How to Sleep with Broken Ribs


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Rip pain is more challenging than pain in other parts of the body. When you sleep you put pressure on the rip which causes pain. But today we will discuss some tips you can use to sleep comfortably while you have Rib Pain. We will tell you how to sleep with broken ribs.

Why Do My Ribs Hurt When I Wake up?

You are not alone whose rib hurts when you wake up morning. Many people in the world also experience this problem in the morning. There can be many reasons depending on the situation why your ribs hurt when you wake up. Some of the common reasons are given below:

Rib Injury:

If you feel pain all the time day and night then it might be an Injury in your rib. But sometimes you feel more pain in the morning the reason is that you put pressure all night on the rub and feel pain in the morning. There should be many reasons for your rib injury, you might fall while playing, or in a car accident. You may need to go to the doctor if you feel pain all time.

Muscle Injury:

Starin the muscle between the ribs. Might be intercostal muscles resulting in the pain. It might be due to playing any sport or lifting heavy weights.


This is still not well understood but it can cause pain throughout the body. You might feel pain in the morning. You can treat it by walking in the morning as you walk more the pain will be gone.


This is due to cartilage and feels pain between the ribs and sternum in the chest. You feel like a heart attack but it’s fine you can treat it with rest and medication.

Tips to Sleep with Broken Ribs:

Here are some tips you can follow to sleep when having pain in your rib.

Method 1: Make yourself Comfortable

Most comfortable position to sleep: When you have pain in your rib you may find the back side more comfortable to sleep. You can choose any other sleeping position which makes you more comfortable. Everyone has a different sleeping position and yours might be different from other, so choose whatever your comfortable position is. Make sure to choose those positions that will also help you breathe easier.

You can try to sleep on the injured side. This will help you breathe from the uninjured side. But if you feel pain on the injured side then skip this step and don’t try to sleep on the injured side.

Some people feel comfortable sleeping in a recliner instead of sleeping in a bed.

Use Pillows

Pillows might be proved more comfortable when you have rib pain. If your trying to sleep on your back then put pillows into each of your arms to feel be comfortable. You can also try to reduce the strain on your back by putting a couple of pillows under your knees.

Practice deep breathing

Broken ribs may make it difficult to breathe when you sleep and during the day. You can Practice deep breathing throughout the day and right before bed as well. Taking a deep breath makes you relax and make sure that you’re getting plenty of oxygen.

Limit your movement while you sleep

You will need to limit coughing, twisting, turning, and stretching. This might be harder to control at night but try to keep in mind that your ribs are infected and connected with other body parts.
● Keep an extra pillow in your hand and brace it when you need to cough during the night.
● Do not wrap your rib it will increase the risk of collapsed lungs and lung infections.

Method 2: Reducing Pain While You Sleep

Take pain medications as directed by your physician.

If your doctor has recommended you pain reduce medicine take them while you’re sleeping. Make sure to take medicine 30 before you sleep. Always follow the instruction of your doctor and if have any questions or confusion contact your doctor.

Some pain relief medications make it harder to sleep because they can cause sleep apnea.

Try over-the-counter pain relievers

To reduce the pain in the rib you can use over-the-counter pain like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. In case you do not have any prescription pain medicine then you can take over-the-counter pain medicine. Contact your doctor and he will recommend medicine according to your need. Do not try to take any medicine without checking it with the doctor and always follow the doctor’s instructions.

Apply ice to your ribs

Ice is the best thing that can reduce your pain and sell for a short time. During the first couple of days use covered ice for 10 to 20 min 3 times per day. This will make you comfortable for shoer period.

Apply ice before you go to bed at night so this will make you more comfortable during sleep.

Do not put heat on a broken or injured rib it will increase blood flow and cause swelling.

Method 3: Facilitating Healing

1. Rest is important when your rib is broken. Try to sleep as much as possible. So make sure you get a lot of rest. It’s recommended to sleep 8 hours every night and take nap when you feel tired during the day.
2. Do not sleep all day and night in your bedroom. During the day walk outside to take fresh oxygen and clear mucus from your lungs as well.
3. Try to walk around your home for at least after 2 hours for a few minutes.
4. Caugh is indeed painful when you have rib injury but do not cough cause to lead lung infection. So laugh when you need.
5. Eat healthy foods that will help you heal soon and reduce the pain in your rib also. Try some fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas. vegetables, like broccoli, peppers, spinach, and carrots. Milk, yogurt, and cheese also help you heal.
6. If you are a smoker you need to stop here. Smoking makes it difficult to breathe when you have rib pain.


So, in this article, we have discussed How to sleep with broken ribs. We have discussed many points and methods that you can follow to sleep comfortably when your rib is broken. You can use pillows under your arms and knees at night. Try to change positions if you’re not feeling comfortable in one position. Many people feel comfortable in the backside position when they have pain in the rib. If you feel pain all the time day and night then you might need to contact doctors.

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By Muhammad Asim