How to reduce hip pain at night?

Last Updated on March 15, 2022

Have you ever woken with an aching hip? Well, you are not alone! Around 20% of people over 65 have reported that they experience chronic hip pain. Hip discomfort can prevent you from being active, but what’s more concerning is the fact that it can also wreak havoc on your sleep schedule and disrupt your much-needed rest.

When your hips are hurting during the night, you might find it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You will most likely end up tossing and turning all night in order to find a more comfortable position. For example, if you are experiencing more pain in your left hip or right hip, you might find it difficult to fall asleep on your side, which can be a pain if you are a side sleeper.

If your hip aches keep you awake at night, your first step to a better night’s rest should be consulting with a healthcare provider because they’ll be able to pinpoint the cause of your discomfort. In the meantime, we will try and explain how you can reduce hip pain at night.

How to reduce hip pain at night?

How to reduce hip pain at night?

Let’s get one thing straight, pain isn’t normal. And, more specifically, pain that interferes substantially with your sleep isn’t sustainable. That’s why we’ve carefully curated a list of things you can do to reduce hip pain at night. They are the following:

Change your sleeping position

Side sleepers put the most pressure on their shoulders and hips because the joints directly impact the mattress. Individuals who sleep on their side shouldn’t get too firm of an option as it can cause joint pain and throw the spine out of alignment, but too soft of a bed won’t work either, as it will let the body sink in too deep.

Stomach sleepers are most vulnerable around the pelvis and lower back. Generally, people carry more weight around their abdomen, which is why a soft mattress will most likely sink your body, contorting the lower back in a U-shape. Finally, we have back sleepers whose risk area is the lumbar spine. 

Overall, improper positioning can cause muscle aches and nerve compression. That’s why your body weight and sleeping position should always be considered. If you want to learn more on the matter, check our guide on ‘How does your sleeping position affect hip pain?’

Get a new mattress

If you’re suffering from hip pain that worsens at night, your first task will be to check your mattress. That’s because your choice can help to reduce pain or your mattress can be causing you hip discomfort.

We recommend starting by trying out another bed to see if it will relieve your aches. If it does, that means it’s time for you to purchase a new bed, as your old one probably isn’t offering the right comfort and support.

If you don’t know where to start when choosing a new option, check our guide on ‘Best mattresses for hip pain‘ to learn more on the matter and make an informed decision.

Improve sleep hygiene

Good sleep hygiene is crucial for getting a good night’s sleep. Hip pain at night can certainly affect your ability to sleep peacefully. However, it will be harder to do so if you’re already practising good sleeping habits. 

You can start by optimizing your sleep schedule and pre-bed routine to create a pleasant bedroom environment that allows you to relax and doze off. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, having a set sleep schedule is crucial for your brain and body to get accustomed. The way you get ready for bed determines how easily you will fall asleep, so if you are consistent, you are set for success.

Overall, we recommend you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages before bed, avoid using electronic devices at least two hours prior, keep your bedroom cool and block out outside noise.

How to relieve hip pain at night?

Exercise and stretch

Hip stretches are particularly important if you’re suffering from hip and lower back pain during the night. These could point to tight muscles being the culprit of your pain and discomfort.

If that’s the case, we highly recommend you talk to your doctor about the stretches and exercise activities you can try in order to relieve some of that pain before bed.

Please remember that with are not professionals, and these are only our recommendations, but we’ve come up with a short list of exercises you can try. The set list includes activities such as foam rolling, cross-training, massages. You can also try to do some hip stretches with yoga and pilates, as they will also strengthen your core, but again before you make any decisions, speak to your doctor. 

Rest

If your hip pain is caused by overuse injuries during the day, we highly recommend you take a few days off to rest the area and relieve some of the stress caused by it. 

If you’re still experiencing pain, more specifically sharp or severe pain, we strongly advise you to talk to a professional before resuming any activity. Rest is curial for everyone, and it should never be overlooked, especially by people with chronic pain or body aches.

Try over-the-counter medications

For acute cases of pain, you can try anti-inflammatory medications. However, this type of medication shouldn’t be used long term. Some sleep experts believe that taking a painkiller or perhaps a muscle relaxant might help people with hip pain get a better night’s rest.

With that said, if you don’t already have a prescription, we would advise you to speak to your doctor about medication that can help manage your pain. It would be best if you were cautious even with over-the-counter medicines before speaking to a professional.

Overall, having a night routine can be quite beneficial to the quality of your sleep. One of the things you should try to include is stretching before going to bed. This way, you will improve your flexibility and create a more comfortable environment.

Our next offer can be a bit of a challenge since changing your sleeping position isn’t that easy. But you can start by laying on your side or your back when you go to bed. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Another way to relieve pressure from your hips and spine is by elevating your legs. However, make sure that pillows or a folded blanket support your legs if you do that. Trying some physical therapy and massages may also help. Lastly, you can try to put a pillow between your knees since it might help hip and back alignment.

Why do my hips hurt at night?

This is a question that many people ask themselves. Hip pain can be aggravated at night as you lay in your bed in the same position for extended periods, especially if you are a stomach sleeper, as it will put more pressure on your joints. That can lead to stiffness and discomfort, which is why you might have that problem.

Another option is that your sleeping position might be exacerbating existing conditions such as osteoarthritis, sciatica and tendonitis.

With that said, your sleep position isn’t the only thing that can affect hip pain. You should also be mindful of your sleep hygiene and choice of bedding products, as an old mattress might not be giving you the support and comfort you need.

Bottom line

Let’s be honest, hip pain can be frustrating and exhausting, especially when that distress keeps you awake at night. Generally, there are multiple causes for hip pain, but usually, your healthcare provider will be able to help you pinpoint any potential conditions such as arthritis. 

The good news is that you can manage your pain and sleep easier when you combine an active lifestyle, improved sleep hygiene and your healthcare provider-approved medical regimen, as well as other coping strategies we’ve mentioned above.

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ‘How to reduce hip pain at night?’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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