hip flexor Tag

hip pain relief when sleeping

Some hip pain relief sleeping can make a big difference to your wellbeing.  Many people lie awake for hours each night, unable to sleep as a direct result of their pelvic or hip pain. Reduced sleep can have many negative impacts on your life. This may be directly on your hip pain, and your healing capacity, but also in all facets of your life and coping with the day to day of living.

How can you reduce your hip pain when sleeping

Woman sitting on window sill drinking coffee struggling to sleep due to hip pain

Here are a few strategies you could try to help give you some hip pain relief sleeping.  Medications may need to be addressed in addition so please make sure you discuss this with your doctor, general practitioner or specialist.

Hip Pain Relief Sleeping Strategy 1.

If you are a side sleeper, try sleeping with a pillow between your knees and ankles.

When you lie with your top leg resting down on your bottom leg, this can create more of an angle of the top thigh dropping across your body.  This may have an impact on pain coming from your hip joint, for example, in conditions such as FAI syndrome, hip dysplasia, and hip OA.

woman side sleeping with poor hip position that may aggravate h ip pain sleeping

This position may also have an impact on the soft tissue structures (muscles, tendons, and bursa) around the hip and pelvis, such as in conditions like gluteal tendinopathy, or greater trochanteric pain syndrome.

Nerve related conditions may also become aggravated, such as with hip-related sciatica.

Having the top and bottom legs slightly separated may help position the top leg in a way that takes stress and strain away from these soft tissues, reducing overall pain.

Try sleeping with a pillow between your knees and ankles. Experiment with different pillow thicknesses …..it is far easier to just deal with only one pillow in the night that is the correct size, rather than two pillows!!!

good sleeping position when you side sleep

Hip Pain Relief Sleeping Strategy 2

If you sleep on your back, try sleeping with a pillow under your knees.  This can relax tension through the lower back and buttock area as well as in the front of the hip.  This in turn can help reduce pain related to the front and back of the hip and pelvis, for example in conditions related to the hip joint, the labrum, soft tissue structures (such as the hip flexors) and nerve structures (referred from either the low back or from local nerves involved around the hip or pelvis)

good sleeping position to reduce pain when sleeping on your back

Hip Pain Relief Sleeping Strategy 3

Use a mattress topper – if you struggle to lie on your side because the hip you are lying on becomes sore from the pressure of lying on it, then something softer over the mattress may be of benefit.  In conditions such as gluteal tendinopathy or greater trochanteric pain syndrome, the ideal is to avoid side lying. If this is not possible, then a mattress topper may help reduce the pain from compression on the lower hip.  You could try to sleep on a thick soft duvet you have at home first to see if there is any benefit before heading out and spending money on a more expensive mattress topper.

matress toppers for hip pain relief sleeping

Other Hip Pain Relief Sleeping Strategies

Sleep Hygiene – this is another topic that we will explore in much more detail in the future.

Sleep hygiene considers many aspects around making sure you select the best internal and external environment to help facilitate better sleep.  As a brief overview, here are a few simple things you may include:

Consider what you eat and drink before you sleep

Don’t exercise immediately prior to sleep

Stay clear of screens for at least an hour before you sleep

Ensure a dark room

Block out noise – earplugs are so simple and so effective

Routine: keep a routine trying to go to sleep and wake up at similar times day to day.

Look at relaxation strategies prior to sleep.  This may be through learning to meditate and calm the mind. It may be through reading or listening to music.  There are endless possibilities here.

Meditation: many people through this idea out before even trying – “headspace” is a great, easy app with a free trial where you can give meditation a go in many different forms – there may actually be something here that works for you.

rested after a good nights sleep and pain relief at night

Visit our Pain Locator Map to learn more about soft tissue related pain in different regions around the hip and pelvis. 

top tips for hip pain relief sleeping - lady waking up happy

How a Hip Pain Professional Can Help:

A Hip Pain Professionalwill help assess you in more depth, look at different sleep strategies and assist you in finding ways that will help to reduce your night time pain.  Night time pain is often reflective of how well you are managing your condition. For example, if you have been pushing through painful activities or doing too much-too soon, this will often be reflected in an increase in night time pain. Your Hip Pain Professional can help give you specific, personalised advice about better managing your condition by controlling aggravating activities in everyday life and activity. Depending on your condition, a targeted exercise program or other treatmentsmay be helpful. If your sleep issues persist, despite better management of your hip or pelvic condition, other sleep strategies may be considered such as checking out your sleep hygiene (e.g. night time routine, sleep habits), and other health conditions that may be effecting your sleep (e.g. sleep apnoea, hormonal changes, mental health/stress). Changing night time routine, trying some meditation or mindfulness or in some cases medication can be helpful. Any underlying health conditions should be addressed.


Sleep disturbance should not be underestimated in its ability to impact on your health and quality of life. If the simple tips in this blog do not assist, seek help as soon as possible from your Hip Pain Professional or General Medical Practitioner.

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Check Out More You Can Read on Hip Pain Releif at HipPainHelp:

Causes, Effects & Exercises for Lordosis to Reduce Hip and Back Pain: learn about pelvic posture and how adjustments may help provide hip or pelvic pain relief

Hip Hanging is Easy – But May Not Be A Good Way to Stand For Hip Pain Relief: Hip hanging is easy, but for prolonged periods may be contributing to your hip or pelvis pain. Learn more and learn strategies on how to correct this.

Top Tips for Hip Pain Relief Sitting, when Socialising or Travelling: here we discuss strategies that may help reduce your hip and pelvis pain when sitting, for example with work, travel and play.

What is the Best Good Posture for Hip Pain Relief: Is there any one good posture that could best help with hip pain relief is not such an easy question to answer!

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Don’t miss our next blog……

Our next series of blogs will focus on hip dysplasia, a condition often detected at childbirth and well treated, but also often missed resulting in many younger people struggling with early-onset hip pain, and often earlier requirements of having hip surgery when misdiagnosed.  Check out our next blog to find out more!

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