How To Sleep With Sciatica Pain


How To Sleep With Sciatica Pain


The sciatic nerve begins in the vertebral column and is the biggest nerve in your body. It moves along the hips, gluteus muscle and down the back of your legs. Sciatica pain is the outcome of a ruptured intervertebral disc in the lower back. Spinal stenosis can induce sciatica and back pain, the constricting of the area between the spine puts strain on the spinal cord nerves causing excruciating compression pain. Sciatica pain can result in discomfort while falling asleep, however, pain alleviation is accessible.

Causes of sciatica pain

Sciatica pain is caused by a herniated disc (ruptured or slipped disc), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column), spondylolisthesis (bone slips out of position), osteophytes (bone spurs) or a back injury. Compression in the lower back nerves leads to inflammation, redness and irritation. Injury to this nerve can produce discomfort and suffering in the lower back and the back of your legs. This can happen abruptly from a sudden injury or over time from an illness for instance arthritis in the backbone.


How to sleep with sciatica pain

Sleeping with sciatica pain may seem unbearable but there are a few sleeping positions that provide pain relief. The best sleeping positions for those with sciatica pain are mentioned below.

Best sleeping positions

  1. Side sleeping – This could bring maximum pain alleviation. Placing a pillow between the knees adjusts the hips and a quality pillow for your head will make sure your spinal column is aligned.

  2. Fetal position – Sleeping in this position will be advantageous for some, the reason being it may make space between the spinal cord. If this position is not comfortable, then sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with a pillow between your knees.

  3. Sleeping on the floor – Some prefer sleeping on the floor as they believe it provides relief for their back pains and a better night's sleep. If you are not comfortable with this idea, you should consider investing in a pressure-alleviating medium firm mattress as this will provide support and contour to your body's shape. As well, it will give exceptional alignment to your spine.

Tips on how to alleviate sciatica pain while sleeping

  • Don't sleep on a soft mattress

  • Invest in a medium or firm pressure-relieving mattress

  • Utilise a body pillow for extra comfortable

  • Do a gentle workout daily to strengthen the muscles

  • Take a relaxing bath to loosen up muscles before bed

  • Ensure a comfortable position while sleeping


Sciatica pain is most commonly due to a herniated disc which causes severe pain, making it uncomfortable to sleep. However, there are a many different treatments available. Firstly, you should see your doctor straight away and set a treatment plan into action that is best suited to you. This could include medication, surgical procedures, holistic remedies, steroid injections or seeking a physical therapist. Your mattress can also play an important role, so make sure your mattress isn't too soft and has pressure-relieving properties to help with the healing process; this will assist with improving the quality of your sleep and overall benefiting your physical well-being.

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