Experiencing hip pain during the night can leave you lying there awake and make it almost impossible to fall asleep.
You could be experiencing this pain due to your sleeping position, like sleeping on your side.
However, lying on your side at night may not be the only reason for the hip pain you're experiencing. It could be due to something else.
Below, you'll learn some reasons for hip pain at night, the best position to sleep in and ways to relieve your pain.
Common causes of hip pain at night
There are numerous reasons why you may be experiencing hip pain while you're sleeping.
1. Sleep position
As mentioned, your sleep position could play a significant role, particularly if you're experiencing hip pain when sleeping on your side.
You can try to sleep on your back. Or if you prefer sleeping on your side, choose the side that's not causing you pain and keep your hips aligned by placing a pillow between your knees.
Hip pain at night could be due to a number of different conditions that affect the hip joint, surrounding tissue, or connected muscles.
A few of these conditions are:
Bursitis: You have small fluid-filled sacs called bursae, that act as cushions and help to decrease hip joint friction. Bursitis occurs when your bursae becomes inflamed.
Bursae inflammation leads to hip pain that spreads down the side of your thigh, causing intense, sharp pain that might become worse at night.
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome: You have gluteal muscles, which are the muscles around your buttock. Poor strength in your gluteal muscles could lead to the front of your hip overcompensating to support and stabilize the rest of your joint.
This leads to the tendons connecting your gluteal muscles to your pelvis and hip becoming "squeezed", which leads to pain in your hip. This is referred to as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS).
Osteoarthritis: Hip joint osteoarthritis is another common reason for you to experience hip pain at night. It's due to age-related "wear and tear" of a tissue called cartilage that surrounds the ends of your bones.
Pregnancy adds additional pressure on your hips and spine, particularly during the third trimester.
During the night, you could try to roll a blanket up and place it behind your back, which will help you lean into the blanket while you sleep on your side. Hip pain at night lying on your side will be reduced or eliminated by doing this.
Instead of a blanket, you can use a pillow if you prefer, which can provide you with that extra support.
Other causes of hip pain at night lying on side
There are common causes of hip pain when sleeping on your side. Besides having a medical condition, one of the most common culprits is that you probably have the wrong mattress.
Indeed, if you're waking up regularly at night experiencing hip pain, your mattress could be to blame.
A mattress that's too hard or too soft could be triggering your pressure points, leading to a sore hip.
Density, firmness, and body mass index (BMI) play a role in having a suitable mattress.
Mattresses have different types of density foam, which are:
Low density foam: These offer less longevity because of quicker softening and premature sagging and less support.
Medium density foam: These provide better support and longevity, but you may pay more. You are, however, getting a better-quality product.
High density foam: These offer amazing pressure point support and greater longevity. Again, you may pay more for these, but they provide higher quality.
The firmness of a mattress is its "feel" when you lie down on it.
When it comes to measuring a mattress's firmness, there's really no set standard. It's all up to what you prefer.
With a Polysleep mattress, there's a sliding 1 to 10 firmness index scale (with 1 being very soft and 10 very firm).
Lower than 20 BMI: Low-density foam mattresses may be more ideal because they're subjected to less body weight-related stress.
Between 20 and 30 BMI: You'll want to choose a medium to high-density foam mattress.
Higher than 30 BMI: Go with a high-density foam mattress for long-lasting support and comfort.
How to relieve hip pain at night when lying on your side?
Some ways of relieving your pain at night are:
1. Put a pillow between your legs
If you sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your ankles and knees.
When lying with your top leg over your bottom leg, it creates more of an angle for your top thigh placed across your body. This might have an effect on your hip joint pain, caused by conditions such as hip dysplasia, FAI syndrome, and hip OA, for instance.
Experiment with various pillow thicknesses or a customizable one, since it's easier to deal with a proper sized single pillow during the night than it is with stacked ones.
2. Choose the right mattress
You might want to consider purchasing a new mattress that can distribute your weight more evenly and reduce pressure on your hips and improve support. Here are some choices:
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are mattresses that don't have any springs; they're constructed with foam only.
These are also referred to as innerspring mattresses and use hundreds of metal springs for providing an underlying support layer.
Hybrid Foam Mattresses
Hybrid foam mattresses are made up of several layers:
An initial latex layer
A memory foam layer
A high resilience foam third layer
This is where the "hybrid" comes in since the bed combines different types of latex and foams.
A hybrid foam Polysleep mattress is different however, because it doesn't contain latex. This is ideal for people who struggle with allergies which could interrupt your sleep.
3. Use a mattress topper
Try a mattress topper like Polysleep's antimicrobial memory foam mattress topper. This 2-inch ventilated antimicrobial topper helps upgrade any mattress.
It conforms to your body precisely which ensures adequate spine alignment while you're sleeping.
The foam in this antimicrobial foam topper is also extremely breathable and allows hot air to escape, providing you with a comfortable, cool and deep sleep.
4. Other hip pain reliefs
Some other hip pain reliefs are:
Sleep hygiene that factors in the best external and internal sleep environment.
Don't exercise right before it's time to go to bed.
Be careful of what you eat and drink prior to bed.
Make sure the room is dark.
Leave the screens out of the bedroom an hour before it's time to sleep.
Use earplugs or something else to block out noise.
5. Consult a professional
Hip pain professionals will help evaluate you in more depth, looking at various sleeping strategies and helping you in identifying ways of reducing your nighttime hip pain.
Best sleeping position for hip pain
The best sleep position isn't just about your comfort, it's also about your health.
When you sleep in a bad posture, it could lead to things like:
Finding the best sleep position for hip pain can help you avoid these issues and make for a pleasant night of sleep.
Sleep on your back. It reduces the body’s pressure points and helps to relieve muscular tensions.
Side sleeping is a common sleep position. It does ease muscle relaxation and helps with overall rest, but as you read above, for some, hip pain at night lying on the side could occur.
If you must sleep on your side, sleep on the unaffected side and try drawing your knees up while placing a pillow between your legs to help align your hips and keep your knees from touching.
Hip pain when sleeping on the side doesn't have to be a problem for you.
If you follow some of the tips above, you should experience some relief.
You could try changing your mattress for a higher quality one, such as Polysleep's high-end memory foam mattress: the Zephyr. This seems to help many people.
For others, it's as simple as placing a pillow between their legs or sleeping on their back.
Experiment with different sleep positions to see what works best for you.
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