Updated April 27, 2021The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that chronic pain is something that over 100 million Americans are currently battling. Knee pain ranks number two amongst all forms of chronic pain that individuals struggle with on a daily basis.Understanding the causes of knee pain at night is crucial to determining which treatment approach is best.In this post, we’ll explore how knee pain can negatively impact sleep, and what some of the most common causes of knee pain are. Then, we’ll discuss some of the treatment solutions available to help you overcome knee pain at night.Knee Pain and Its Connection to SleepKnee pain at night can have a multitude of impacts on your sleep. For some, knee pain can lead to poor quality of sleep or not getting enough deep sleep. Others who suffer from knee pain find that they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for long periods.Over time, this lack of good quality sleep can have a negative impact on your health and other aspects of your daily life. Before that happens, you can identify the root cause of your knee pain at night and find a treatment solution that is right for you.Causes of Knee Pain at NightThere are a number of different culprits that could potentially be causing your knee pain at night. Here are just a few of the most common causes of knee pain at night, as well as their symptoms.ArthritisArthritis is a disorder that causes one of more joints to become inflamed. This inflammation can lead to swelling, pain, and even disability in severe cases. Medication, a surgical procedure or physical therapy may be needed to treat arthritis.Here are two common forms of arthritis that directly impact the knee joints.Knee Osteoarthritis: KWhile osteoarthritis can impact all joints in the body, knee-specific arthritis causes stiffness and pain in the knee joint, with little to no discoloration or swelling. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Impacts the entire body and joint system, can begin with certain joints like the knee and spread to other joints. Symptoms include redness, stiffness, pain, and swelling of the joints.Tired JointsKnee pain can also be caused by an increase in physical activity or a change to your daily exercise regimen. Inadequate rest for your knees/body from exercise or extreme physical activity can additionally lead to painful, overused, or tired knee joints.GoutGout can pop up out of seemingly nowhere and cause extreme pain in a variety of different joints, including knee joints. Symptoms of gout include swollen, hot, and bright red colored joints. For an actual gout diagnosis, you’ll need an X-ray and uric acid level test.Trauma or InjuryKnee pain is oftentimes a result of trauma or injury. In some cases, you may not even be aware that you’ve sustained an injury to your knee joint until you notice knee pain while sleeping or performing daily activities. A muscle strain or ligament sprain or tear can occur during everyday living and/or exercise.Sleeping in an Unhealthy PositionKnee pain at night may be a sign that you need to change something about your sleep environment. For some who suffer from knee pain, this may mean it’s time to upgrade to a new and better mattress. For others, changing sleep positions is necessary to help reduce or get rid of knee pain at night.Sleeping on a Bad MattressSleeping on a bad, uncomfortable, or low-quality mattress can be a contributor to your knee pain at night. If it’s time to replace your mattress, don’t push it off too long. If you find that your mattress is uncomfortable or hard on your joints, look into purchasing one that will be gentler on your body.Solutions to Knee Pain at NightOnce you have determined the root cause of your knee pain at night, you will be better equipped to determine which treatment solution is right for you. Because everyone is different, you may find that you need to use one or a combination of these treatment solutions. Here are some helpful solutions to help you sleep better and stop knee pain at night.Try Hot and Cold TherapyUsing a heating pad before bed can help to relax and soothe your sore and stiff joints. In addition, a heating pad is also a great way to help calm your body and mind down. This should help you to fall asleep easier and faster. If you use a heating pad, make sure to have layers between your skin and the heating pad and turn it off prior to falling asleep.Do Gentle Stretches Before BedStretching, during the day, in the morning, and before bed are all good ways to help eliminate your knee pain at night. Stretching your muscles surrounding your knee joints will help to loosen them. This is also a helpful way to avoid leg cramps during the night. Wear a Supportive Knee BraceIf you’re someone who suffers from chronic and regular knee pain, you may want to invest in a knee sleeve or brace. These items can be worn during the day when you’re up and moving or engaging in exercise. You can try wearing a knee sleeve or brace at night to ease your knee pain.Dr. Jennifer Miller, an outpatient physical therapist, says, “You want to make sure not to wear the brace excessively, as it’s best to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joints. Make sure to consult your doctor or physical therapist prior to purchasing a brace. Your physical therapist (PT) will perform an examination that will include, assessing knee joint range of motion, strength, and flexibility. The PT will also examine the joints below and above your knee to get a good picture of your overall joint mobility.”Upgrade to an Adjustable Bed FrameAn adjustable bed frame can help soothe and relieve knee pain at night. Our Adjustable Bed+ frame may be just the solution that you’re looking for. This bed frame adjusts to the perfect position to provide you with a pain-free night’s sleep.Buy a Better MattressA new, high-quality mattress may be just what you need to get a good night’s sleep and rid yourself of knee pain at night. When shopping for a mattress, look for a brand that is trusted and highly reviewed by sleep experts. A medium to firm mattress is typically best for joint support and health.Use a Pillow Fit for Your Sleep StyleSleeping with a pillow in between or under your knees is another way to combat knee pain at night. Buying a specialty pillow designed for joint and knee support is recommended. This type of pillow is designed to conform to your body and joints, while provided needed support. Try multiple brands or pillow types until you find the one that best meets your joint support needs.FAQsHow can you sleep to avoid knee pain?Changing the position that you sleep in is a simple way to help reduce and eliminate knee pain at night. Sleeping in an unhealthy sleeping position can irritate pre-existing joint issues. Try a few of these positions and see which is most comfortable for you.On your sideWith a pillow between your kneesWith a pillow under your kneesHow do I know if my knee pain is serious?Serious knee pain is not something to ignore or put off addressing. Untreated or undiagnosed knee pain can lead to serious joint issues. Ask yourself these questions to determine how serious your knee pain is:Is it new, or has it been ongoing for a while?Do over the counter pain meds help?Is it impacting your quality of life?Does it wake you up at night? Is it difficult to perform everyday tasks?If your pain is ongoing and having a negative impact on your quality of life, consult your doctor.What dietary measures can I take to prevent or avoid knee pain?Making slight changes to your diet is another way to treat your knee pain at night. As a bonus, these dietary changes will help improve your nutrition and overall health. Consider adding these foods and vitamins to your diet to prevent and avoid knee pain.Vitamins A, K, and CWaterFish and fish oilOlive oilLow-fat dairy productsWhat does knee arthritis feel like?Arthritis involves painful and at times debilitating inflammation of the joints. Arthritis pain is typically worse when first waking up in the morning but decreases after about 30 minutes. This pain can also worsen if you’ve been sedentary for a long period of time and attempt to move. However, low-impact cardio exercise such as walking and swimming can help to decrease joint pain. Arthritis can also flare up during bouts of exercise or everyday life activities, and at the end of the day. Here are some examples of what arthritis feels like:Sharp painStiffness in the jointImpaired mobilityDecreased range of motionNoisy/creaky jointsIncreased pain with movement, decreased pain when sedentaryWhy is knee pain worse when lying down?It may seem confusing why your knee pain feels worse when you’re lying down versus when you’re standing or on the go. The reason behind the phenomenon has to do with the inflammation that can build up in your knee over the course of the day.Here are some other reasons why knee pain feels worse when lying down:Stress of the day catches up with your bodyYour spine is out of alignmentWhen lying on your side, you’re placing added pressure on the knee jointConclusionKnee pain can have a detrimental impact on your quality of sleep, leaving you feeling worn down and fatigued. Determining the root cause of your knee pain at night will allow you to take steps to treat and prevent it. Use these treatment options to improve your sleep and get rid of knee pain at night.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.