Why Is Neuropathy In Feet Worse At Night?

Neuropathy is a term used to indicate damaged nerves, as a result of some reason, like diabetes. There are many other reasons like injuries, infection, etc. for the development of neuropathy. diabetes is one of the leading reasons out of them all.

Why Is Neuropathy In Feet Worse At Night?

Why Is Neuropathy In Feet Worse At Night?

According to some studies conducted on a group of people, it was found that the neuropathy pain was worse at night. While there is no scientific explanation for this observation, there are certainly plausible factors which could explain this.

You usually need peace, calm and quiet to fall asleep. However, the pain of neuropathy may not bother you as much during the day because of the commotion and daily activities going on they pose as a significant distraction. At night though, there is far less distraction and you can feel even the smallest of changes happening in your body. Pain is no exception to that. This might explain the fact that you feel more neuropathy pain at night as compared to the day. It may simply be due to the ‘awareness’ of pain. (2)

Other Signs And Symptoms Of Peripheral Neuropathy-

The nerves of the peripheral nervous system each perform a specific function. Therefore, the symptoms will greatly depend upon which nerve has been affected. There are three types of nerves- sensory nerves (these are the ones responsible for receiving sensation like pain, touch, vibration, etc. through the skin), motor nerves (these are the ones that are involved in controlling the movement of muscles) and autonomic nerves (these are the ones that control involuntary functions like blood pressure, digestion, temperature regulation, etc.)(1)

Some of the following signs and symptoms may be seen in peripheral neuropathy-

  • There may be a beginning of numbness, which may be gradual
  • There may be a tingling or prickling sensation in your extremities
  • Sharp pain, throbbing pain maybe there
  • There may be extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Pain during otherwise common activities that shouldn’t cause any pain, like keeping your feet under a blanket
  • Coordination problems, frequent falling
  • Muscle weakness
  • There may be a feeling of wearing socks or gloves, even though you are not
  • If motor nerves get affected, paralysis may set in(1)

The signs and symptoms that are seen when autonomic nerves are affected may include-

  • Temperature intolerance
  • Too much or too little sweat
  • Digestive problems
  • Bowel and bladder control problems
  • There may be dizziness due to changes in blood pressure(1)

In peripheral neuropathy, one nerve may be damaged (also known as mononeuropathy), or a couple or more nerves in various areas may be damaged (also known as multiple mononeuropathies) or many nerves may be damaged (also known as polyneuropathy). An illustration of mononeuropathy is carpel tunnel syndrome. Usually, in peripheral neuropathy, polyneuropathy can be seen.(1)

Complications Of Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy may cause complications like-

Skin Injuries And Burns-

The numb parts in your body may not allow you to sense the extreme temperatures and there may be a serious injury or burn due to this(1)

Infection-

  • Due to the loss of sensation in feet or other parts of the body, there may be an injury and you may not be aware of it. Untreated, it may lead to infection
  • In the case of diabetes for especially, it is recommended to check these areas regularly.(1)

Falls-

Loss of sensation and weakness may be related to loss of coordination and frequent falling(1)

Conclusion

Neuropathy in feet may be worse at night because there are fewer distractions at night. Usually, the day-time distractions might be the reason why the neuropathy does not seem to cause as much trouble during the day as it causes at night. The lack of distractions and increased awareness towards body functions may be the reason for worsening neuropathy at night- time.

References:  

Also Read: