Sciatica can be a total nightmare. It can prevent you from finding a comfortable sitting position and even disrupt your sleep. A good pillow can provide relief from sciatic pain but you will need to do proper stretching exercises or consult a doctor if you want to get rid of it completely. In this article, we will discuss how to relieve sciatica pain while sleeping, does sleeping with a pillow between your legs help sciatica, the best sleeping position for sciatica, and we’ll review the best sciatica relief pillow in 2019.
Why am I Waking Up with Sciatica Pain?
If you are waking up with sciatica pain, your sleep position may be worsening the pinching of the sciatic nerve. It is best not to rely solely on pain killers and medicines but actually combine proper stretching exercises with a conscious effort to sit and sleep in the right position.
How to Relieve Sciatica Pain while Sleeping?
The best way to sleep with sciatica pain is to ensure that your sleep position does not further compress the sciatic nerve. The following pointers will show you how to relieve sciatica pain while sleeping on your back.
- Firm Surface: Opt for a firm mattress instead of a squishy one. The level of firmness depends on the minimum comfort level that’s suitable for you. A firm surface promotes spinal alignment.
- Knees Up: If you are sleeping on your back, prop your knees up using pillows or blankets. Your hips should remain flat on the mattress. It is best if your thighs are at a 90-degree angle to your torso.
- Two-Piece Wedge Cushion: You can also go for a two-piece wedge cushion that can give you a position similar to a reclining chair that you can use on your mattress. The cushion is designed to elevate your legs and prop up your back. This will take the pressure off the nerve endings in your lumbar spine.
The idea is to keep your upper legs away from the mattress. This is because keeping your legs completely flat will result in the psoas muscle pulling on the lumbar spine, creating additional tension and putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Does Sleeping with a Pillow Between your Legs Help Sciatica?
You should avoid sleeping on your side as this can further compress the inflamed sciatic nerve. But placing a knee pillow between your legs can prevent this from happening and, in fact, is a good way to get relief from sciatica pain when sleeping. Knee pillow can ease the pain by providing proper spinal alignment and reducing pressure on the nerve. It is better to use a knee pillow than a regular pillow because a regular pillow can lose its shape and fall flat. The contours of a knee pillow have been anatomically designed so it will not slip out in the middle of the night.
What is the Best Sleeping Position for Sciatica?
If you want to sleep without sciatica bothering you, the best sleep position would be either on your back as per the guidelines mentioned above or on your side with a knee pillow placed between your knees. You should avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts the spine out of alignment and prevents the organs from functioning optimally. Now we will look at some of the best sciatica relief pillow available today in the market.
Best Sciatica Relief Pillow in 2019
Contour Memory Foam Pillow By Elite Rest — Best Memory Foam Pillow for Sciatica Pain Relief
Contour Memory Foam Pillow by Elite Rest can provide good support for back and side sleeping. The pillow’s contours conform to the natural curve of your body. It is firm enough to support the neck, shoulder, and head and keep the neck and spine in alignment.
The lower side is 2.75 inches and the higher side is 4 inches. The memory foam is anti-fungal, hypoallergenic, and mildew and dust mites resistant. The removable cover is made of pure cotton and is machine washable. The 12 inches width also provides optimal support so you can toss and turn without falling off. The pillow has been reported to feel firm enough without being uncomfortable by most users.
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow — Best Knee Pillow Amazon
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow is just the right solution for sciatic pain, hip discomfort, and other lower back troubles while sleeping. It fits comfortably between your legs, promoting natural spinal alignment. This knee pillow can provide relief from pregnancy-related sciatica, knee pain, hip pain, joint pressure, and promote healthier sleeping posture.
The pillow is made with high-density memory foam which will not flatten over time. You can sleep with your legs completely straight in which case you need to place the pillow between your thighs. If you are sleeping with your legs curled into a fetal position, the pillow is best placed between your knees.
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow has been recommended by chiropractors and physical therapists for lower back pain relief. It is portable, durable, and easy to clean. The removable cover is zippered, breathable, and machine washable. The breathable material ensures that the pillow will remain cool even with extended use.
Contour Products Leg Pillow — Best Memory Foam Sciatica Cushion
The Contour Products Leg Pillow aligns your lower back, hips, and knees when you sleep. It fits securely between your legs because the contours conform to the shape of your inner thighs. The pillow feels very comfortable and soft because of the velour cover. It is a simple solution to stabilize your pelvis and reduce the stress on the sacroiliac joints, herniated discs, muscles, and ligaments. It is made of visco-elastic memory foam that is durable and comfortable.