Sciatica is a situation when someone experiences pain in their sciatic nerves. For those who don’t know sciatic nerves are the nerves that extend from the lower back to the back of our legs.
This pain occurs because the roots of sciatic nerves get compressed. The roots of the sciatic nerves get compressed because of the following reasons:
- Due to lumbar spinal stenosis
- Due to the degeneration of the disk that causes two or more than two vertebrae to rub against each other.
- When one vertebra slips over the other.
- Muscle spasms (in back or buttocks).
- Lack of exercise, obesity, etc.
The patients of sciatica face a lot of problems while walking, sitting, standing, etc. But it becomes very difficult to sleep with sciatica.
And as you know, when you don’t get proper sleep, it will lead to hundreds of problems in day to day life. If you are a person with sciatica and you want some tips to get proper sleep, this article is for you. Here are some tips to help you sleep better if you have sciatica:
Use a good mattress
- This is the first thing you should try when you are having problems while sleeping with sciatica. Normal mattress loses its shape quickly and fails to support your spine. An orthopedic bed is highly recommended when your pain is too severe while sleeping. Based on your sleeping style, you can choose any of the following:
- If you are a stomach sleeper then, you should have a firm mattress that would align to your body and hence, it will make you float.
- If you are a side sleeper then you should have a soft mattress to support your shoulders and the hips.
- If you are a back sleeper then you should use a medium-firm mattress.
Try to keep your spine, hip and pelvis aligned:
- For persons sleeping with sciatica, it should always be kept in mind that their hips, spines, and pelvis are aligned. You can do this by using a body pillow. In case, you don’t have a body pillow, you can put a normal pillow between your knees to align your pelvis, hips, and spine.
Try to sleep with your knees elevated:
- When you are going to sleep with sciatica, elevate your knees and put pillows beneath your knees. Keep on adding/ removing pillows until you find a comfortable position.
Take a bath before going to bed:
- Many persons who have found difficulty when they sleep with sciatica, it is recommended to take a warm bath before going to bed. But you should keep in mind that the water should be warm, not hot. Warm water is very helpful in relaxing the muscles around sciatic nerves. If you find difficulties in taking bath before going to sleep you can put a water bottle full of warm water on your lower back/buttocks before going to bed.
Do some stretching exercise before going to sleep:
- This is a very affordable option to try for persons who want to sleep with sciatica. Don’t make your stretches too quick because it can reduce your tendency to sleep. Try to stretch your body in a very gentle way. You can do this on your bed too. These are some stretches that are recommended:
- Knees to opposite shoulders.
- Knees to chest.
- Pelvic tilt.
- Figure 4 stretch.
Take the medications as prescribed:
- You should always take the medications that are prescribed by your doctor to improve your health. All the solutions that we have mentioned so far can work well but it doesn’t mean that you should underestimate the significance of medicines. The solutions that we have mentioned are additional ways to help you sleep with sciatica.
Follow a strict routine to sleep:
- Having a proper sleeping routine is beneficial for everyone. For persons who find ways to sleep with sciatica, a healthy sleeping routine is a must. You can do it by creating a sleeping environment in your bedroom. Try to stick to this routine even on the weekends. This will be very beneficial to make your sleep comfortable.
Use fluffy pillows:
- Using a fluffy pillow is very helpful in keeping your cervical spine aligned that ultimately reduces the pain in your lower back. A lot of persons who want to sleep with sciatica have been benefitted by this solution. You can also try this little change to have a nice night’s sleep.
Use localized pain relief patches:
- Localized pain relief patches work well in reducing your pain thoroughly. This treatment is highly recommended for the patients of sciatica.
Try some personal care equipment:
- When you are running out of ways for having a good sleep with sciatica, you can buy some equipment to relieve your pain. Here are some of that equipment that you can try:
- Back-buddy: This is a device to provide you some localized pressure on specific areas. It works well for the patients of sciatica.
- Knobble: It is an acupressure device that relieves hip pain.
- Spinal Roller: It is a thick roller made of foam to relieve your pain.
- Tennis Balls: Tennis balls are good options to try for relieving your muscles near sciatic nerves. You have to just put a few tennis balls beneath your back and role on those balls gently.
Some hints regarding the way you should sleep:
- Sleeping posture is very crucial even for healthy persons. But for those who struggle in sleeping because of sciatica, postures will have a tremendous effect. Here are some tips to follow:
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach: Sleeping on the stomach is one of the worst postures. It flattens the natural curvature of our spinal cord. Even if you find it comfortable, you should avoid this posture because it will have some long term consequences.
- Try to sleep on your back: This is one of the most favorable postures to sleep. This posture relaxes the muscles of your lower back and it is extremely helpful for those who want to sleep with sciatica.
- Use a pillow beneath your abdomen: When you find difficulties while sleeping on your back you can use pillows under your abdomen. This will make your sleeping experience comfortable.
- Sleep in the fetal position: This posture will provide open space between the vertebrae that you will be able to relieve the sciatic pain.
Try some specific massages:
- There are some massages specific to sciatic pain. The most interesting thing about these massages is that you can do it at your home. Here are some types of massages that you can try for making it comfortable to sleep with sciatica:
Knuckle Pressure Massage
You can do this by following the steps mentioned below:
- Lie on your back and bend your knees with your feet on the floor.
- Put your fist on the right and left side of your lower back.
- Position your fists in such a way that your knuckles are against your back.
- Rest in this position for 1-2 minutes.
- Lie in the fetal position for at least 5 minutes before standing.
Palm & Thumb massage
- Rub your palms on your lower back. Run it towards your spine in the upper direction and towards your buttocks in the lower direction.
- While placing your hands on the waist, wrap your fingers towards the sides. Then apply some pressure on your spine but make sure that this pressure is not excessive.
Sleeping with sciatica is not a very big issue at all. Just keep some points in our mind while you go to sleep. In case you find any difficulty even after trying all the options mentioned above, you may reach us through our website and the other contact details provided below. We have a team of doctors specialized in treating sciatic pain. You can contact us through our website and the other contact details provided below.