The Relationship Between Sleep, Lower Back Pain, and Sciatica

relationship between sleep, lower back pain, and sciatica

Many believe that sleeping is a process of resting the body and switching the brain off. Others may think several hours of missing sleep won’t be a problem, but research says that crucial processes happen during sleep. One of them is that your body carries out pain regulation. Many studies show that sleep and pain are related, and lack of sleep adds to the increase of chronic pain.

Low back pain and sciatica can make an individual very weak. It not only disrupts one’s daily activities like sitting or bending, but it can also prevent a person from having a good night’s sleep. A study shows that wakefulness or insomnia has become one of the common symptoms of recurrent low back pain. This is why a lot of Americans choose to visit an O’Dell Family Chiropractic clinic in their community.

What is Sciatica?

what is sciatica

Sciatica is a term that describes the pain and numbness that radiate near the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower spine through the hips and buttocks running down the leg. Sciatica hits only one side of the body.

Sciatica mostly happens when a herniated disk, bone, or spur on the spine tightens the nerve parts. It causes pain, inflammation, and insensitivity in the afflicted leg. The pain connected with sciatica is a severe kind, but in most cases, it can be treated in a few weeks without operation. But those who have sciatica and experiencing severe pain and weakness of the affected leg, changes in bowel and bladder functions, need to have surgery.

What Causes Low Back Pain?

woman holding lower back while chiro works on it

Low back pain is a common human experience that everyone has at some point. The lower back is located below the rib cage or the lumbar region. The pain of the lower back can be intense, which is commonly caused by certain activities. Fortunately, it gets better on its own, but there are effective treatments if it does not.

Symptoms range from mild to severe stabbing sensation. The pain can make the person hard to move or stand up straight. Injuries from sports or lifting something improperly can lead to acute back pain. When the pain lasts more than three months, it can be considered chronic.

  • Your job. Lifting and pulling jobs can contribute to back pain or any work that involves twisting the spine. At the same time, sitting at a desk for the whole day has its own risk, mainly if the chair is uncomfortable that makes you slouch.
  • Your bag. Although you are wearing your purse or backpack over your shoulder, it is the lower back supporting the upper body and other weights that you carry. So a heavy bag can strain the lower back, especially if it is worn every day.
  • Over exercise. You might be overdoing your gym activities or when you are spending a lot of time in the golf course because overextended muscles can also lead to low back pain. If you are inactive during weekdays and spend too much of your weekend in the gym, you are more vulnerable.
  • Right posture. Your back can support weight if you are not slouching. If you are sitting, you should have good lumbar support for your lower back, shoulders, and resting feet on a footstool. When standing, maintain weight balanced on both feet.
  • Herniated disc. The spine is covered by a gel-like disc which is prone to wear and tear as you age or due to injuries. When the disc is weak, it may rupture or bulge when pressure is put on the spinal nerve roots. The herniated disc can cause severe pain.

How to Sleep Better with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

woman with facemask holding a pillow

Experts believe that sciatica or lower back pain can be relieved with the right interventions. Among these interventions are the correct sleeping positions, utilization of posture corrector or support, the practice of good sleeping manners or hygiene, and the use of the right pillows and mattresses. The following are tips and tricks on how to sleep while dealing with lower back pain and sciatica.

1. Using a proper mattress.

If you have sciatica or lower back pain, you have to check the condition of your mattress. It should provide the right cushion and support. Make sure that it conforms to your body, without excessive sagging. It should also restrict the pressure onto your shoulders, hips, and bony areas.

2. Maintain good sleep hygiene.

Even if you suffer from lower back strain and sciatica, there are still ways that you can sleep well. Having healthy sleep hygiene or maintaining sleeping habits can contribute to easing the pain that you are feeling.

3. Get a gentle massage.

Massage therapy helps promote blood circulation. A soothing massage can help relax tense muscles or reduce tension on the nerves. Although it does not directly cure the pain, your soft tissues help start the discharge of hormones called endorphins. They can activate the brain’s pleasure areas that could result in a feeling of welfare.

4. Keep yourself to have a healthy posture during the day.

Poor posture and some other circumstances can trigger back discomfort and sciatica indications. Incorrect body alignment is another poor habit that can trigger back pain. So you have to be mindful of your daily ventures. It would be best to avoid activities that may contribute to the progress of lower back pains or sciatica.

5. Stop worrying

Worrying and overthinking can worsen any pain that you are feeling. Since it increases brain activity, it will be difficult to fall asleep, and it is a habit that can increase anxiety and, consequently, contribute to the increase in pain levels.

6. Be aware of your sleeping position.

One of the main measures to relieve back pain or sciatica is to be mindful of your best sleeping positions. There are different tips for different types of sleepers to help you ease lower back pain or sciatica.

woman sleeping comfortably


When sleeping, proper weight distribution is essential regardless of the sleeping position that you prefer. It’s because proper weight distribution can reduce strain in your body, especially to the pressure points. You have to remember that to prevent stress on the back that can accumulate to lower back pain, the body’s alignment while sleeping is vital.

Lower pain problems are receptive to chiropractic treatment. At O’Dell Family Chiropractic our expert staff offers a holistic approach to pain management. We look for the cause of the problem, use proven scientific adjustment methods to ease pain, and teach you the correct exercises to keep the pain away.

You can live a full, meaningful life without pain!

woman just waking up refreshed after a sleep



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O’Dell Family Chiropractic

Primary Location
853 Ridge Rd
Webster, NY 14580
(585) 671-9210

Secondary Location
144 Metro Park
Rochester, NY 14623 US
(585) 671-9210