How many hours of sleep do you get per night?
A research article from 2015 recommends at least 7 hours per night to promote optimal health. A lack of sleep shows to increase pain sensitivity in healthy individuals, and another study showed that good sleep quality can help with pain modulation.
But when dealing with sciatica pain, sleep can be extremely affected. It is either due to not being able to find a comfortable position to lay in; or waking up after a few hours due to pain. If you combine the pain that we experience plus the normal stresses from day to day living, it’s a perfect storm of poor sleep conditions.
Which brings to question, how can we get enough sleep when dealing with pain like sciatica? There are many actionable steps that you can take which include: decreasing screen time before bed, avoiding caffeine after 2pm, and reading a book. The list is endless. The key is actually taking action on these items.
One overlooked area is addressing our sleep surface. The mattress itself. Did you know that the average life cycle of mattress is 7 to 10 years? This is not a message to tell you to get a new mattress (as that is the exact opposite of free). However it is recommended that a mattress be rotated one to two times per year. This means that the head portion of your mattress should be turn towards your feet and vice versa every couple months.
I am guilty of this myself. Whenever I start to wake up with aches and pains, this is a reminder for me to look at the last time I rotated my mattress. So I do it, and then the following night I am feeling great. Obviously this would not work if you had something like a sleep number bed because the cushion itself can be changed by your controls.
When was the last time you rotated your mattress? If you haven’t done in a while, perhaps this free action can help you get a better nights sleep.