5 Methods for How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

Sciatica patients often wonder, “How should I sleep with lower back pain?” The condition is not rare, but ignorance and avoiding proper care can end up causing more damage to your spine.

Therefore, the key to avoiding this issue is understanding the lifestyle changes and taking care of the back issue as soon as possible.

Sleep is an essential part of our lives, which is unfortunately affected by sciatica. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good night’s sleep if you suffer from persistent back issues like upper or lower back pain.

Learn what to do for upper back pain and lower back pain.

We have rounded up the five best ways to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica. Keep reading to learn how to deal with back discomfort and pain.

What is Sciatica?

A nerve called sciatica travels from the lower back to both legs. According to research, sciatica means that you have pain that travels along the nerve path. 

The prominent cause of discomfort in the area is a herniated disc or a dense bone that puts pressure on the nerve. The pain is bearable in most cases. However, some medication and surgery are needed in rare cases.


What is Back Pain?

Back pain refers to the discomfort that we feel in the spine. It is mainly situated in the lumbar area. Sciatica can cause back pain, but studies found that there might be other reasons, like muscle strain or injuries.


Best Way to Sleep with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

How to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica is a question most people seem to ask, and rightfully so.

A good night’s sleep is essential for everyone to have an excellent start and stay energetic throughout the day. If you’re one of those people, prepare to be surprised.

Just because you suffer from a painful back doesn’t mean that the discomfort must be imminent when trying to rest. Here are five helpful ways to sleep with lower back pain to decrease the discomfort and have a sound sleep:

1. On Your Side

One of the best ways to sleep with sciatica is to lie on your sides. The damaged nerve will cause a lot of pain if your sleeping position puts pressure on it.

Therefore, lying on your side is essential to remove the injured area’s weight. If you feel nerve pain on the left side, then lying on your right is the best option.

To relax the position, you can prop a small pillow between your waist and the surface to even out the spine. Another good position to sleep with sciatica is with a pillow between your legs. It will help keep your pelvis and spine in a neutral position.

Lastly, the fetal position will help you greatly if the side-lying position hurts your back. Just lay on your side with the injured part on top and bring your knees to your chest.

Your body will make a “C,, and the nerve pain will subside. In addition, the fetal position opens the space between the vertebrae, and any back pain due to a herniated disc is lessened.


2. Use a pillow

Napping with a pillow is the best way to sleep with lower back pain, especially due to a slipped disc. A small, firm pillow in the right spot will reduce nerve pain and help you fall asleep faster.

Take a pillow and prop it between your back and the mattress to fill the space. It will keep the vertebrae straight and reduce any pressure on their parts. Additionally, depending on the location of the pain, you can invest in a good-quality neck pillow to prevent neck and shoulder pain.


3. On Your Back

Sleeping on your back will take pressure off the spine and straighten it; hence, this is the best position to sleep in with lower back pain. It might seem counterproductive to lay on one’s back when the pain is present, but the reality is a bit different.

This position divides the pressure on the vertebrae equally, decreasing the weight in one area. As a result, the spine is straightened, and sciatica discomfort is reduced.


4. Sleep on a Hard Surface

If you’re wondering how to sleep with low back pain, this tip will significantly help you. Sadly, you’ll have to let go of your soft mattress and bed if you’re serious about treating the back issue.

Soft surfaces cause the spine to bend out of proportion. As a result, it might put undue strain on a particular vertebrae and intensify back pain.

On the other hand, hard surfaces may be tough to sleep on, but they ensure that the spine remains straight and elongated. So, no matter what sleeping position is your favorite, it all comes down to the surface on which you lay.


5. Sleep on Your Stomach

Stomach sleeping is not for everyone. It requires you to bend your head and keep your arms open, so most people avoid sleeping upside down. However, if you’re a stomach sleeper, this position can help you deal with sciatica.

It might not be the best position to sleep in with lower back pain, but if arching your back helps with the discomfort, you can keep sleeping this way.


Additional Ways to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Now that you know the primary care for back pain and sciatica, we can get into the nitty-gritty of the matter. The positions and methods can help immensely, but making essential lifestyle changes and incorporating hobbies and tips will ensure optimal results.

If you’re looking to create a nighttime routine for yourself, here are some tips that might help:

  • Take a warm bath before going to bed. It will help you relax and calm down the muscles. Consequently, back pain is also lessened by a long warm shower.
  • Try introducing stretches and yoga into your daily life. It will help open up the vertebrae and heal back issues.
  • Invest in a high-quality pillow and mattress so that it doesn’t mess up your back anymore.


Sleeping Positions to Avoid

Now that you know how to sleep with sciatica, you must know the other side of the story. Some positions, as discussed above, might be the best to deal with lower back pain, but others can complicate the issue more.

Mentioned below are some practices to avoid while you snooze on your bed:

  • Don’t use soft mattresses and pillows for too long. These items can mess up the spine’s alignment and cause it to bend a certain way.
  • Try not to lay on the side that hurts. For example, if the pain is on your left, then lay on the right-hand side and vice versa.
  • Do not take part in strenuous exercises and heavy physical activities. It can risk further injuries and pain.


When to Get Help?

Although lifestyle changes can help people tackle back pain and sciatica, being aware of your condition is necessary. If you’ve been having persistent discomfort for more than two weeks, visit your physician for a complete evaluation.


Back pain and sciatica, like any other health issue, can affect your daily activities. Sleeping is essential for everyone; unfortunately, nerve pain can affect us when trying to have a peaceful nap.

So, go through the above-mentioned methods and select the one that best suits your needs to have a happy sleeping routine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.