Falling asleep and staying asleep with sciatica isn’t easy, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.
Pain caused by Sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve in the lower back is compressed or irritated. That sends pain down the hip, outer side of leg, and the back. It can also cause tingling and numbness in the legs and feet.
So, what can you do?
Pick Your Position
For many people, sleeping on their backs or side helps relieve some of the sciatica pain. Put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. That helps keep your spine, hips, and pelvis in alignment. A body pillow could also help.
If you sleep on your back, bend your knees a bit and put a pillow under them.
The right mattress can also make a difference. How you sleep should impact what mattress you choose.
- Stomach sleepers: firm mattress that aligns your body
- Side sleepers: soft mattress that supports hips and shoulders
- Back sleepers: medium mattress that supports the whole body
If you’re a back sleeper, make sure to support your lower back, maybe with a small pillow under the tailbone. Stomach sleeping is bad for sciatica because it flattens the spine and strains the neck.
Some people even find relief by sleeping on the floor on a yoga mat or a sheet. A recliner can also be a good place to sleep.
If you move around a lot at night, think about putting a tennis ball in your pajama pocket on the side that hurts to sleep on. That way, if you roll over during the night, the discomfort will force you back to a better position.
Take a Bath
A warm bath before bed can help relax your body and encourage endorphins that fight pain to relax your muscles. The water should be warm, but not hot. Higher temperatures can raise your body temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep. A hot water bottle on your lower back or buttock area or an adhesive heat patch could also provide some relief.
Do Some Stretching
A few simple stretches before bed can help reduce the pressure on the nerve. But don’t do too much and raise your heart rate and body temperature. That will make it difficult to sleep.
Keep a Sleep Routine
Following the same schedule and routine each night can help you fall asleep, even if there is some pain. Wind down by reading or doing something soothing. Try not to look at your electronic devices. Keeping your mind calm can help relax the body and the sciatic nerve.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you can’t function properly during the day. The professionals at Flexogenix can work with you to get some relief for your sciatica. We have a number of non-surgical treatment options to choose from. Make an appointment today.