Why does peripheral neuropathy hurt more at night? No, it’s not just your imagination. As bad as neuropathy can be during your waking hours, when night falls and you’re trying to sleep, even pain that seemed manageable during the day can lead to long, restless nights.
So, why do diabetic neuropathy symptoms intensify when the sun goes down? And what can you do to manage them so you can get some much-needed R&R?
5 reasons why neuropathy seems worse at night
While we still haven’t figured out the exact reason that neuropathy seems to get worse at night, several things might contribute to the flare-ups.
1. Lack of distractions
During the day, it is much easier to get distracted from neuropathy pain. Without friends, family, work, and hobbies to take up your time, you may find that you focus more on your neuropathy symptoms, which may make them seem worse.
Try to find something to focus on each night to help you relax and sleep. That may be listening to meditation music, turning on a soothing podcast, or practicing deep breathing until you’re relaxed enough to drift off.
Increased sensitivity to touch and temperature may be causing your insomnia. One of the more common symptoms of neuropathy is hypersensitivity, especially in the feet. This sensitivity can cause tingling or burning or stabbing pains. If you’re hypersensitive, you may not feel comfortable sleeping under blankets or in a room that is too cool.
Your room should be at a comfortable temperature. If you can’t stand the feel of blankets on your feet, try using pillows or other materials to ensure blankets aren't touching your skin. You can also try wearing non-binding diabetic socks to bed (although we’d steer clear of wearing compression socks overnight without your doctor’s approval) to help reduce pain and keep you warm.
Many people living with peripheral neuropathy opt to take painkillers or other medications during the day to help their condition, but their effects don’t last forever. You can generally expect any medication you take during the day to wear off at some point during the night, which can make your pain feel much more potent when it returns.
Speak to your doctor about your medication usage. You may be able to stop or change certain medications to help correct your insomnia.
Managing diabetes, neuropathy, and other health conditions can be stressful, and that stress can manifest itself as insomnia.
Do your best to keep your blood sugar levels under control, exercise throughout the day, and ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrition (including drinking enough water).
5. Lack of sleep
Sleepless nights and painful neuropathy can combine to create a vicious cycle of misery. When neuropathy gets so bad that it keeps you up at night, the resulting tiredness can make neuropathy even harder to deal with — which, in turn, makes it even more difficult to get the rest you need.
Use our quick tips and recommendations to find a nighttime routine that works better for you. Remember that everyone experiences an occasional sleepless night. If your insomnia is persistent, though, and you’ve already tried other remedies to help it, talk to your doctor for further assistance.
Other tips to combat neuropathy pain for a good night’s rest
Why does peripheral neuropathy get worse at night? We may not have the exact answer, but we do know that there are plenty of pain management methods to get your neuropathy under control. Here are a few more things you can do to help you get a better night’s rest.
- Take a warm bath before bed to help you relax.
- Try keeping a worry list or gratitude journal to help reduce stress.
- Don’t smoke, eat heavy meals, or drink alcohol or caffeine before bed.
- Avoid using screens close to bedtime.
- Test your blood sugar levels regularly throughout the day and before going to bed.
- Create a soothing bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day.
Viasox: Let us help make the night easier for you
Treating your feet right is one of the best ways to combat neuropathy pain both day and night. Here at Viasox, we’re proud to offer a range of non-binding diabetic socks and compression socks that are specially designed with neuropathic feet in mind.
Our socks are available in a range of colors, patterns, and lengths and are made from a super-stretchy material that will fit almost any calf size. Even better? Our carefully designed socks encourage blood circulation, while the seamless, non-binding material is comfortable enough to wear even during the night.
If you’re fighting painful neuropathy symptoms, don’t do it alone. Shop our collection of socks today to find the pair that’s right for you.