How To Sleep With Broken Ribs: Everything to Know 

how to sleep with broken ribs
How To Sleep With Broken Ribs: Everything to Know 

Best Way to Sleep with Broken Ribs

Ribs are the most defensive gear in the chest, ranging from the spinal column to the sternum. Their main function is to safeguard delicate organs like the lungs and heart. If someone has several ribs broken, you might find it difficult to sleep in your usual position. Here is a guide to help you know everything about sleeping with Broken Ribs, which includes the safest positions to help you decrease the level of discomfort while sleeping with broken ribs. Ribs are an essential part of the human body. They can keep the lungs, heart, liver and other important organs protected. A broken rib can lead to a lot of discomforts. If you want to know more about how to sleep with broken ribs, follow this post till the end.


Sleeping can become a bit problematic if you have broken ribs. During the night, you might suffer pain that becomes unbearable. You can do a lot of activities for distracting yourself in the daytime. But, during the night, you might find the pain to increase. Your body will relax while laying down and it can release the hormones for healing the bones. However, it is not an entirely pain-free process. Broken ribs need a while to get healed, a minimum of 6 weeks. You must know the ways by which you can handle the pain because it will not go away so soon. There is also a surgery that can be done for improving the recovery and reduce pain as well. As per the records, this surgery is not practised much, but you can go for a rib fixation surgery for an improvement in your condition.

How to know if you have broken ribs?

One of the most commonly found symptoms of having a broken rib is suffering from pain in the chest while intake of breath. Deep inhaling can hurt you even more. Coughing, laughing and sneezing can also cause pain in the chest. Based on the location of the fracture, you might also suffer pain when you bend over or twist the upper part of your body. According to the firmness of your mattress, you may even feel hip pain. Pressing the area of fracture or striking it will lead to pain for many weeks. You might also come across redness and swelling over the affected area. In a few cases, you might find the skin getting bruised near the affected area.


Are broken ribs treatable?

The ways to treat broken ribs have changed over the years. Earlier, doctors used the torso wrapping method for treating a fracture as it will keep it tight and prevent the affected area from any kind of movement. This way of bandaging can cause restriction in your breathing and can also lead to breathing troubles on an occasional basis, like pneumonia. In the present times, broken ribs are mostly considered to get healed with time without the requirement of any supportive bandages or devices. It depends on the level of pain that you facing, whether your doctor will recommend something for getting relief from the pain or not. In the initial few days after you find your rib has broken, a form of anaesthesia can help in causing the nerves near the rib to become numb.


An ice pack can be also directly applied to the affected area to decrease the pain and swelling. You need to make sure to keep it wrapped in a very thin towel.

If you find it possible, try and sleep in a position that is more upright for the initial night’s post-injury.

Some serious rib fractures can make it difficult for you to breathe and such fractures might also need surgery. In such cases, this might need the involvement of using screws and plates for stabilizing the ribs when they are healing. While a serious fracture in the rib can be a concern to look into, there are many benefits of undergoing surgery with screws and plates which includes a short healing time and low levels of pain than letting the ribs heal by themselves.

Ways to sleep with broken ribs

You can sleep with broken ribs. You just need to look for the right strategy that can work for you. It is suggested for you try more than one strategy at once and if you still find they are not working, you can get them replaced. Check out what works ideally and what doesn’t. Broken ribs are indeed a serious concern and you must spend time to ensure that it doesn’t worsen over time. Here are a few ways to sleep with broken ribs:


  1. Elevate your back

The blood flow in your body can be improved if you keep your back elevated. It also helps in the reduction of swelling in your body. The simplest way of achieving the best result is by choosing a wedge pillow. These kinds of pillows can be mostly found in hospitals. They are the best kind of pillows used after surgery for post-surgery recovery. The best thing about these pillows is that they are very flexible. They can be used for lying on your back at an angle of 30° and can be also used vertically to give maximum comfort to your broken ribs. Sleeping when you sit up is an ordinary suggestion for all people who have broken ribs. You can also purchase a mattress topper for maximum comfort.


  1. Pillow Fortress

The main problem of sleeping with broken ribs is making any kind of movement during sleeping. It is a completely wrong statement that humans remain still in sleep. All human beings keep changing their position during they are sleeping. To build a fortress of pillows, you need to encircle your body with many pillows. It surely works because it surrounds your body will pillows on all sides, preventing your body from making any kind of movement when you are asleep.


  1. Use ice on the damaged area

Wrapping ice in a tight towel and applying the same direction on your ribs will help in reducing the pain as well as swelling. This must give you ample relief to forget and pain and sleep properly throughout the night.


  1. Breathe deeper

Your lungs don’t get enough support from broken ribs. That is where the chances of suffering from pneumonia can develop. In the worst scenario, there can be a collision in the lungs if you are not practising deep breathing. Deep breathing means breathing in at a slow pace till your lungs are loaded and then gentle exhalation. This should be done for 2-3 minutes followed by coughing 5-6 times gently.


Then, you need to start taking another deeper breath. Your doctor must keep you informed about this effective exercise and they should also inform the frequency at which you need to do it. Generally, it is most effective when done at least once every 2 hours but you can increase the frequency if you want to. It is advised for you to give support to your lungs in every possible way. Breathing is an important function; you must learn to breathe properly as it can improve your life.


  1. Intake of pain medication

The right pain medication should be prescribed by your doctor and you should take the medicine right before you go to the bed. It is recommended for you to take the medicine almost 30 mins before bedtime so that the medicine can get ample time to work till the time you are about to sleep.


The problem can be some people might show negative reactions to the medication. All medications are mot same in terms of their composition and accordingly, they might hurt the body of some people.


  1. Sleeping on the back with hands-on chest

This is also known as the Dracula sleeping position. It is the best position to sleep for people who are suffering from broken ribs. You can’t just sleep on any side as it leads to the development of pressure on your ribs. Sleeping with shoulder pain can also cause sleeping on side. The hands help your ribs remain in position. If you prefer sleeping sideways, you will require some kind of medicine to sleep in that position. Post 3 to 4 days, you should be getting habituated to sleeping in this way because it is the best way to sleep with broken ribs.


That’s all you need to know about sleeping with broken ribs. People who have broken ribs must choose the best position to sleep as sleeping in the right position can help them in recovering from the broken ribs. You should be very careful about sleeping with broken ribs because if you have broken ribs and you sleep in the wrong position, the situation might get worse over time and you will not be able to find any other way out for recovery. Follow the above-mentioned ways to sleep in the most accurate position if you have broken ribs. You should also choose the right mattress but choosing a proper position to sleep is the most important step to consider.


How long do fractured ribs ache until they stop hurting?
Broken ribs usually take many weeks to recover.
Why are fractured ribs more painful at night?
The fact that we can’t regulate our movement when sleeping is one of the key reasons why broken ribs might feel worse at night. As a result, applying pressure to the damaged ribs is simple. Furthermore, as we walk about and become busy with our everyday duties, it’s simpler to be diverted from the discomfort during the day. When we’re lying down, though, nothing can distract us from the discomfort, so it becomes more evident.
Is it safe to use a heating pad on broken ribs?
When it comes to cracked ribs, using an ice pack is recommended. The inflammatory process inside might be aided by using a heated pack.