Best Sleeping Position for Sciatica

4 min read

Some of the most constant causes of sciatica are leg pain and lower back pain since this nerve inflammation in the spine involves the lower back, including the toes, feet, legs, and buttocks. It’s essential to understand the best sleeping position for sciatica to recover faster if you are suffering from this spinal-induced pain.

How Should You Sleep with Sciatica

It’s important to get enough sleep if you’re recovering from sciatica. It is an essential part of the treatment plan as recommended by health experts. A night of restful sleep helps in restoring damaged nerves and muscles that affect your day-to-day living. However, severe pain can be challenging when finding an ideal position at night.

Don’t worry because there are good sleep positions you can follow if you want to improve your condition. Whether you’re looking for the ideal position that soothes your sensitive point or the right answer to “can I sleep on my side with sciatica“, the following best sleeping position for sciatica pain nerve pain will surely give you the perfect idea:

Explore and discover the right sleeping position

You should try different positions to help you find the right position when sleeping with muscular spasms and lower back pain. You will know it’s the right position when you can stay asleep comfortably throughout the night without interruptions.

Try out different sleeping surfaces

Another way to achieve a comfortable sleep is to get the best sleeping surface. You can try sleeping on a yoga sheet or on the floor. However, the ideal bed for people with sciatica is a firmer mattress. It will give you more comfort until waking time while reducing pain.

Don't lie on the sensitive side

Of course, you don’t want to sleep on the painful side for obvious reasons. But because rolling around and switching positions while sleeping is inevitable, it’s good to apply some techniques. For instance, you can wear your workout shorts and put some tennis balls in the pockets so you won’t be turning on the painful side during sleep.

Use a quality neck pillow

Simple back pain can affect the entire body, so it’s never easy to underestimate mild sciatica. Perhaps, what’s been making your neck pain even worse is too many fluffy pillows when sleeping. It’s essential to keep your spine straight while lying down to reduce sciatica symptoms such as lower back pain. Use a sciatica pillow for sleeping or neck pillow to support your upper spine.


Putting one pillow between the legs is also recommended to support the body while sleeping. It is more applicable for side sleepers with spinal issues. The pillow reduces pressure on your spine while you lie on your side.

Your knees should be elevated.

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Sometimes, when you sleep on your stomach or back, it increases the pain on your lower back. This position puts more pressure on your back, including the smaller joints. Therefore, you should elevate your knees when sleeping on your back to reduce the symptoms.

Now, if getting the right position is not enough to soothe painful muscles and joints, there are other things you can do. Some additional tips to relieve painful lower back are as follows:

Apply capsaicin cream or use pain-relieving patches.

Before going to bed, you can put some pain-relieving cream or patch on the affected area. Most patches are effective up to 8 hours, so you’ll get relief throughout your sleep. Apply them on your back or legs to reduce inflammation.


Perform a mild stretching exercise before sleeping.

Tense muscles are one of the most common causes of sciatica that can irritate the nerves. If this is the case, doing some stretching before bedtime can help soothe tense nerves.

Get a massage.

Sciatica massages are truly pain-relieving as they alleviate muscle tension and pain. You can consult your doctor or therapist to find the perfect massage options that work for you. You can use a tennis ball in triggering point therapy if you’re willing to do a self-massage.

These are only some home remedies you can do to get temporary relief from sciatica symptoms. Make sure to discuss with your physician the symptoms you’re having to find the most effective treatment for you.

Why Is My Sciatica Worse When I Lie Down

Perhaps, you’re wondering sciatica pain at night is worse why? If the symptoms are worse when you lie down at night, some reasons aggravate the tense muscles and nerves. For instance, the pain may be worsened by certain positions or moving around often.

Finding relief while sleeping is important because many people find sciatica worse after sleeping making it challenging for those who suffer from spinal issues without proper treatment and knowledge of the best sleeping positions. Remember, your sleep position is an essential contributing factor in reducing pain during sleep.

What's the best position to lay for sciatica pain

There are a few different positions that may be helpful for people with sciatica pain:

  1. Sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees: This position can help to take pressure off of the lower back and may be more comfortable for people with sciatica.

  2. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees: This position can also help to reduce pressure on the lower back and may be more comfortable for people with sciatica.

  3. Sleeping on your stomach with a pillow under your hips: While sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended, some people with sciatica find that this position helps to alleviate their pain.

It is important to find a position that is comfortable and relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve. You may need to experiment with different positions to find the one that works best for you.

In addition to finding a comfortable sleeping position, it is also important to use a supportive mattress and pillows, and to avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long. Stretching and exercise can also help to alleviate sciatica pain.

Why Does Sciatica Pain Come and Go

The intensity of pain when you have sciatica may depend on your physical activities and sleep positions at night. Of course, if you’re sleeping on the wrong side, expect to increase the pain and tension of your muscles and joints. So the best remedy is to stop lying on the side where your pain point is located to avoid it from coming back.

If you’re trying to prevent the inflammation of your sciatic nerve, it’s helpful to focus on proper spine support while sleeping. The body’s longest nerve is sciatic nerve and is connected from your spinal cord to your buttocks up to your legs. When you overstretch your spine or put too much pressure on it while sleeping, the tendency is to be injured. Without proper medication, it may temporarily go away and then come back when triggered.


Overall, these best sleeping position tips aim to help you find the ideal position your body needs. Recovering from nerve-related pain can be more comfortable with enough sleep and rest on a good mattress for sciatica. So if you’re looking for effective ways to reduce sciatica symptoms and lower back pain, you can get some insights from this short guide.

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