This article is reviewed, corrected, and approved by: Dr. Joshua Collins M.D. | MRCP। FRCP

Many blood vessels run across our legs and feet. In our daily activities and mobility, they play very important roles. But due to many causes, these blood vessels can get constricted and blocked.

This blockage hampers the smooth blood flow in our legs and feet. Doctors call this strange phenomenon is called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

This situation of blood flow blockage can cause unbearable pain and cramps, making our day-to-day lives a living hell. But there is no need to worry, we can improve the blood flow in our legs by making small adjustments to our lifestyle and taking care of our health regularly.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripherial artery disease can affect anywhere, our hands, arms or even our legs. Nobody can be sure beforehand of the location and place of attack if you never do a thorough scan of yourself. You will be surprised to know that it can also occur in other parts of our body.

This condition of blood flow getting blocked is very dangerous. It can take our lives. Doctors classify the symptoms of PAD ranging from mind to severe by examining how much arteries got narrowed.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

By now, I am sure you are brimming up with curiosity to know all about the symptoms of this disease. Let me enlighten you up by sharing some of the symptoms of PAD aka peripheral artery disease.

Intermittent Claudication

I think I just bombarded you with a very stingy medical term (intermittent claudication). I will water down the term for you. Claudication means pain or aches in our muscles and legs when we do any physical activities like exercise and walking.

This pain might seem normal as it stays momentarily and goes away after a while. But, this aches and pains can be a symptom of PAD.

Rest Pain

In more advanced cases of this PAD artery disease, the pain can occur while we rest or sleep. This condition indicates that your arterial blockade is quite significant.

Weakness or Fatigue

When blood flow to the muscles takes a major fall, it straight up drains the power from those limbs, leaving them weak and very tired. You will feel as if you just ran 100 miles or dead lifted 1000kgs. I am just being sarcastic here, but seriously, you will feel really weak and tired.

Numbness or Tingling

You do know how tingly our legs and arms get sometimes when we stay seated or keep them against something for very long periods of time. Some PAD patients feel exactly the same tingling sensation in their arms and legs.

Cold Extremities

When blood doesn't flow well and doesn't reach all the right places in your limbs, it can make the limb feel kinda cold.

Skin Changes

Bluing of your skin near your arms and legs due to the lack of blood can ooccur when blood flow gets blocked. Doctors call this condition (Cyanosis). Cyanosis occurs when there is inadequate oxygenation. In exteme cases you will notice that the skin in the places of Cyanosis became sore, thin, shiny and it might take a long time to heal and be normal

Poor Nail and Hair Growth

When blood ain't circulating properly, it can totally mess with the growth of nails and hair in that particular spot as the growth rate is slowed in those places.

Erectile Dysfunction (in men)

A good blood flow in the genital area results in an erection. But when this blood flow is disrupted, you will have a hard time in getting erected and keeping it up.

PAD can hamper blood flow in your penis and cause erectile dysfunction.

As we progressed our discussions on the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, you noticed that the symptoms of PAD are not very noticeable. Most symptoms can be ruled out as benign. But it is always best for you to stay vigilant.

If you want to detect PAD early, you must take regular health checkups. Early PAD is more common in people who have diabetes, hypertension, or who smoke.

Best Sleeping Positions For People With PAD

Having this weird and unpleasant disease going on can totally mess with you, making you feel uncomfortable, losing sensation, and having this weird tingling feeling in your legs. It can also make it a huge pain to get around. And what can i say?, Trying to catch some sleep can be a real struggle if you've got PAD.

If you're dealing with PAD, trying out a couple of sleeping positions might do you some good. So, if you wanna improve your sleep while suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Elevate Your Legs: You can try elevating your legs using comfortable pillows or a wedge cushion before going to bed. This simple practice can improve your blood circulation and minimise any discomfort you might be experiencing due to PAD.
  • Side Sleeping: To bring comfort of your legs and boost a healthy blood circulation, you can try lying on your side, softly your knees and keeping a cushion between them.
  • Recliner Use: You might want to contemplate the idea of resting in a recliner, as it can nicely raise your legs and offer extra support to your back.
  • Comfortable Environment: Create a zen ambiance for your bedroom by investing in a plush mattress, ergonomic pillows, and making the room temperature comfortable. You should take all meaures necessary to make your sleeping environment as heavenly as possible.
  • Gentle Exercise: Before sleeping, you can do some slight exercise. But please don't do any intense exercise.
  • Limit Stimulants: If you're having trouble sleeping, it's a good idea to avoid caffeine and nicotine before hitting the hay. These things can seriously wreck your sleep vibes and totally mess up your chances of getting that sweet, rejuvenating sleep you need. So, ditch that late-night coffee or cigarette and treat yourself to some chill, uninterrupted sleep.
  • Bedtime Routine: Make a nice bedtime routine. When you regulate your sleep times, it can also make you sleep well.
  • Pain Management: Explore various methods of minimizing pain with your doctor to perfectly talk about your your concerns and discomfort arising from PAD. They can make a nice main management strategy for you.
  • Compression Stockings: You can wear specially made compression stockings to increase blood flow and reduce swelling. Your doctor will advise you on what type of compression stockings you actually do need.
  • Stress Reduction: To make yourself feel super duper calm and cozy before going to bed, experts say you should try out fun relaxation tricks like taking big, deep breaths or having meditation sessions.
  • Nap Wisely: Try not to take long naps during the day, stick to short ones, like around 20-30 minutes. This way, you won't have trouble falling asleep at night!
Whoo! Let's test your knowledge about the best sleeping position for peripheral artery disease
Interactive Quiz
What is peripheral artery disease (PAD)?
A. A condition that affects the blood vessels in the legs
B. A condition that affects the blood vessels in the arms
C. A condition that affects the blood vessels in the heart
D. All of the above
What are the symptoms of PAD?
A. Pain in the legs when walking
B. Coldness in the legs
C. Numbness in the legs
D. Swelling in the legs
What is the best sleeping position for people with PAD?
A. On the back with the legs elevated
B. On the side with the legs straight
C. On the stomach
D. It doesn't matter

