How To Relieve Hip Pain While Sleeping
Sleeping is good for the body. It’s restful and rejuvenating. And if you have hip pain waking you up at night, you can be sure that it will ruin your slumber. In fact, it’s not unusual for people with painful hips to wake several times during the night as their discomfort grows worse. Fortunately there are many ways to relieve this type of nighttime hip pain – without drugs!
It’s important to note that in order to know whether your hip pain is caused by an injury or degeneration (such as arthritis), you’ll need to see your doctor. But if you suffer from chronic hip pain and want some short term relief, here are some tips on how to keep yourself comfortable while you’re sleeping.
Pain Relief Tips For Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position may cause your hip pain because of its effect on your posture. When lying on your side, your weight rests primarily on your hip muscles. This puts added strain on them when they are already working hard enough just holding your upper body upright. The opposite happens when you lie flat on your back. Here, the pressure on your hip is less than when you lay sideways. However, when you lie on your stomach this usually causes increased pressure on your lower back. If you feel like you should change positions but aren’t able to do so comfortably, consider trying other options first.
Sleep On A Pillow Wedged Under Your Hip
A pillow wedged underneath your hip provides support and comfort while you’re sleeping. There are different methods of doing this. Some use cushions specifically designed to fit your hip area; others use regular pillows with extra soft material placed over the top of your hips. Either way, this helps distribute the weight of your head and torso onto your legs while keeping your spine straight. You don’t want to lean too far forward either, since that could make your hip problem even worse.
Place One Or More Padded Pillows Between Your Knees
Another option is to place two or three small pillows behind your thighs. These create a barrier between your pelvis and your kneecaps. They also prevent your feet from sliding down toward the floor, which would aggravate any foot problems you might have. This method is ideal for people who experience knee pain while sleeping.
Use A Mattress With Firm Support
If you bought a new mattress recently, it probably doesn’t offer proper support. Try moving out of bed and using a firm mattress pad instead. If you’ve had your current mattress for years, you may still find that it isn’t supportive enough. That means you’ll need to buy a better mattress anyway, so why not start now? If you have trouble getting into your old mattress, try placing a large towel underneath it. Then slowly peel off the top layer of the towel until you reach the padding beneath it. This is the right amount of support you want.
Wrap Yourself In Fitted Blankets
Fitted blankets are made of softer materials than those loose blankets you wrap around yourself. They cover only the area where you actually lay, rather than fitting all the way to the floor. This allows you to put all your weight onto your leg muscles, relieving pressure on your hip joints. Another advantage is that fitted blankets won’t bunch up and become uncomfortable unless you roll onto them.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool At Night
You may think that having your bedroom too hot makes it easier to fall asleep. Actually, it has the opposite effect. Heat is produced naturally by our bodies, especially our brains. Keeping your room cool at night reduces the production of heat. This keeps you cooler throughout the night, and helps you relax more easily. Plus, if you tend to sweat while you sleep, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes to stay dry.
Avoid Alcohol Before Going To Bed
Alcohol relaxes your muscles and slows your breathing rate. Both factors help induce sleepiness. So drinking alcohol before going to bed can make it harder to drift off. Ideally, you shouldn’t drink anything after 6 p.m., so plan accordingly.
Don’t Eat Large Meals Late At Night
Eating late at night can lead to indigestion. Eating heavy foods such as pasta, rice and bread can push food further up into your esophagus. As a result, you may awaken choking on a mouth full of undigested food. Also avoid snacking. Snacks contain sugars that convert quickly into glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise suddenly. When you go to bed, wait at least four hours before eating anything containing carbohydrates.
So what about medications? Can they help? Yes and no. Anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help ease hip inflammation and pain. However, they also increase the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which can disturb deep sleep. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Orudis) are safer alternatives. Talk to your health care provider before taking medications to determine the best course of action for you.
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