Why Do I Cross My Feet When I Sleep? Best 4 Reasons

Why do I cross my feet when I sleep? Crossing the feet when we sleep is a common phenomenon. There is nothing wrong with it.

The cross-leg position may help with breathing and body temperature control. When sleeping, your legs and feet should be straight out with the ankles, knees, and hips all in line.

The feet should touch the floor of your bedroom, so there is no chance of falling from the bed.

Putting a pillow between your knees helps keep your blood circulation flowing properly to prevent cramps in the morning and sleep apnea. Crossing the legs can help blood circulation, especially in the lower region.

If you have knee problems, you should ensure that your prosthetic limbs are not too high up on your thighs, preventing blood flow.

A comfortable mattress can help you avoid unwanted sleep habits. In the later stages of pregnancy, if the mother’s first choice is to lie on her left side, there is no problem crossing the legs.

However, if it feels uncomfortable or too painful to lie on her back or right side, she can shift to a more healthy position by putting a pillow between her knees and resting her arms on it.

Why do I cross my feet when I sleep?

The answer is in the blood flow. People sleep cross-legged without any medical conditions. Therefore, I do not consider this condition to be different. This is a normal process.

In healthy people, crossing their legs lowers the risk of snoring.

Snoring is also linked to sleep apnea, which interferes with deep sleep and causes fatigue during the day.

Why Do I Cross My Feet When I Sleep
Why Do I Cross My Feet When I Sleep

External, non-medical causes:

Some people may prefer to cross their legs to avoid disturbing others.

Some women wear shoes when sleeping or go to bed with their feet crossed to prevent skin wrinkling and possibly having a skin graft. Others curl up the sole of their feet.

Physiological reasons:

People sleep at different times, and some individuals need more time than others for deep sleep, which may be shortened if we have a habit of crossing our legs.

Even if we cannot sleep, crossing our legs can increase the efficacy of deep sleep by more than 20%. Another possible reason is that crossing the legs can improve breathing during sleep.

Comfort reasons:

Some people sleep alone and feel uncomfortable with their feet crossed. They prefer to limit the time they spend sleeping in a comfortable position.

If they get up, they may be comfortable again and have to cross their legs when they return to bed.

As people age, the joints in their hands and feet become more sensitive. They may need to place a pillow under their feet while they sleep.

Physical reasons:

The vibration level in the lower leg is higher than that of the upper leg. It leads to better blood circulation if you cross your legs.

Is it Normal to sleep with Legs Crossed?

It depends on how you define “sleep” and “normal.”

Crossing their legs is the norm for some people. It’s only a matter of time before they switch to other positions.

Of course, it can be argued that the legs sleep one way and the body sleeps another.

Some people have to sleep with their legs crossed for a few hours or when they wake up every morning because it is more comfortable than stretching out.

Is it bad to sleep with legs crossed?

No. It is normal to have a certain habit when sleeping or waking up in the morning.

If you have no choice, you can use some pillows to keep your legs straight (do not cross them). You may also be able to keep your legs bent by raising your knees and using the top of your feet on the floor.

If you have no choice but to sleep in it, it’s best to change positions because of health issues. It may be a sign that it’s time for a change.

Why do we cross our legs while taking a rest or sleep?

Some people have a bad habit of crossing their legs while relaxing, sitting, or sleeping. How can this be? It is because the body needs to be in a stable position so that all the organs and muscles will not be easily deformed or flattened.

The crossing leg position is the most stable position for resting. When we lie down and sleep, we are basically in the same position.

When we rest or sleep, nature wants us to fall asleep in this position as it is the safest from falling over or getting hurt.

In many people, especially the elderly or those with poor health, the body is less rigid, so their legs tend to fall into a cross-leg position voluntarily.

The causes of this habit

Lack of sleep: Most likely, it’s a lucrative habit because you are not getting enough sleep.

Walking & Sitting: When walking or sitting on a chair, we tend to cross our legs. It is, therefore, normal that while resting will do it too.

Pregnancy: When pregnant, women tend to cross their legs while sleeping or resting.

It is due to the increased pressure on the pelvic area. Therefore, one leg should be elevated to prevent pressure on the muscles and joints of the other leg.

Body Movement: Many factors can cause insomnia. The most common cause is being tired or lazy.

When sleeping, you should avoid repetitive movements such as rolling over in bed or touching one’s head while sleeping.

These habits disturb sleep and may increase stress levels at night as well.

What does it mean to cross leg when sleeping?

Crossing legs, standing, walking, or sitting has been a natural and unconscious movement for thousands of years.

If you are resting or in bed, the body will naturally assume a cross-legged position to distribute weight onto all parts of the lower limbs evenly and protect your spine from damage. As mentioned above, most people unconsciously cross their legs when they relax or sleep.

This is because it gives them comfort and safety. The crossed leg position is not good when sitting or standing, but it’s perfect while lying down.


We are not trying to discourage people from sleeping with their legs crossed, as this is a natural and unconscious habit.

If we get up, we should try to lie down in a neutral position. And in addition, it takes time to be used to other positions.

However, people may choose to change their sleeping habits, and we will help them do so if they suffer from sleeplessness.

In the early stages of sleep apnea, it is best not to cross your leg unless necessary.

You may want to sleep with pillows or ankle tilt under the knees to prevent sleep pressure on your head.

As an assistant sleep professional, I hope this article has helped you learn more about this difficult sleeping problem and what it can mean for you and your health.

Thanks for your reading.

Care about your Health.


Is it good to cross your legs while sleeping?

Yes, it is. It is a natural position that the body takes while sleeping to reduce stress on your muscles and bones.

How can you help me if I want to sleep with my legs crossed?

You can use a pillow or two under one or both legs to keep them flat on the bed. You may also consider going up the knees slightly to avoid pressure on the lower back and waist.

How do I stop crossing my legs in my sleep?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to other health-related issues.
If you cannot sleep with your legs apart, consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible to help you identify the root cause of your sleeping problem and help you get better sleep.

Why do I keep crossing my feet?

This common sleeping habit is called “nighttime foot cramps” or “callus foot syndrome.” To relieve it, sleep with your feet flat and not crossed.

What should I do to eliminate my crossed-leg sleeping position?

If you cannot change the way, you sleep temporarily, talk to your doctor about ways to help you stop.  Another option is using a bed wedge pillow under one or both legs, which will keep the legs in a straight position while in bed.

Is it bad to cross your legs when lying down?

Crossing your legs while resting, sitting, or sleeping is not bad. It is a natural position that the body takes while relaxing or sleeping.