Hip Pain While Sleeping: Causes and Relief Tips

Lots of things can keep you up at night. But, hip pain shouldn’t be one. Sadly, more than one-third of U.S. adults say hip, knee or foot pain wakes them up. Let’s find out why this happens and learn how to stop nighttime hip discomfort. This way, you can sleep well without pain.

Key Takeaways

  • Over one-third of U.S. adults experience hip, knee, or foot pain at night that disrupts their sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendinopathy, and hip flexor strain are common causes of nighttime hip pain.
  • Changing your sleep position, using pillows for support, and applying hot/cold therapy can provide immediate relief for hip discomfort.
  • Long-term solutions may involve a new mattress, physical therapy, or even surgical interventions like hip replacement.
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene and incorporating low-impact exercises can help prevent and manage hip pain at night.

Nighttime-Only Hip Pain

If hip pain troubles you while in bed, it could be how you sleep or your mattress. Side sleeping can cause pressure on your hip joint, leading to hip pain at night. You might also feel discomfort on the other hip if it pushes forward too much.

Sleep Position and Mattress

The best fix is to try sleeping on your back. If it’s not easy, a pillow between your knees can help. This way, you keep your hips aligned and reduce pressure. Adding a topper to your mattress or getting a firmer one can also lessen mattress causing hip pain.

Pressure on the Hip Joint

Side sleeping could overburden your hip, causing pain. This stress can also affect the opposite hip if it’s forced forward.

Sleeping on Your Back

Lying on your back is a good way to lessen hip pressure. It keeps your hip alignment during sleep in a more balanced position. This may help with sleeping posture hip pain.

Pillow Placement for Alignment

A pillow between your knees or a smaller one under your back can do wonders. It helps ensure proper hip alignment during sleep. This reduces pressure and thus hip pain while sleeping.

Common Causes of Hip Pain

Many things can make your hips hurt. This pain might be there all the time. You could feel it more when you go to bed. Conditions like osteoarthritis, bursitis, and gluteal tendinopathy are common.


Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that many people get. It can make your groin, thigh, or glutes hurt. This problem happens when the cushion in your hip joint wears down. Then bones rub against each other, causing pain.

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Bursitis happens when the small sacs around your hip get swollen. These sacs, full of fluid, are there to help your hip move smoothly. But when they’re inflamed, they can make your hip hurt, especially at night.

Gluteal Tendinopathy

Gluteal tendinopathy affects the tendons between your glutes and hip bone. If you overuse these tendons, the outside of your hip might hurt. This pain can be stronger at night, especially when you sleep on that side.

Hip Flexor Strain

Hip flexor strain means you’ve injured the muscles that connect your femur to your lower back, hips, and groin. It can make the front of your hip or groin feel sore. This pain might get worse at night.

Hip Pain While Sleeping: Causes and Treatments

Hip pain can happen while you sleep. It might be due to how you position your body. It could also come from a health issue like osteoarthritis. The treatment you need will be based on what’s causing your pain.

Sleep Position and Mattress

Your sleep position and mattress can make your hip sore. Certain points get too much pressure, causing pain. Adding a mattress topper or changing to a better mattress might relieve this pain.


Bursitis is when the small sacs around your hips get swollen. This can make your hip hurt at night. Doing activities like running a lot, climbing stairs, or biking can bring on bursitis.

Hip Osteoarthritis and Other Types of Arthritis

Hip osteoarthritis and other arthritis types might make your hip pain worse at night. Osteoarthritis is a main reason for nighttime hip pain. It’s because the hip joint wears down over time.

Hip Tendonitis

Hip tendonitis, or an inflamed hip tendon, can cause a dull ache in your groin. This pain might get worse when you climb stairs or stand up.

Sciatic-Piriformis Syndrome

Sciatic-piriformis syndrome can lead to hip pain at night. This issue causes pain that starts in the lower back and spreads down the leg. Sleeping can be hard with symptoms like tingling, burning, or throbbing in the calf and foot.


