Getting the most of good sleep hygiene and following some of the steps above can help protect you from the exhaustion of a medical condition that affects your daily life.
The term sciatica is known to many people primarily from the health and medical landscape. This word refers to the pain people experience when the sciatic nerve compresses under pressure from spinal abnormalities or inflammation.
When you have sciatica, you often experience severe pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, this discomfort generally lasts all day and night – even when you’re trying to sleep. So how do you get a good night’s sleep with this condition?
1. Get the right mattress
Your mattress probably won’t be the root of all of your sciatica problems, but it could make your problems worse. If you know you have severe back pain, an orthopedic bed can be an excellent option. Remember, the type of bed you need depends on how you prefer to sleep. Belly sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress that keeps the body in line. Side sleepers need support for their hips and shoulders, while back sleepers need full body support.
2. Try a body pillow
If you sleep with sciatica, it may be helpful to place a regular pillow or body pillow between your knees. It helps keep your hips, spine, and pelvis in line so you are less likely to experience increased pain and maintain a comfortable sleeping position. For some, it is helpful to put a pillow under your knees to keep them bent while sleeping. Try both methods to see which one works best for you.
3. Try gentle exercises and stretches
Man doing seated stretches on a deck; Image by Scott Broome, via Unsplash.com.
Movement and stretching are great whether you have sciatica or not. However, doing stretching exercises before bed can be crucial if you want to reduce the risk of a poor night’s sleep. Don’t do too much exercise before bed, as this can cause an adrenaline rush that will keep you awake. However, doing a few simple stretches before settling down for the night can ease your pain. Try pulling your knees toward your chest or performing a pelvic tilt.
4th Take a hot bath
Most people will tell you that if you want to get a good night’s sleep, you need to follow good sleep hygiene. It means doing the same actions every night to protect yourself from a bad night’s sleep. You might want to have a cup of tea or even a hot bath to relax. A hot bath is a great part of any nighttime routine as it relaxes muscles and releases pain relieving endorphins around your sciatic nerve roots. Your bath water must be comfortable, warm and not too hot. You can also try using a hot water bottle in bed.
5. Don’t sleep on your stomach
If you can avoid it, sleeping on your stomach may not be a good idea for people with sciatic pain. Sleeping in your stomach is one of the worst positions as it flattens the natural curvature of the spine and puts strain on the neck by having to turn the head to one side. Even if you think you might feel relief in this position, sleeping on your stomach all the time could cause more discomfort problems in the future. If you cannot find a comfortable position, you can try sleeping in the fetal position as it will give you the best space between your vertebrae.
Good luck sleeping with sciatica
Sleeping with any medical condition, including sciatica, is not always easy. Getting the most of good sleep hygiene and following some of the steps above can help protect you from the exhaustion of a medical condition that affects your daily life.