raising your legs if you make it a part of your day-to-day routine, doing it each night after a long day.
This is particularly true if you're suffering from chronic venous issues because long-term issues require long-term solutions.
Like with other healthy habits like exercise, performing leg elevation routinely over time can provide you with the greatest positive impact.
Adjustable beds or pillows
Some suggestions on how to elevate your legs include using the below:
An adjustable bed is a great way of elevating your legs, especially when you have a comfortable hybrid mattress, like a Polysleep mattress to put on it.
Adjustable bed bases come with remotes that will elevate your legs easily to a comfortable position you require to promote relaxation, healing and ease your pain.
If you can't purchase an adjustable bed, you can still elevate your legs on a stack of pillows. But, you'll want to be sure you elevate your legs so they're sitting above your heart level which will help create the best blood circulation and flow.
Sleeping on side with your legs elevated
If you sleep on your side and still want to raise your legs, you might be wondering how to do that. Well, it's simple!
Place a pillow, like our pillow with adjustable layers between your legs while you lie on your side. This could help eliminate pressure and muscular tension and keep your spine aligned.
A position like this could also help your whole body relax a whole lot quicker.
Hybrid foam mattress and sleeping with legs raised
Hybrid foam mattresses use a unique mix of hybrid foam that utilizes open cell technology, providing support where you require it, decreasing pressure points, and allowing optimal airflow simultaneously.
The Polysleep mattress offers a proprietary support frame that is a layer of dense foam encompassing your mattress. This gives genuine support around the mattress' edges, for a more stable and balanced sleep surface.
When you choose a mattress you would like to use with your adjustable bed, you can choose from numerous options. Each will differ in function and performance.
The ideal choice for you depends on a combination of:
How you're going to use the bed
Hybrid mattresses are typically the best choice to use on adjustable beds.
They're flexible enough to match the base's curves and if you choose a company that uses materials and foam of high-quality, it will maintain its durability and support.
Ultimate tips to sleep with your legs elevated
Here are some tips to follow:
Use a pillow.
If you're looking for an affordable way of raising your legs in bed, you can use a pillow, which will provide you with the most cost-effective method
Use more than one pillow to elevate your legs above your heart while you sleep.
Two or three pillows are ideal for raising your legs above your heart level.
Practice leg elevation on your couch.
This can help you slowly transition into this new sleeping position.
Start with a lower height.
Elevating your legs above your heart is the suggested height for more severe pain relief, but it's not always required for less problematic conditions. You can start off with one pillow to enjoy the benefits of raising your legs while you sleep, which will raise your legs a small amount. Then as you become used to the position, begin stacking your pillows until you find the ideal position and elevation.
Investing in an adjustable bed is ideal for sleeping with raised legs.
It will help you get used to the new position comfortably and slowly.
Now that you've learned the benefits of sleeping with your legs elevated, you should see how sleeping with a Polysleep pillow under your legs or sleeping on an adjustable bed with a flexible hybrid mattress can improve your sleep quality, reduce pressure points and improve circulation, helping you obtain a great night's sleep.