Not being able to fall asleep or sleep comfortably through the night are significant challenges many patients deal with as a result of a herniated disc. If you have trouble sleeping because of pain or discomfort from your herniated disc, you should discuss the problem with your doctor. You should also be aware of the following four factors involved with sleeping with a herniated disc:
Sleeping in certain positions can make sleeping with a herniated disc more comfortable.
The first thing to look at to resolve sleeping difficulties is the position you're sleeping in. You want to sleep in positions that will provide the most support possible to your back. Generally, people are accustomed to sleeping on their stomach, back, or side. If you sleep on your back, you can get more back support by putting a pillow underneath your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, you can position a pillow under your hips. If you sleep on your side, you can give your back greater support and alignment by sleeping with a pillow between your legs.
The firmness of the mattress that a patient sleeps on can influence the comfort of sleeping with a herniated disc.
Many patients suffering from herniated discs are very sensitive to the firmness of their mattress. A mattress that is excessively soft may not offer adequate support. At the same time, a mattress that is very firm may prevent the spine from relaxing and resting during the night. One option is to choose a memory foam topper mattress to go over a mattress. This will provide a middle ground between too firm and too soft. It will also mold to your body over time for greater support.
A reclining chair can make herniated disc patients more comfortable in some situations.
Some patients sleep better with a herniated disc if they use a reclining chair. A reclining chair is especially ideal for taking pressure off the lower back. Recliners offer support because they cushion the spinal region and remove the stress of weight from the back. This not only provides support but it can also eliminate stiffness and tension. If your pain is centralized on your lower back, you might want to consider investing in a recliner or bed that offers mattress adjustment capabilities.
Pain medication and sleep aids can be prescribed for patients who have continued problems with sleeping.
If you've tried all of the tips mentioned above and are still having trouble sleeping, let your doctor know. Getting adequate rest every night is important for overcoming your condition.
Your doctor may prescribe you painkillers or sleep aids to make it so that sleep comes easier for you. Contact a professional like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates for more information.