5 tips your doctor never told you about ways to sleep with hip pain

If you’re looking for ways to sleep with hip pain, chances are that you aren’t getting past 3am without getting woken up!

Hip pain is one of the most common complaints we hear, and it almost always disrupts a good night’s sleep.

There are plenty of suggested ways to sleep with hip pain, but we’ve got effective proven methods and tweaks that can make the difference.

So here are our top 5 tips on ways to sleep with hip pain

Move the pillow between your knees!

We’ve all heard of placing a pillow between your knees – it’s one of the most common tips on ways to sleep with hip pain.

But placing it between your thighs actually makes it more effective!

Separating the knees relieves pressure on the gluteal tendon on the outside of the hip.

Moving that pillow up to your thighs/above your knees and allowing your foot to rest on the bed behind the other leg gently rotates the hip outwards, also relieving pressure on the front of the hip joint.

This is particularly effective for hip arthritis, impingement and tendon/bursa issues.

Movement is the key (even at 3am)

If you wake up with hip pain in the early hours of the morning, your hip needs some movement!

Inflammatory conditions typically wake you up around 3-4am, with a deep aching pain that only briefly relieves with a change of position.

So you start tossing and turning to find the right position or ways to sleep with hip pain.

What the hip actually needs is some sustained movement!!

Rather than tossing and turning for the rest of the night, get up and go to the bathroom or grab a drink.

The brief time you spend walking is enough to loosen the hip and ease the soreness, allowing you to get some decent sleep before your alarm goes off.

Building strength is playing the long game

Stretches are temporary but strength is the key to success.

Stretches can make the hip feel better but the effects are short-lived, providing a few hours of relief from symptoms without addressing the cause.

Strength training is the key to (almost) every hip condition, supporting the hip and its movement to improve the cause of the symptoms.

It’s the most researched and proven ways to sleep with hip pain!

A simple 5 minute strength routine of squatting over a chair, sitting against a wall and one-legged toe touches can be enough to improve hip symptoms in less than a week.

Note that it won’t fix clicky hips…but chances are you don’t need to worry about clicking.

Avoid the quick fixes (as they’re secretly making it worse)

Be wary of sleep medication or alcohol to help you sleep.

While sleep meds (or alcohol) can keep you asleep for the night, they also mean that you’ll generally lay very still all night.

This worsens any morning stiffness as it dampens the body’s natural instincts to change position and move around during sleep.

On top of that, alcohol increases inflammatory response so it’ll actually worsen the condition.

If the hip is keeping you up at night, discuss anti-inflammatory meds with your doctor for a better overall outcome than sleeping medication.

(Important note: Never change your medication plan based on internet advice – always discuss any changes with your doctor)

Soft vs hard mattresses

Try switching to a firmer bed for a better sleep position.

If you have the option of a firmer mattress in a spare bedroom, try that out for a few nights.

Although softer mattresses feel comfortable initially, they tend to cause more pressure on the hip as you relax and sink into the mattress, stretching the hip tendons.

Try a full night on a firmer mattress to compare it to your regular mattress and see which works out best.

Also try to avoid sleeping on a couch or sofa as they don’t provide sufficient support around the hip and pelvis.