Put Up Your Feet and Get Some Rest: How a Leg Elevation Pillow Can Improve Sleep

You’ve undoubtedly heard of leg elevation for treating injuries and healing post-operatively, but did you know that a little bit of raising action can actually help you sleep, too? According to the American Sleep Association, about 40 percent of Americans have either short-term or chronic insomnia, citing stress, anxiety, sleep disorders and medical conditions for the lack of quality rest. There are many things you can do to get a better night’s rest, including sleeping with your legs elevated. Let’s take a look at how, and why, a leg elevation pillow can soothe you into a sweet slumber!

woman waking up stretching

  • It’s All About Blood Flow—The goal of any good elevation pillow is to boost the body’s blood flow, which prevents blood clots, swelling and pain. When you give the body the tools it needs for proper circulation, you’ll feel all-around better and will enjoy better sleep. Basically, keeping your legs lifted while you sleep gives your veins a much-needed break along with the rest of your body.
  • It Quells Stubborn Back and Leg Pain—Tired, achy legs often lack good circulation, or venous blood flow. People who work on their feet all day may notice that the pain travels up the legs and back. Naturally, pain can cause us to toss and turn and prevent us from fully relaxing. A good leg wedge pillow will help ease the pain before and during sleep, which translates into longer, deeper rest.
  • It Reduces Swelling—One of the primary reasons why physicians recommend leg elevation after surgery and injury is because it reduces swelling and the buildup of fluid. Several medical conditions and medications cause both swelling and insomnia, so finding a solution to both simultaneously can really impact your quality of sleep.

woman back pain in bedroom

  • It, Quite Literally, Takes the Pressure Off—When we lie flat, our bodies and brains are subject to pesky gravity, which can put pressure on the brain. You’ve probably never thought to yourself, “Am I putting too much pressure on my brain?” But sleeping flat can cause an increase in intracranial pressure because of poor blood circulation. Again, it’s all about the blood flow!
  • It’s Comfortable, Plain and Simple—Have you ever noticed that the second you kick your feet up, you immediately feel more comfortable and relaxed? Using a leg elevation pillow and a contour pillow can help you settle into a comfy position so that you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.

woman waking up rested

How to Sleep with Legs Elevated

Learning how to sleep with the legs elevated is more about learning how to improve circulation in legs while sleeping. If the circulation is properly flowing, you’ll experience all sorts of great benefits.

  1. Invest in a Leg Sleep Pillow—Regular bedroom pillows serve a purpose, but they shouldn’t be used to elevate the legs because they tend to slip, slide and deflate. They also don’t usually create the correct angle. A good leg pillow, like the Lounge Doctor Leg Rest, properly positions the legs at the ideal angle for optimal blood flow.
  2. Position the Pillow Comfortably—Lying with your back flat, adjust the pillow so that your legs are slightly bent at the knee, finding a spot beneath the legs that supports in a way that feels natural and doesn’t strain the legs and feet.
  3. Start Slow—If you find that sleeping with your legs raised is uncomfortable or that you feel like you constantly need to adjust your position, remember that you can always take it slow. Start by resting awake on the bed or couch and then transition to elevated sleep slowly over time.

Should You Try It?

In short, investing in an elevating leg rest pillow may be just what you need to boost your venous blood flow and enjoy more quality sleep. The great thing about this approach to insomnia is that it doesn’t require medication or costly treatments—all you have to do is pick out your ideal sleep pillow and enjoy the benefits! Happy sleeping!

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