During pregnancy, your hips and spine bear more weight. This can cause hip pain, especially in the third trimester. The pain is felt in the hip but comes from pressure on the spine.

Managing Hip Pain at Night

Are you having hip pain that keeps you up at night? There are many things you can do to feel better. First, try to sleep in a different way. You can use special pillows or put one between your knees. This might help your hips feel less stressed. Also, over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen, and heating pads or ice packs can help.

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Immediate Relief

Changing how you sleep and using pillows can quickly make your hip pain better. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees. It helps your hips stay in a good position. For back sleepers, a pillow under your thighs or behind your knees might work. Common medicines and hot or cold things to hold can also help.

Long-Term Relief

If you want your hip pain to stay away, you might need to treat the real problem. Consider things like getting a new mattress or trying physical therapy. In some situations, you might need steroid shots or even surgery. Your doctor can help you figure out what is best for you.

It’s important to tackle your hip pain so you can sleep without hurting. Look into both quick and lasting fixes. This will help you find the right solution for your needs. Then, you can get a good night’s sleep again.

Preventing Hip Pain at Night

To stop hip pain at night, try easy exercises every day. You could go swimming, do water exercise, or go walking. They’re easy on your hips and keep your body moving. Also, stretch your hips during the day and at night to help less pain and stiffness.

It’s key to have good sleep hygiene for helping with hip pain at night. Keep your sleep time the same every day. Have a calm bedtime and don’t use phones or computers right before bed. Good sleep helps your hip pain at night get better.

Preventing Hip Pain at Night
  • Low-impact exercises: Swimming, water exercise, walking
  • Stretching: Hip stretches throughout the day and before bed
  • Sleep hygiene: Consistent sleep schedule, relaxing bedtime routine, avoiding electronics before bed

When to See a Doctor

Is your hip pain keeping you awake at night? Or does it wake you from sleep? If so, seeing your doctor is important. They will check your hip, see how it moves, and maybe order tests like X-rays or blood work. This will help them figure out what’s really causing your pain.

You should also see a doctor right away if your pain is very bad, you can’t move your leg, or if you see signs of infection, like a fever or redness.

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Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Persistent nighttime hip pain that interferes with sleep
  • Inability to move or bear weight on the affected hip
  • Severe, sudden hip pain, especially after an injury
  • Visible deformity or swelling in the hip area
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, or redness

If you get help quickly, your doctor can find the real cause of your hip pain. Then, they can make a plan to treat it. This will help you sleep better without pain. Don’t wait to see a doctor if your hip pain makes it hard to sleep.


Not sleeping enough can make your hip pain while sleeping worse. So, working with your doctor is key to find a good treatment. Lifestyle changes like gentle exercise and using pillows can help a lot. They can make your hip pain less and help you sleep well without pain.

Finding the reasons for your hip pain is important. It could be bursitis, arthritis, or something else. By trying different treatments, you can feel better at night. This way, you can wake up feeling good. Remember to work with your doctor to get the help you need.

Taking steps to manage your hip pain early can impact your life a lot. With the right help, you can enjoy peaceful sleep. Say goodbye to hip pain keeping you awake at night. Stay active in finding solutions with your healthcare provider.


What can cause hip pain while sleeping?

Your sleep position or mattress quality can make your hip sore. Also, bursitis, osteoarthritis, and arthritis cause nighttime hip pain.

How can I relieve hip pain at night?

Try changing how you sleep or use special pillows. You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs or use ice or heat for pain relief.

What are some long-term solutions for nighttime hip pain?

If hip pain continues, changing your mattress or seeking help from a physical therapist might help. Steroid injections or surgery could be options too.

How can I prevent hip pain at night?

Doing exercises like swimming, water exercise, or walking can help. Make sure to stretch your hips and practice good sleep habits to avoid discomfort.

When should I see a doctor for hip pain at night?

If hip pain keeps you awake or gets worse, see a doctor. If the pain is severe or you can’t move your leg, or if you see signs of infection, go to the doctor right away.