If you’ve ever suffered from pain that runs from your lower back down into your legs, you could be suffering from sciatica. For too many, it also causes trouble with sleeping. Here’s some of our best tips for sleeping with sciatica.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica pain stems from irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This is the longest nerve of the human body. It runs down the spinal cord, into the buttocks, and down each leg. Symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Leg pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Tingling and numbness in the legs and feet

The following video gives an overview of this condition, along with some common treatment approaches. One thing the video does not cover, however, is techniques for sleeping with sciatica.

How to sleep with sciatica 

There are a few options you can try to reduce your sciatica pain at night. These range from adjusting your sleep position to trying different stretches before bed. For some who suffer from severe pain at night, there are also medications your doctor can prescribe to help with sleep.

Overall, these tips encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you. Sleep is so important for the pain patient. Losing it can increase your pain the following day, leading to less sleep the next day. It easily becomes a terrible cycle. That’s why we encourage you to find what works best if you’re having troubles sleeping with sciatica, no matter if it seems a little unorthodox or takes some getting used to.

1. Pick the best sleeping position for sciatica 

The best way to sleep with sciatica is to find a sleeping position that works for you, and stick with it. Many patients find that even if they can stay in one position for most of the night, it gives them the minimum amount of sleep they need to function during the day. And, for many, by finding the right position, you can avoid most of your nighttime pain.

As we talked about in our post on the best sleeping position for lower back pain, lying flat on your back is best for many people. But this is slightly different with sciatica. Lying on your back may be best, but others prefer to lie on their sides.

If you can lie on your back, elevate your knees with a few pillows stacked between them and the bed.

If you are a side sleeper, bend your top knee and pull it towards your head. Prop your knee with two to three pillows, so your hips are squared while you sleep.

2. Find a better sleeping surface 

When trying to sleep with sciatica, it’s best to sleep on a firm mattress. If a new mattress isn’t in the budget, you could try a few different sleeping places to see if it helps your pain.

This might include sleeping in a guest room with a firmer mattress, especially on nights when your pain flares up.

You may also try sleeping on the floor, with a yoga mat or sheet underneath you. As Spine-Health explains, some people actually experience less nighttime discomfort and pain when sleeping on the floor. It may take a few days for you to get used to the floor, so don’t give up after only one night.

If the floor doesn’t do it for you, try a recliner. Many patients love this option, saying that it allows them to actually sleep through the night.

3. Stop yourself from lying on your painful side

So, one side is more painful than the other, but you’re prone to rolling around a lot in your sleep. What