What's the best way to sleep following my total hip replacement surgery? There are better sleeping positions for your new hip and ones that should be avoided. Here are some helpful tips:

What to do:

  • Sleep on a firm bed or mattress.
  • Use a pillow(s) between your knees to avoid crossing your surgical leg across the middle of your body.
  • Change positions as you become uncomfortable.

What NOT to do:

  • DO NOT sleep on your stomach.
  • DO NOT sleep with pillows under your knees.

Good sleeping positions after hip replacement surgery

Recovering from a total hip replacement surgery can be painful and take time. One of the best ways to manage your pain is to sleep in a position that reduces it. Review the images below and adjust your sleep position accordingly:

good sleep on back

good sleep on side

Bad sleeping positions after hip replacement surgery

Difficulty sleeping is a very common complaint after total hip replacement surgery. That difficulty is usually caused by pain. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding how to manage your pain, and avoid sleeping in the following positions:

bad sleep on back

bad sleep on side

bad sleep on stomach

bad pillow placement for back sleepers

When you start to feel better, and decrease your use of pain medications, that’s typically when your sleep will be disrupted by pain. Talk to your healthcare provider about medications you can take at night. You should be in good shape as long as you take your medications and sleep in a proper position. Sleep is extremely important for your recovery from total hip replacement surgery.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/22/2020.


  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Getting a Good Night’s Sleep After Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery. (https://hipknee.aahks.org/getting-a-good-nights-sleep-after-hip-or-knee-replacement-surgery/) Accessed 12/7/2020.
  • Montin L, Suominen T, Leino-Kilpi. The experiences of patients undergoing total hip replacement. Journal of Orthopedic Nursing. 2002;6:23-29. Accessed 12/7/2020.
  • Krenk L, Jennum P, Kehlet H. Sleep disturbances after fast-track hip and knee arthroplasty. British Journal of Anesthesia. 2012;109:769-755.
  • Wylde V, Rooker J, Blom HA. Acute postoperative pain at rest after hip and knee arthoplasty: Severity, sensory qualities and impact on sleep. Orthopedics and Traumatology: Surgery & Research. 97;2011:139-144.

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