How Does Sleep Position Affect People with Sciatica?
Different sleeping positions put pressure on other parts of our bodies, which can significantly impact sciatica pain. Side and back sleeping are generally praised as the best sleep positions for individuals with sciatica, but as we’ll see below, this advice comes with caveats.
Back sleeping promotes healthy spinal alignment and is generally regarded as the most beneficial sleeping position. That said, there are a few aspects that sleepers with sciatica should watch for to guarantee they’re obtaining the maximum benefits from their mattress.
One of the most significant problems for individuals with sciatica to look out for when sleeping on their backs is inadequate support to the lumbar region. A mattress that is too firm can leave gaps between your lower back and the mattress, leading to a build-up of pressure in the lumbar area. By contrast, a mattress that is too soft may let your hips sink in too deep, putting pressure on your lower back. The best mattress for back sleepers with sciatica must balance support and pressure relief. You may get further relief from using a thin pillow beneath your knees.
Side sleepers often develop pressure points in the shoulders and hips as a consequence of these regions digging into the mattress. This can be painful for individuals who have sciatica in the hips. For this reason, choosing a mattress that buffers the hips and shoulders is crucial. Memory foam mattresses and natural fibre generally have the best pressure-relieving capabilities.
It may be compelling to go with the softest mattress to soothe pressure points. But mattresses that don’t deliver adequate support in the lumbar area may also induce lower back pain due to the hips curving at awkward angles. The best mattress for side sleepers with sciatica will contour to the body curves, filling in the lumbar area and letting the shoulders and hips sink in sufficiently to maintain the spine on an even plane.
Side sleeping is a perfect choice for individuals who only encounter sciatica pain on one side.
Sleeping on your stomach is not usually advised for individuals with sciatica as it can probably aggravate symptoms. In addition, since most people carry most of their weight around their hips, this weightier area tends to sink into the mattress, which places pressure on the lower back and neck.
If you have to sleep on your stomach, you’ll do best with a medium or medium-firm feel mattress that supports the hips to help promote a more natural position for your spine.
Individuals with sciatica frequently find they occasionally need to change sleep positions to take pressure off a given area. Therefore, a mattress for mixed sleepers should simplify movement in addition to support and pressure relief. Pocket spring and memory foam hybrid mattresses can provide the added responsiveness that keeps you from feeling stuck in the mattress when you change sleeping positions.