Best Exercise for Peripheral Artery Disease

Leg lifts are very effective against peripheral artery disease. Credits: ReviewsFellas©

If you're looking for some chill ways to get fit without wrecking your legs, there are plenty of awesome choices out there. Take a stroll, hop on a bike, dip into some water workouts, pump those legs up, stretch those calves, row like a boss, get your zen on with Tai Chi or yoga, pump some iron, or even rock some chair exercises. These low-impact workouts will have you feeling fit without breaking a sweat on your legs.


Here's the deal - if you've got peripheral artery disease, you might experience some gnarly pain and fatigue. Unfortunately, there's no secret sleeping position that'll magically cure it. But fear not, you can handle this unpleasant condition by making some lifestyle tweaks, popping some meds, in extreme cases or even doing surgeries.

Now, if you wanna catch some quality sleeping time, try following some specific positions like lifting up your legs, side sleeping, or relaxing in a recliner. These little tricks can totally help you out and make life way more awesome.

Informative Card
Key Takeaways

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD):

  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Rest Pain
  • Weakness or Fatigue
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Cold Extremities
  • Skin Changes
  • Poor Nail and Hair Growth
  • Erectile Dysfunction (in men)

Best Sleeping Positions For People With PAD:

  • Elevate Your Legs: Before bedtime, elevate your legs using pillows or a wedge cushion to improve blood flow and reduce pain.
  • Side Sleeping: Sleep on your side with bent knees and a pillow between them for added leg support and better blood flow.
  • Recliner Use: Consider sleeping in a recliner to keep your legs elevated and provide additional back support.

Tips for Better Sleep with PAD:

  • Maintain a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Engage in low-impact exercises during the day.
  • Limit stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.
  • Establish a bedtime routine to signal your body it's time to wind down.
  • Manage fluid intake to reduce nighttime disruptions for bathroom visits.
  • Discuss pain relief strategies with your healthcare provider.
  • Wear compression stockings as recommended.


Q: What kind of doctor treats peripheral artery disease?

Ans: PAD is usually taken care of by a doctor of vascular medicine or a vascular surgeon.

Q: Can peripheral artery disease be reversed?

Ans: Nah, you can't totally reverse Peripheral Artery Disease, but you can totally slow it down and handle it with treatment and some lifestyle tweaks.

Q: Is pad hereditary?

Ans: Genetics may not be the main culprit, but they can still have a influence in whether you're more likely to develop Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). And let's not forget, if your family has a history of PAD, coronary artery disease, or any other cardiovascular diseases, well, your risk just might be higher, my friend.

Q: What does PAD mean in diabetes?

Ans: Having diabetes makes you more likely to get PAD and can lead to problems like slow healing and infections in your feet and legs.

Q: What is PAD in hypertension?

Ans: PAD and hypertension tend to go hand in hand because they have a lot in common when it comes to risk factors. You know, stuff like smoking, being overweight and dealing with diabetes, which can all seriously mess up those arteries.

Q: How to improve circulation in feet while sleeping?

Ans: Countless individuals experience the challenge of less blood flow when they recline and rest their weary feet. Thus, embracing the practice of elevating one's legs during sleep can serve as a catalyst for boosting up circulation in the lower extremities throughout the night.

Q: What is the best sleeping position to prevent blood clots?

Ans: Experts say the sleeping position commonly called "The right side of the hill" is the best sleeping position to prevent blood clots.

Q: How to elevate your legs while sleeping on your side?

Ans: If you're sleeping on your side, just toss a pillow between your legs and voila! Your legs will be elevated up in no time.