How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

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While some people can sleep without problems, it can be a challenge for many others with back pain.

Sleepers who constantly wake up due to lower back pain or sciatica can find it challenging to sleep again. The inability of the body to truly relax can make getting a good night's rest a thing of the past.

This article will uncover proven tips on how to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica.

Let's begin!

What is Sciatica? 

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is the term for a condition in which pain travels from your back down along the sciatic nerve. It runs from your spine down through the back of both your legs. The sciatic nerve is large and complex, giving it flexibility to stretch without tearing.

 It's this flexibility, however, that makes it susceptible to becoming pinched or irritated by other parts of the body, causing pain to radiate down its length through the legs.

How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

Here are some of the best ways to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica:

Lie on Your Back With Pillows Under Your Knees 

This is the conventional choice for sciatic nerve pain relief at night, and it's not hard to see why. Lying on your back helps keep the natural curve of your spine in alignment, which lessens the chance of further injury.

Let your back rest naturally on the bed with a pillow to support your neck. Place a couple of pillows underneath your knees. This allows for more spinal decompression, alleviating the pain from compressing the sciatic nerve.

Sleep in The Fetal Position With a Pillow in Between The Legs

This is a natural way to take the pressure off your lower back and hips by curling up in a ball. It also allows for some spinal rotation, which can help to ease the pain.

To do this, curl up on your side with knees bent and then place a pillow in between your legs. This supports the upper leg and takes the pressure off the lower back and hip. Furthermore, the pillow provides some counter-pressure to the knees, which can also help to reduce pain.

Avoid Stomach Sleeping

Many people do it anyway, but body position is one of the key elements in keeping lower back pain and sciatica at bay. Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your lumbar spine and sacrum, which immediately causes pain.

It also makes you turn your neck to one side for long periods, leading to increased strain on the sciatic nerve. Consequently, it will be harder to get to sleep, and you'll wake up with a sore lower back.

Tips to Relieve Sciatic Pain When Sleeping

Here are tips to help reduce the pain of sciatica when trying to sleep:

Get a Mattress That Supports Your Body

One way to go about sleeping on your back is having a mattress specifically designed for this purpose. The best mattresses in Australia offer different layers of support and comfort, with the firmest layer being at the top to give a solid surface to rest on. 

A perfect bed for someone else might not suit the other person. So one will have to try it out before buying it to see if it's comfortable and supports the body without putting pressure on any joints or bones. 

Use a firm mattress

Use a firm mattress

Firm memory foam mattresses are usually a safe bet, as they mould to your body shape and provide excellent support during sleep. Usually, they provide support and better spine alignment to keep pressure off the sciatic nerve. 

Memory foam mattresses with a 7 to 8 rating will be more suitable. Remember, mattresses lose their firmness as they age, so replace the mattress if it's too old. How long does a mattress last? It depends on its quality, composition and usage.

Try Yoga

Yoga can be helpful for people with sciatica that is causing back pain and lower backs discomfort. Also, it's a good way to stretch out the muscle and improve overall flexibility.

Don't bend too much

Bending over and doing regular activities can put extra pressure on your lower back, even after years of pain. Avoid bending or twisting when getting out of bed in the morning and make sure not to touch your toes.

Find a comfortable position

First, the patient will need to find a comfortable position where they can lie down and stay for an extended period. This isn't something that can be achieved overnight, so expect a bit of trial and error before finding the right one.

Talk to a doctor

If none of these treatments helps your sciatica, or if your symptoms worsen, then it's time to see a doctor. Sometimes the pain can be caused by severe underlying issues like tumours or spinal stenosis, and it's best to have it looked at by a professional.


What is the best sleeping position for sciatica?

The best sleeping position for sciatica is on your back with a pillow under your knees. This will take the pressure off your lower back and ease pain in the sciatic nerve.

What is the best mattress for sciatica?

The best mattress for sciatica is a firm mattress. A too-soft mattress will not provide enough support for the spine and can worsen the pain.

What can I do to ease the pain of sciatica at night?

There are several things one can do to ease the pain of sciatica at night, including sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, placing a pillow under your stomach and hips, and wearing loose-fitting clothing to bed.


Sleeping with sciatica can be a challenge, but there are ways to ease the pain. Lying on your back with a pillow under your knees is the best sleeping position for sciatica, and using a firm mattress will also help.

Additionally, mattresses for back pain in Australia can be the perfect companion for sleepers with sciatica. The patient can also try Yoga or other exercises to stretch out the muscles and improve flexibility.

For more questions and tips, please reach out using the comments below.

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