How to Elevate Your Legs While Sleeping On Your Side

Last Updated on August 9, 2022

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Calling all side sleepers, this one's for you! We've covered the numerous benefits of sleeping with your legs elevated, but what happens if you're a side sleeper? Sleeping with your legs up while lying on your side may sound counterintuitive, but it’s possible—with a few modifications.

Why Sleep With Your Legs Elevated?

Provided they aren't up too high, sleeping with your legs elevated is incredibly beneficial for your health. Healthline.com reports that the position can provide several benefits, including:

  • Improving blood flow
  • Reducing the risk of varicose veins
  • Alleviating pain and swelling

If you sleep on your back, propping up your feet is easy. But what if you're a die-hard side sleeper? We’ll get to that next.

How to Elevate Your Legs When You're a Side Sleeper

An image demonstrating the correct posture for side sleeping with your legs elevated

If you’re a side sleeper looking to elevate your legs a bit, you have a few options.

  • Let's start with the low-hanging fruit: pillows. You may already sleep with a pillow between your knees, and if you do, congratulations! You're on to something. Raising your top leg up slightly helps align your spine, and can decrease pressure.
  • Next on the list is bolsters. Bolsters are pillows that are specially designed to support your body while sleeping. You can use them between your legs (like in the image above) or propped under the foot of your bed.
  • Don't have any extra pillows to spare? You can try folding or rolling up blankets or towels to get those toes closer to the sky.

But, ultimately, you may find elevating your feet much easier when you sleep on your back. And an adjustable bed makes it even simpler! With an adjustable bed in your home, you can raise your feet with the touch of a button, and customize the elevation to find a comfortable position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Quality sleep is both an art and science. As such, our team of knowledgeable Sleep Experts get a lot of questions about achieving the best sleep possible. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get, and what medical experts have to say.

How long should you elevate your legs at night?

If you want to elevate your legs during the night, you may be wondering how long you should do so. The answer ultimately depends on your individual situation and medical condition. However, some experts suggest you elevate your legs for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per day. This will help to reduce swelling and improve circulation.

Suppose you are suffering from a more serious condition, such as deep vein thrombosis. In that case, your doctor may recommend that you elevate your legs for long periods or even continuously. In any case, it is essential to follow your doctor's instructions to ensure you get the most benefit from elevation.

Where does the fluid go when you elevate your legs?

The fluid is redirected back into the circulatory system when you raise your legs, Healthline explains. This is made possible by the valves in your veins, which allow blood to flow in one direction only. When your legs are raised, the valves open, allowing blood to flow upwards toward the heart.

Other Resources for Side Sleepers

Sleeping on your side is the most common position, so you’re in good company! And if you’re looking for help with getting the best sleep possible, you’re in the right place. Take a look at our recommendations for the best mattress for side sleepers and learn about the best side to sleep on for your health.

Still have questions? Contact our Sleep Experts today, and we’ll be happy to help.


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More

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