If you have neuropathy, you’re familiar with the pain and tingling caused by damaged nerves, but you may not expect your symptoms to worsen at night. Unfortunately, many people with neuropathy face nighttime symptoms that are severe enough to disrupt their sleep.
The skilled team at Infinity Regenerative & Neuropathy Center in Plano, Texas, has helped many patients overcome neuropathy pain, even pain that plagues them at night.
Curious to know why your neuropathy symptoms get worse at night? Here, we explain the top five causes.
You’re more likely to be aware of neuropathy pain and tingling when you relax at the end of the day, whether or not your symptoms worsen. You could have similar symptoms throughout the day, but you stay engaged in activities so that you don’t notice the pain as much as when you rest in front of the TV or go to bed at night.
Your core body temperature goes down at night. Additionally, you may lower your thermostat when you go to bed, which triggers tingling and sharp pain (often in your feet and hands) because the damaged nerves are hypersensitive.
When nerves are too sensitive, they pick up any minor sensation and translate it as pain. The weight of your blanket and the touch of your clothes may feel painful. The temperature changes that you experience at night also cause a pain response. You may get relief by wearing warm, soft socks or using lightweight microfiber blankets.
When you lay down at night, the shift in your body weight may put more pressure on a damaged nerve than typical when you’re upright. For example, laying on your side may increase nerve symptoms in the arm, leg, hand, or foot on that side. Or your sleeping position may move your spine in ways that compress the nerves affecting sensations in your legs and feet.
It may be beneficial to try various sleeping positions. Some neuropathy patients reduce nighttime symptoms by sleeping in a recliner, sleeping on one side with a pillow between their thighs, or sleeping on their back with a pillow under their legs.
If you take medication to relieve neuropathic pain and tingling, the levels in your bloodstream may decline at night, depending on the medication and when you take it. Each medication is different. Some stay in your bloodstream longer than others and should help at night. Others may have diminished strength at night if you don’t take a dose close to bedtime.
We can review your medications and see if we should adjust the dosing. Or we can recommend treatments that ease your symptoms enough to reduce medications.
Over-exerting yourself during the day places more pressure on your nerves, possibly leading to more nerve pain at night. Keeping your activities balanced (not suddenly increasing your exercise duration or intensity) and giving your body time to rest between strenuous activities can help prevent nighttime nerve pain.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your health. The caring Infinity Regenerative & Neuropathy Center team specializes in advanced treatments that effectively relieve your pain and tingling, even at night. To learn more, call the office or request an appointment online today.