The Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain and Tips

Sciatica: one of the most common issues for many people these days. Reports say that almost 40% of Americans experience Sciatica.

You might have a hard time with Sciatica, it can be painful and might even stop you from your daily activities, most likely your sleep.

So if this is your case, then you’re at the right place. In this guide, we will be taking a look at the best sleeping positions if you’re a victim of Sciatica and how to improve your sleep during the night, so keep reading further to learn how to sleep with sciatic nerve pain.

The Causes of Sciatica

There are several causes for Sciatica, but the most common ones are:


Spondylolisthesis is one of the conditions of degenerative disk disorder. When your vertebrae stretch forward over the other, the stretched vertebrae will hurt your nerves and cause the sciatic nerve.

Herniated disks

Your vertebrae are separated by pieces of cartilage. Cartilage helps your body’s flexibility and cushions while you move. It’s filled with a thick material. Herniated disks occur if the top layer of cartilage tears. This results in shrinking your sciatic nerve causing lower limb pain. It is said that 1 in 5 people will experience back pain caused by slipped disks at some point in their lives.(1)

Sciatica Symptoms that you should be aware of:

The common sciatica symptoms start with lower back pain and then extends through the hip, buttocks, and down to one leg. This can get worse based on your movements. The affected leg may also feel numb and weakened.

Pain on the hip, buttocks, and leg can be moderate at the beginning and increase gradually over time.

What is the Connection Between Sleep, Lower Back Pain, and Sciatica

We think that sleeping is a course of resting our body and relaxing our brain, and also think missing crucial sleep hours isn’t a problem, but actually, it is. 

According to some research, some crucial processes occur during our sleep. 

One of the processes is pain regulation. Also, due to a reduction in sleep time, you may start to experience chronic pain.

And loads of studies provide various evidence proving that sleep and pain are linked. 

The Best Sciatica Pain Sleeping Positions

Finding a suitable position can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re suffering from Sciatica, but it’s important that you find a convenient sleeping surface and a better sleeping position, so these are some of the best tips for sleeping positions that can help you.

Sleep on your back in a reclined position

how to sleep with sciatica
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Sleeping in a reclined position is the best sleeping position for Sciatica. Because it helps you to relieve pressure on your lumbar spine’s nerve roots, at the same time, the pain is generated from the irritated sciatic nerve, and adding a two-piece wedged cushion or a soft pillow under your hips can help you achieve this reclining position quickly and puts less stress on your ligaments and joints. This position can help you fall asleep perfectly.

Sleep on your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen

Tips to sleep with sciatica

Sleeping on your stomach can worsen your back pain and may cause stress to your neck, but it can even help if you place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. If you find relief in this way, then there’s no need for you to opt for another position.

This position is also an excellent pain relief for people with degenerative disc disease because it helps to relieve any stress placed on the area among your discs. 

Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees

For most people, this is the ideal way to relieve sciatica pain.

And yes!! It is ideal because sleeping on your back distributes weight evenly across your body and places a minor burden on your pressure points. This sleeping position also adjusts your spine even better. 

If you want results, don’t forget to place a pillow underneath your knees and lay flat on your back, it helps to control that curve in your lower back.

Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees

If sleeping on your back isn’t comfortable or working for you, try sleeping on your side. It reduces the pressure on your lower back. Anyways, the highlight here is that pillow between your knees helps your spine and hips align better. 

To better use, this position, make sure you lie on the opposite side where there is no pain (the painless side) and never move from that position. Moving can cause muscle imbalance.

Side note: if you want more support, use a small pillow between your waist and the mattress if only there’s a gap.

Worst Sleeping Positions For Sciatica Pain

Sleep On The Stomach


As mentioned before, sleeping on your stomach is dangerous. It’s the worst way you can sleep even if you’re not a sciatica patient. This position gradually increases your sciatic pain and damages your nerve.

This sleeping position is not recommended because it causes significant damage in your body, mainly in your lower back. It adds extra tension to your shoulders, neck muscles, and sciatic nerve. This is the worst way you can sleep if you’re a sciatica patient. 

The sleeping positions don’t play the whole role. Always align your shoulders, ears, and hips in line correctly. It is one of the critical factors when it comes to sleeping correctly. 

Additional Tips to Have a better sleep with Sciatica

These are some additional tips you can try.

Maintain a good sleep habit

Maintaining a good sleep habit is essential, so here are some acceptable practices you can follow if you’re suffering from sciatic pain:

  • Before going to bed, invest some time in yoga.
  • Take a relaxing and warm bath.
  • Avoid using any tonics or stimulants.(2)

Use a mattress that is not too soft nor too Sturdy.

This is one of the critical factors. Using the right mattress is important because a bad bed means a bad outcome. Needless to say, it can worsen your situation, so choose a mattress that is not too soft or too sturdy.

Find a mattress that provides proper support and cushion plus also limits the pressure against your hips, shoulder. Find a mattress that can accommodate your body.

Choose a perfect pillow.

Finding a perfect pillow is also as important as an excellent mattress. A good pillow can contribute to curing your back pain. There is a lot to consider before buying a pillow, such as:

  • Your head size
  • The type of pillow
  • Pillow thickness
  • Shoulder width

And finally, a pillow that can fit your body’s structure, shape, physique, curves, and finally, your preferred sleeping positions.

Here are some of the most common pillows for sciatic pain:

Orthopedic pillows

This pillow is also called therapeutic pillows because it has some orthopedic guidelines to ensure it maintains and supports the body’s alignment. These pillows are specially built and designed to correct our body’s positions while sleeping.

There are specific categories for these pillows, and they are travel pillows, neck pillows, wedge pillows, cervical pillows, lumbar pillows, spinal support pillows, knee pillows, and body pillows. 

Memory foams

These pillows allow your head, neck, and shoulders to self adjust your shape and help you sleep in a natural position. And these will make you comfortable even after your sleeping positions suddenly change. These are also available in various sizes and shapes.

Feather-type pillows

You can notice from its name these feather-type pillows offer the best support, comfort, and softness, and they can be adjusted to match the shape of your body perfectly.

So pillows play a big part when it comes to curing your sciatic pain.


The information we’ve provided here may vary depending on your condition before you proceed. We urge you to consult your doctor and get confirmation on our recommended sleeping positions as we don’t want your situation to get even worse.

Sciatica is a real nightmare for everyone, but maintaining your sleeping and following the tips we provided may help you control the pain. Choosing the right pillows and mattresses can also be useful in this, so we hope this guide will help you seek out this problem.

By the way, thank you for checking out our website.

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