Savvy Tips Guru

Causes and Remedies for Sciatica Pain at Night


Sleep is super important for everyone because it helps our bodies heal and recharge. But for those dealing with sciatica, nighttime can be tough. The sciatica can hurt more at night because of more pressure on the nerve, making it hard to get comfy, especially when inflammation kicks up. But don’t worry, there are ways to deal with it. First, let’s chat about what sciatica really is before we dive into sleep tips.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pretty common, hitting around 10 to 40 percent of people, but it’s not exactly a single condition—it’s more like a bunch of symptoms. The pain shoots along the sciatic nerve, starting from the lower back and reaching down to the legs.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and biggest nerve in our body. It’s like a two-way street, carrying signals for both feeling and movement in our legs. Starting from the lower back, it runs through the buttock, down the leg, all the way to the foot. Usually, when there’s sciatica, it’s on one side of the lower body, but sometimes it can happen on both sides. This nerve can get upset if it’s squished, squeezed, or there’s not enough room in the spine for it to work right.

When your sciatic nerve gets pinched, it can make your whole lower body feel uncomfortable. Sciatica is when these symptoms pop up because the nerve is irritated, whether it’s at its starting point or anywhere along its long path.

What does sciatica nerve pain feel like?

Sciatica nerve pain can vary a lot, from just a little uncomfortable to really, really painful, and it can come and go or stick around for a long time. People who’ve felt this kind of pain say it’s the worst, and that makes sense because nerves spread out in all directions in our bodies. So, when one gets upset, it can make you hurt in places far from where it started.

When you’ve got sciatica, you might feel:

  • Pain in your lower back
  • Pain in your butt
  • Pain shooting down your leg from your back, through your thigh and calf
  • Weakness in your muscles
  • Numbness or weakness anywhere along your leg’s path
  • It might hurt more when you move
  • You might feel tingling in your leg and foot

Usually, if it’s from overdoing it or a recent injury, it might go away on its own in a few weeks. But if it’s from something more serious, like a hidden issue, you might need special treatment for it to feel better in the long run.

Why is sciatica pain worse at night?

Most people will feel lower back pain at some point. The lower back is where the sciatic nerve starts, and it’s a common spot for pain because it has to hold up a lot of weight and deal with bending and moving. This can make it hard to get comfy at night when you’re feeling pain shooting down your leg. Also, sleeping in certain positions or on a super soft mattress can make it worse by squishing the nerve more.

Your sciatica pain might get worse at night for a few reasons. Sometimes, other conditions like cervical radiculopathy or flat back syndrome can make it worse when you’re trying to sleep. Also, moving around less during the night and changing positions can make the pain feel worse. For some people with sciatica, conditions like scoliosis, even mild scoliosis, or shoulder pain related to scoliosis, can make it harder to sleep comfortably.

Using things like scoliosis braces for adults might help with this. Plus, inflammation tends to kick up at night, which can make it even tougher to get a good night’s sleep when you have sciatica.

How to Fix Sciatica Nerve Pain at Night

Even though it’s tough to stop all sciatica pain at night, there are ways to make it less bothersome. People with sciatica really need a good night’s sleep to help their body heal. When you sleep, your body releases important hormones that help with healing and staying healthy. So, finding a comfy position and using pillows in the right way can really help ease sciatic nerve pain while you sleep. Let’s talk about how to do that.

Sleep Position and Pillow Placements

You might wonder if lying down is bad for sciatica because stretched nerves, especially if they’re inflamed, don’t like it, which can cause sharp, burning pains. But how you sleep can make a difference. If you sleep on your back, putting a pillow under your knees to bend your legs a bit can help stop the nerve from stretching too much. Side-sleepers can use a pillow between their knees for relief, and there are special pillows just for that.

Switching sides can also help, putting pressure on the opposite hip. Finding the right pillow setup might need some trying out. Taking a warm shower before bed can relax your muscles, making the nerve feel less trapped and painful, helping you relax and sleep better.

Get a Comfy Mattress

To get a good night’s sleep with sciatic nerve pain, having a comfy mattress is crucial. The best mattresses for sciatica give good support to your spine, ease pain, and don’t press too hard on your body. If you feel pain down one side of your body, like the left, sleeping on the other side might help take off some pressure. But if you feel pain on both sides, it’s even more important to pick a mattress that helps with lower back pain.

Treatment is the Key

It’s great when things like mattresses can help with sciatica pain, but for real, long-lasting relief, it’s crucial to figure out and treat the root cause of the pain. While a good mattress can support your lower back and ease some discomfort, it’s only dealing with the symptoms, not what’s causing them. It’s important to understand the difference between treating symptoms and tackling the actual problem. A smart approach to treatment means finding out why the sciatic nerve is hurting—whether it’s from natural wear and tear on your spine or another condition—and treating that.

Some centers create personalized treatment plans combining different therapies to target the problem from every angle. The aim is to ease pressure on the nerve and relieve pain so you can get back to living your life. While a mattress won’t fix the cause of sciatica, the right one can help you sleep better and feel more ready for treatment, creating a better environment for healing inside your body.

Treatment and good sleep are crucial to dealing with worsening sciatica pain at night and in the morning.

When we pinpoint what’s behind the pain, we can create a treatment plan that tackles it head-on, which can make a big difference in how we feel, especially at night. Sciatica can be caused by things like problems with the discs in our spine, which act as shock absorbers. When these discs wear down or bulge out, they can press on the sciatic nerve, causing pain.

Chiropractic adjustments and specific exercises can help realign the spine and strengthen the muscles around it, taking pressure off the nerve. This can help with nighttime pain and improve overall comfort. The piriformis muscle, which sits deep in our hips, can also cause trouble by pressing on the nerve, especially when we’re lying down. By focusing on treatments that address these issues, we can find relief and improve sleep for those dealing with sciatica.

So, if sciatic nerve pain is keeping you awake, it’s worth exploring treatments that target its cause for long-lasting relief.


  • Diane Silva

    Diane is a travel enthusiast, content creator, and master storyteller, capturing her adventures through captivating blogs and engaging vlogs. With a passion for the great outdoors and a love for literature, she brings a unique perspective to the travel world. Whether she's exploring hidden gems or discussing the latest trends, Diane is your go-to source for all things travel and beyond.