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If you have sciatica, you might have trouble sleeping.
For many people with sciatica, the pain is worse at night when lying in bed trying to sleep. And after a terrible night, they wake up with worse pain than the day before.
Because we know this is a problem we collected five tips that you can do to sleep better with sciatica.
The following tips help you to find out what works best for you.
We know that people that do not rest at night are less likely to get relief from sciatica in the long term. That is why it’s so important to find out what works for you.
1. Your sleeping position
The most important tip we can give you is to find a sleeping position that is good for you.
When you prefer to sleep on your side (as many patients with sciatica do), you have a bigger risk of pulling the spine out of their natural position.
To prevent this from happening you can simply put a pillow between your knees. This will take the pressure off your hips and spine and should help alignment.
But if you are not a side-sleeper you need to experiment and find the best position for you. Pillows can be helpful, and when finding the right position, many people can avoid most of the pain at least for the night.
2. Your mattress matters
Mattresses have a huge impact. A cheap, soft mattress might make it impossible for you ever to get rid of sciatica. It just has such a tremendous impact that you should never underestimate what a high-quality mattress can do for your back.
For sciatica especially – but also for other lower back pain conditions – a firm mattress is the best way to go.
Not everyone might be able to invest the money for a good mattress. If this is the case, try other places in your house where you could sleep. Maybe the sofa or another bed might work better.
A yoga mat that you put on your floor might also be an option, but this might be too firm for many. But it is worth a try, and you will most likely need some days to adjust to it. Please don’t give up after the first night (at least if your pain allows it). If it gets worse try something else.
Another option is to get a recliner. This is an option that some people love – others can’t get ten minutes of sleep in it. You should try if this might be an alternative for you.
3. Avoid lying on your bad side
When you have one side where the pain is worse, you should try not to sleep on this side.
One great – and very effective way is to wear shorts with pockets at night. Then you put a tennis ball in the pocket of your painful side to avoid lying on that side. Very easy and clever.
This solution prevents you from rolling over during the night. Try it out!
4. A neck pillow might be your best friend
There are pillows especially for patients with sciatica. You should get one for yourself. It is not only relatively cheap – it’s also a very helpful device for many people not only with sciatica – but with lower back pain in general.
5. Stretching before bed-time
If your sciatica comes from muscles being tense, your sciatic nerve gets irritated. Stretching before you go to bed might be a helpful way to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve and reduce the pain.
You should also talk to your medical team about your sleeping problems. They may subscribe you some sleep medications that help you get your rest so your body is ready for the next day.
Having sleeping issues because of sciatica should not be something you dread for your whole day. There are ways to help you!
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