How To Sleep With Sciatica- Try These Positions For Relief!
If you are searching for how to sleep with sciatica, here are some ways to try and vital information about sciatica.
The largest nerve in your body is the sciatic nerve. It begins from the spinal cord and runs through your buttocks and hips, and it reaches down the back of your legs.
Sciatica is the impingement of the sciatic nerve. It is usually caused by a herniated disc in the lower back. The principal symptom indicating sciatica in your body is shooting pain along this nerve. The pain may vary from mild to severe, and it generally affects one side of the body.
If you have a sciatica condition, having a good sleep at night can be highly inconvenient. Lying in several positions may exert extra pressure on the irritated nerve leading to excruciating pain and a flare-up of different symptoms. However, few places are less likely to cause any pain.
Here are some of the best ways you can learn how to sleep with sciatica.
How to sleep with sciatica- Best Positions
Sciatica or any other reason for low back pain has a devastating effect on the quality of sleep you get, which significantly impacts your day. Studies have revealed that nearly 55% of people with severe pain in their lower back have to deal with poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances.
Finding the correct position to get rid of sciatica conditions might be a matter of trial and error for some people. But as a rule, it is always a great idea to adhere to specific positions that help sustain the spine’s natural alignment.
Here is how to sleep with sciatica:
1. On one side
If you have had sciatica for quite some time, you must have noticed that sleeping on one side reduces the pain by taking the weight or pressure off of the irritated sciatic nerve.
How to sleep with sciatica on one side-
- Lie down on the mattress with the injured side facing the top.
- If there seems to be a gap in between your mattress and waist, you might need to put a tiny pillow in between to diminish side bending.
2. Placing a pillow between the knees
Putting a tiny or medium-sized pillow between the knees also helps keep the spine and pelvis in a good neutral position. It also limits your legs from rotating while you are sleeping.
How to sleep with sciatica by keeping a pillow between the knees-
- To begin with, put your shoulder on the mattress and put the rest of your body on the bed.
- Bend your knees slightly and place a thin pillow separating them.
- You may also place a tiny pillow beneath your waist if there seems to be a gap.
3. Fetal position
Sleeping in the fetal position is another option to consider when suffering from sciatica. It helps open up the space between the vertebrae and may assist in reducing pain as a result of a herniated disc. However, a few people report the pain to aggravate when they sleep in this position.
Just practice this position once and if you feel any discomfort or pain, try another one that suits you and puts less pressure on your body.
How to sleep with sciatica in the fetal position-
- Lie down on one side and draw the knees closer to the chest such that your body forms a “C.”
- You may also make use of a pillow in between the knees or beneath your waist.
4. On the back keeping a pillow beneath your knees
Lying down on facing back towards the mattress helps disperse your weight uniformly across the back. Inserting a thick pillow beneath the knees might help sustain the curvature of the spine by loosening the hip flexors.
How to sleep with sciatica by keeping a pillow beneath the knees
- Lie down on the back, holding a pillow beneath your head for comfort and assistance.
- Insert one or two pillows beneath the knees and relax your heels conveniently against the mattress such that it gives comfort.
5. Keeping a pillow or towel under the lower back
Keeping a small towel or thin pillow underneath the lower back will help maintain the spine in a disengaged position by decreasing the gap between your mattress and the hole.
How to sleep with sciatica by keeping a towel beneath the lower back
- Lie down, keeping your face up with a comfy pillow beneath your head.
- Glide a thin towel or pillow beneath your lower back so that you may adequately keep the pelvis in an inactive or neutral position.
- You may also connect this method with a pillow beneath the knees if you discover it more convenient and comfortable.
6. Sleep on the floor
Soft exteriors or surfaces on which you sleep may lead your spine to bend out of proper alignment. You might find that laying down on the floor helps you sleep better and keep the spine in proper alignment.
How to sleep with sciatica on the floor
- Install any thin mat such as a camping mat or yoga mat on the floor where you plan to sleep.
- Lie in any of the positions mentioned above or any different place you discover to be comfortable.
How to sleep with sciatica in pregnancy
Doctors usually suggest sleeping on the side when you are pregnant for obvious reasons. Sleeping on the left side is more preferred and considered an ideal position as it is thought to allow for needed blood flow through the inferior vena cava. However, a review of studies from 2019 suggests sleeping on both the left or right side is safe for the baby and mother.
If you are suffering from sciatica, you might find sleeping on the uninjured side more comfortable as it helps reduce any symptoms this condition has. Inserting a pillow between the mattress and your waist is an excellent idea as it reduces the pressure exerted on the injured nerve. You can attach a pad to the different positions given above and find out which one helps you relieve the pain.
Positons to avoid when dealing with sciatica
It is commonly suggested that you prevent sleeping on the stomach if you suffer from sciatica or different types of lower back pain. When you lie down on the stomach, the spine leads to a curving position toward your mattress. This curvature formed can plant stress on the muscles and joints, mainly sleeping on a cushion-like soft bed.
It does not matter what position you are sleeping in, and it is a great idea to limit twisting the spine or hips because this might exert pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Some tips to relieve pain when you sleep
There are a few ways that may help you manage sciatic pain when you are sleeping:
- Limit sleeping on soft mattresses- Most people do not take it seriously, but sleeping on the overly adjustable bed may lead your body to immerse slightly into it and set your spine out of adjustment.
- Try a medium to firm bed or mattress- A summary of studies from the year 2015 discovered that beds self-identified as a firm to the medium were most helpful in improving the quality of sleep and spinal adjustment. Try some mattresses that are best for sciatica, and you can ask your doctor to recommend any.
- Put plywood beneath the mattress- If you notice the bed too soft, try planting a plywood tool between the mattress and the box spring. You may also attempt putting the mattress on the floor and then sleep with comfort.
- Try a body pillow for sleeping- A body pillow might help block you from rotating from one side to another side or stomach in the middle of the night while you are asleep.
- Try stretching and yoga- Combining light stretching and yoga to the pre-bed regimen might assist loosen up your muscles and decreasing pressure on the nerve.
- Take a bath in warm water- A few people with lower back pain discover a warm bath promotes relief of some of their pain.
- Develop a good sleep regimen or hygiene- Practicing good sleep practices such as keeping the room at a suitable temperature, going to bed at an identical time every day, and withdrawing caffeine before sleeping may also help increase your overall sleep quality.
A few people dealing with sciatica regard their symptoms to worsen when they are simply lying down or in bed. Lying down may put further pressure on the irritated nerve, mainly if you lie down on a soft mattress that makes you bend the spine when you sleep.