How to sleep with hip pain

How to sleep with hip pain

If you have been dealing with hip pain, you may be finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But do not let joint discomfort and aches keep you from getting the rest you need. There are many ways that you can get a good night’s rest even if you have hip pain. 

In this article, we will explore the ways in which you can sleep with hip pain. First, let’s take a look at what causes hip pain then we will get to how to sleep with it.

What causes hip pain at night

There are many factors that can cause hip pain at night or when you sleep. Your sleeping position, the mattress, and the pillow you sleep on are all factors that can cause hip pain at night. 

Health conditions like bursitis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, lower back pain, and even pregnancy can cause you to have hip pain at night. Let’s proceed to discuss the common causes of hip pain.


Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that are located around your joints. They form a protective barrier at the points where tendons, skin, and muscular tissues touch bones. 

They give lubricant to the joint to help reduce friction during movement. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae in your joints. Bursae that are inflamed produce pain and discomfort in the affected area. 

They also restrict the range of motion for your joints. Symptoms of bursitis include sharp pain, pain on the outside of your hip and upper thigh, joint pain, joint swelling, etc.

Sleeping posture 

Sleeping posture is another common cause of hip pain at night. The way you sleep and the position in which you sleep can affect your body. 

For example, it is bad to sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach can be stressful for your neck. It can lead to sleep discomfort and poor sleep. 

For pregnant women, great care must be taken when it comes to their sleeping position. Sleep on your back or, if you are a side sleeper, sleep on the side that does not hurt and keep your hips aligned with a pillow between your knees.

Hip tendonitis

Tendons are strong threads that connect muscles to bones. Tendinitis is a condition that occurs when tendons become irritated or inflamed. 

It causes severe pain and sensitivity, making the movement of the afflicted joint difficult. Hip tendonitis is a condition in which the tendon located at the hip is inflamed. Symptoms of hip tendonitis include pain in the groin, pain in the buttocks area, pain around your hip

Sciatic-piriformis syndrome

Tingling and numbness that runs from the lower back to the buttocks, and occasionally down the leg and into the foot, is known as sciatic pain. When you have sciatic-piriformis syndrome, you could experience a burning sensation in your calf when sleeping. Alternatively, you could feel a throbbing ache in your foot that wakes you up or keeps you awake.


Another common cause of hip pain at night is pregnancy. Pregnancy puts additional strain on your spine and hips, particularly in the third trimester. 

During the day, wear supportive shoes and take stretch breaks if you’ve been sitting for long amounts of time. This can help you avoid diseases like sciatica, which can result in referred pain. 

At night, follow the recommendations for side sleeping that were previously made. You may also roll up a blanket and place it behind your back, allowing you to lean into it while still sleeping on your side. 

If you like, you can use a cushion instead of a blanket. This can aid with extra support when sleeping. A pregnant pillow could also be beneficial.

Hip osteoarthritis

The most frequent type of arthritis in the hip is osteoarthritis (Osteoarthritis is a common chronic joint condition. It is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, degenerative arthritis, and degenerative joint disease). 

Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include pain in the groin, buttocks, hip pain, pain when bending over, pain that prevents you from sleeping, etc. 

How to sleep with hip pain

There are a number of ways that can provide comfort and pain relief throughout the night for those who suffer from chronic hip pain, allowing them to sleep more peacefully and restfully. Let’s take a look at a few ways:

  1. Correct pillow placement
  2. Adjusting your sleeping position
  3. Stretch before sleep
  4. Regular exercise
  5. Healthy diet

Now, let’s discuss each of them and see how they can help you sleep with your hip pain.

Correct pillow placement 

Pillow placement can be a crucial strategy to relieve the discomfort by easing the weight on painful, delicate hips. A wedge-shaped pillow can be positioned beneath the lower back or below the knees for back sleepers in particular. 

This elevates the hips slightly and relieves the pressure on them. A pillow can be positioned under or between the knees for side sleepers. Here, the goal is to avoid pressing the sensitive hip into the mattress or putting too much pressure on it. 

If you don’t have a pillow the right size, a folded blanket or towel can suffice.

Adjusting your sleeping position

The hip is a very delicate pressure point. If you put too much weight on it, you can experience more stiffness or soreness. 

Side sleeping can be an excellent alternative for those who experience hip discomfort on only one side of their body; just make sure to sleep on the opposite side (thus, if your left hip hurts, place your weight on the right hip). 

Sleeping on your back is an even better alternative because neither of your hips will be overworked. To ensure good hip alignment, a knee pillow might be employed.

Stretch before sleeping 

Another way of sleeping with hip pain is to stretch before sleeping. Consider the following hip flexor stretch: 

  • Place your hands on your hips in a lunge position and drive your pelvis and body forward until you feel the muscles stretching down in your hips. 
  • The butterfly stretch is another beneficial stretch. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet ‘ soles touching. Bring your heels as close to your body as possible, and push your knees down with your elbows. 
  • These are just a few stretches that can help relieve some of the tightness and tension in your hips, allowing you to relax before going to bed.

Regular exercise 

Physical activity is encouraged on a daily basis, however, those with hip pain should choose their exercises carefully. 

High-impact activities, such as sprinting, leaping, or hiking on rocky or uneven terrain, place a lot of strain on your joints and can aggravate hip pain. Exercises that are low-impact and less rigorous may be preferable. Try yoga, a moderately-paced stroll, or swimming to stretch your muscles.

Healthy diet 

Another important factor in minimizing hip pain is nutrition. For starters, a healthy diet can aid weight loss, resulting in less pressure on your joints throughout the day. 

Joint-strengthening nutrients can be found in nuts, seeds, colorful fruits, root vegetables, and whole grains. Certain foods, such as fatty fish, almonds, grains, and even a little glass of milk, can also help your mind and body prepare for sleep.

The takeaway from this article

Sleeping with hip pain can be achieved. You just need to make some changes to what you sleep on, how you sleep, and some of your lifestyle choices. You can also see a doctor to find the best treatment for the cause of your hip pain.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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