Making the most of good sleep hygiene and following some of the steps above could help to protect you against the exhaustion of a condition that impacts your day-to-day life.
The term “sciatica” is one that many people are familiar with, particularly in the landscape of health and medicine. This word refers to the pain that people experience when the sciatic nerve compresses under the pressure of spinal abnormalities or inflammation.
When you experience sciatica, you often suffer from a lot of pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, that discomfort generally continues throughout the day and night – even when you’re trying to sleep. So, how do you get a good night’s rest with this condition?
1. Get the Right Mattress
Your mattress probably won’t be the root of all your sciatica problems, but it could be making your issues worse. If you know you have serious back pain issues, getting an orthopedic bed could be an excellent option. Remember, the kind of bed you need will depend on how you prefer to sleep. Stomach sleepers might prefer a firmer mattress that keeps the body aligned. Side sleepers need support for their hips and shoulders, while back sleepers need full-body support.
2. Try a Body Pillow
When you’re sleeping with sciatica, it can be helpful to place a regular pillow or a body pillow between your knees. It helps to keep your hips, spine, and pelvis aligned, so you’re less likely to experience worse pain and maintain a comfortable sleeping position. For some, it’s helpful to place a pillow underneath their knees so that they stay bent as they sleep. Try both methods to find which one works best for you.
3. Try Gentle Exercise and Stretches
Exercise and stretching are excellent, regardless of whether you have sciatica or not. However, stretches before bed can be crucial if you want to reduce your risk of having a bad night’s sleep. Don’t exercise too much before bed, as this can give you an adrenaline rush, which keeps you awake. However, some simple stretches before you settle down for the night can reduce your pain. Try pulling your knees to your chest or performing a pelvic tilt.
4. Take a Hot Bath
Most people will tell you that if you want to get a good night’s sleep every night, you need to follow good sleep hygiene. It means that you go through the same series of actions every night to protect yourself from a bad night’s rest. You might have a cup of tea or even a hot bath to help you relax. A hot bath is a great part of any night-time routine because it relaxes the muscles, and releases pain-fighting endorphins around your sciatic nerve roots. Your bathwater needs to be pleasant, warm, and not too hot. You could also try using a hot water bottle in bed.
5. Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
If you can avoid it, sleeping on your stomach may not be a good idea for people with sciatica pain. Stomach sleeping is one of the worst positions because it flattens the natural curvature of the spine and causes strain in the neck because your head needs to turn to one side. Even if you think that you get relief in this position, constantly sleeping on your stomach could cause more problems with discomfort in the future. If you can’t find a comfortable position, you may try sleeping in the fetal position as it gives you the best space between your vertebrae.
Good Luck Sleeping with Sciatica
Sleeping with any condition, including sciatica, isn’t always easy. Making the most of good sleep hygiene and following some of the steps above could help to protect you against the exhaustion of a condition that impacts your day-to-day life.