Best sleeping positions for Sciatica: Top 5 methods for relief

best sleeping position for sciatica
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Finding the best sleeping positions for Sciatica

Trying to find the best sleeping positions for sciatica can be near impossible when that searing, burning pain is drilling into your hip and down your leg. Here, we’ve gathered some proven methods to help you find relief from your sciatic pain, get into a comfortable sleeping position, and try and get some quality shut-eye.

Back pain no sleep

Sciatica sufferers know only too well how it can ruin any given moment. You’ve had a great day, you’re pleasantly exhausted to the core, and all that you want to do is flop onto your bed and drift off into a deep, refreshing sleep.

Unfortunately, it can be something as innocent as changing into your pj’s that lights the sciatic fuse, and when it’s lit, you know you’re in for a long night if you can’t put the fire out. Trying to get any form of sleep with sciatica, back pain, or neck pain can be a nearly impossible task, and when you’re tired, the rot can set in mentally. It’s tough. So how do we find the best sleeping positions for sciatica? Read on, friend.

The best sleeping positions for sciatica often differs from person to person, so it can be trial and error until you find that sweet spot that offers relief and comfort. However, here’s a simple piece of advice we were given many years ago from a physiotherapist, which has always helped, and it may help you if you’re a back sleeper.

  1. Lying on your back, pop a pillow under your knees
  2. Keeping your knees together, shuffle your hips a couple of inches away from the pain
  3. Relax for a few minutes then review

This simple adjustment can often bring much needed relief. However, if your sciatica doesn’t let up after a few minutes, try shifting a little further away. For example, if you have sciatica down your left hip and leg, shuffle your hips over a couple of inches to the right and relax for a few minutes… if it doesn’t help, shuffle your a little further. It may take a few minutes, but you may be pleasantly surprised (and relieved) that this simple sciatica relief tip works.

Top 5 Tips for Sleeping with Sciatica

Top 5 tips for sleeping with sciatica.

  1. Get the Right Mattress
  2. Ditch the Evening Exercise
  3. Adopt a Comfy Position
  4. Skydiving Sleep
  5. A good shot at a good night

1. Your mattress matters

We spend approximately one-third[1] of our lives in bed; that’s an astonishing amount of time if you think about it. If you’re suffering from sciatica, back pain, or neck pain and hoping to find respite sleeping on an unsupportive mattress, the odds are stacked against you. A supportive mattress, and pillow, are fundamental to a good night’s sleep. The wrong mattress will compound your misery and very likely increase your pain, making sleep impossible which itself brings a plethora of negative side effects: back pain with no sleep is no good.

A too-soft mattress will allow your body to sag, prompting your muscles to work involuntarily to keep you aligned while you sleep… you will wake exhausted and tense. On the other hand, a mattress that is too hard will feel like you’re sleeping on the sidewalk, and you’ll wake feeling like you being trampled over.

A mattress specifically designed to support your spine correctly is perhaps one of the most important decisions you can make. It’s up there with buying a house or a car because if you get it wrong, the consequences can be significant. If you’d like to discover the perfect mattress for your pain, the Ghostbed quiz below may be a pain-game changer and well worth a few minutes of your time.

2. Ditch the Evening Exercise

If you are a fitness enthusiast; leave your rigorous exercise routine for the morning. Strenuous exercise and sciatica don’t see eye to eye, and when paired with trying to sleep… no chance. Instead, try winding down with our tried and tested sciatica relief stretch. We’ve used this ultra-easy exercise every night for years and it works magic for us, we consider it our best sciatica treatment.

As with any exercise, consistency is key. Try this every night for a couple of weeks and you may find yourself hooked on how relaxing it can feel when you find your sweet spot. You can read more about the Great Sciatica Sleep fix here.

the best sleeping positions for sciatica

3. Adopt a Comfy Position

Your sleeping posture has a profound effect on your back pain. If you don’t have access to supportive products, one of the best positions is the soldier i.e. laying on your back.

Place a pillow under your head for neck support, and one under your knees to relax the spine and reduce lower-back stress.

Another great position: the side sleeper. Curl in your knees slightly and place another pillow between them, the width of one or two fists works for us; this ensures your spine’s natural alignment is maintained. But you know this already…. however

4. Skydiving Sleep

… If you’re a skydiving sleeper; this means you are used to sleeping on your stomach… not a good idea if you suffer from back or neck pain, is this one of the best sleeping positions for sciatica? Nope.

If you must sleep in this position, a simple hack to improve your alignment and comfort is to place a thin pillow under your stomach and hips.

If you can, try and sleep on your back or side as you will likely wake up in the morning feeling like your parachute didn’t open and you’re face will look like a Cabbage Patch Kids.

5. A good shot at a good night

Get your mattress right, get your posture right and you’ll have a good shot at getting a good night.

At backpainsleep.com we try to take the load off your back with tried-and-tested products to fight back against back pain and say Adios! to your aches.

Don’t sleep like a maybe!

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