The sciatica nerve covers most of the lower back area. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it ii most likely, but not always, a result of sciatica. Figuring out how to sleep with sciatica can be challenging when in the throes of pain. This article will provide science-backed tips for how to sleep with sciatica.
HOW TO SLEEP WITH SCIATICA
AVOID SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE
The way our bodies are structured, we tend to hit the bed with the shoulders and hips first. The spine and the area around the pelvis has to accommodate this position.
The sciatic nerve will take in this strain and become more pinched, thus causing more pain.
USE A GOOD MATTRESS
The kind of mattress you sleep in determine the position and curvature of your spine. As such, sciatica becomes either better or worse depending on the mattress you are using.
People adopt different sleeping positions when they are sleeping. If you often sleep on your back, a medium firm mattress will provide enough support for your whole body.
If you sleep on your side, a mattress that is softer will be better, and if you sleep facedown, a firmer mattress will give your body a better alignment.
PLACE A PILLOW BETWEEN YOUR KNEES
While more research needs to be done to ascertain this, there is some evidence that sleeping with a pillow between your knees may relieve sciatica pain.
This is especially recommended for people who sleep on their side, as it improves the positioning of the spine.
TAKE A BATH
Include a bath in your sleeping routine, and make sure the water is warm. A warm bath relaxes muscles in your body and by extension, your lower back.
The body releases endorphins when you have a warm, relaxing bath, and this helps with the pain. Taking a bath before bed will also help you fall asleep faster, you will spend a shorter time agonizing over sciatica pain.
Better still, it improves blood circulation will relaxes tense muscles. if you cannot have a warm bath, use a hot water bottle instead. Place the bottle on the lower back.
Take note that the water for both the hot water bottle and bath should be warm, never hot.
STRETCH BEFORE BED
Sedentary lifestyle and lack of activity is one of the prime reasons people suffer from sciatica.
While stretching may be the last thing you want to do when you have lower back pain, it will help activate the muscles in your lower back.
Do simple stretches that will not even require you to leave your bed like the pelvic tilt and the Figure 4 stretch.
GET SOME REST
Take a break from activities that tire you out and involve too much movement of your spine. Sometimes, sciatica gets worse because you ignore the pain and keep engaging in intense activities. A good old rest will reset your back and give you a break from the pain.
LOWER BACK MASSAGE
And no, you do not have to seek out a masseuse just before bed. There are plenty of home massages you can do by yourself if you want to know how to sleep with sciatica.
Apply gentle pressure with your thumb around your spine on your lower back. Keep doing the same and extend to the entire waist area.
You can alternate between your thumbs and fists for better coverage. The massage loosens some of the tight areas in your lower back and helps you sleep better.
TAKE PAIN MEDS
If you have had enough of the pain and just want the easiest method of how to sleep with sciatica, take pain meds before going to bed.
Over the counter medications will work just fine but you may want to ask your physician for a prescription if you do not wish to self-medicate. Besides, the doctor is in a better position to prescribe medication that is very specific to your condition.
MAINTAIN GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE
A bad sleep hygiene might not be the sole cause of your sciatica, but it may exacerbate it. Stay away from your screens about thirty minutes to bed time.
Do not give into the temptation to use your phone while in bed. Sleep early, and sleep enough. Even without sciatica, you may develop back pain if you stay in bed way too long.
You may take a warm drink before bed to help you fall asleep much faster.
GOOD POSTURE DURING THE DAY
Sciatica can be traced back to the things you do during the day. If you sit with slouched back or spend the day hunched over your laptop, you will definitely compensate for this when you try to sleep at night.
Good posture is not just for the night, maintain a good posture throughout the day so you have a better night.
BEST POSITIONS TO SLEEP WITH SCIATICA
There really is no one-size-fits-all position for how to sleep with sciatica. Our bodies and the curvature of our spines are very different. Thus, a sleeping position that works for one person may yield totally different results for another.
However, experts agree in that sleeping on your stomach is the worst position you can adopt with sciatica. This position compromises the curve of your spine and will make the sciatica pain worse.
If you have to sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your pelvis so your lower back is not strained.
If you sleep on your side, sleeping in a fetal position helps by preventing your vertebral bones and nerves from being compressed.
Keeping your knees elevated is a pro tip on of how to sleep with sciatica, especially for those who sleep on their back. Raise your knees towards the ceiling, to keep them there, place a small pillow under your knees.
People who sleep on their sides can also place small pillows between their legs. The work of the pillow is to distribute your body weight well, so it does not rest on your lower back and worsen the sciatica pain.
As bad as sciatica may sound, the best part is that it often resolves itself on its own. Only in some instances does it develop into debilitating back problems.
Even then, there are plenty of tips on how to sleep with sciatica as you wait for the wave to pass. While it might be hard to change your style of sleeping, alignment is the name of the game.
No matter the kind of sleeper you are, make sure the nerves on your lower back are neither too stretched nor compressed.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]