How to Sleep with Shin Splints: Best Practices and Tips

Shin splints can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. This common leg injury often affects runners and athletes who engage in high-impact activities, causing pain and discomfort in the front of the lower leg. Unfortunately, shin splints can also interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, leaving you tired and groggy during the day.

If you’re struggling to sleep with shin splints, don’t despair! There are several things you can do to ease the pain and improve your quality of rest. Below are some tips for getting a better night’s sleep while dealing with shin splints.

Elevate Your Legs

One of the best ways to relieve shin splint pain is by elevating your legs above heart level. This helps reduce swelling in your lower legs and improves blood flow throughout your body. When it comes time for bed, try propping up some pillows under your feet or using a wedge pillow designed for this purpose.

Pro Tip:

If you have trouble sleeping on an elevated surface because it feels uncomfortable or awkwardly angled,
try placing pillows underneath each knee instead so that they support just below where your calf muscles meet at their top corners

Ice Your Shins Before Bed

Another effective way to manage shin splint discomfort before bedtime is by icing them down beforehand. Apply an ice pack directly onto affected areas (remember not too long – just 10 minutes max!), such as right after taking off running shoes post-exercise or take advantage of any necessary breaks from sitting/standing which occur between training sessions

Pro Tip:

To make sure that ice doesn’t melt all over yourself or anything else at night , wrap ice packs in towels before applying them securely around shins

Use Compression Sleeves or Socks

Compression sleeves or socks are a popular recovery tool for athletes, and they can also help alleviate shin splint pain. These garments work by applying gentle pressure to the lower leg muscles, which helps reduce swelling and improve circulation. Wear these during your sleep time as well – it’s like wrapping your shins up in a soothing embrace.

Pro Tip:

When selecting compression gear, make sure to choose something with firm but not too tight fit that comfortably supports you without leading to chafing or irritation.

Take Pain Medication

If you’re really struggling with shin splint pain at night, consider taking over-the-counter pain medication before bed. This could be anything from ibuprofen to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), just make sure you check dosage instruction on the package before using them

Pro Tip:

Before taking any new medication , consult with your doctor if the medicine is safe for use especially if you have underlying health issues or allergies

Stretch Your Legs Before Bedtime

Stretching exercises can help loosen up tight muscles in your legs and reduce discomfort associated with shin splints. There are several stretches that target key muscle groups responsible for this injury such as calves, soleus and tibialis anterior/longus . Do these exercises shortly before sleeping – but not so vigorously as to undo all of the progress made earlier in relaxing muscles

Pro Tip:

As always when doing exercises please remember about proper form while stretching – elastic bands can provide additional resistance allowing deeper stretch of calf & sole builds strength back into those areas.


Shin splints don’t have to ruin your nights! By following these tips above accompanied by restful activities like reading books or listening podcasts , watching calming videos online and drinking chamomile tea before resting your head down on a comfortable pillow, you should be able to get the restful sleep your body needs to recover from this painful injury. So what are you waiting for? Give these hacks a try tonight!