Below is a quote from a former client who moved abroad. He was seeking advice on a painful hip. It’s used with his kind permission.
“It’s my left hip. I don’t know what happened, I thought it might be because I’ve been sleeping on the couch the last few nights as I’ve been getting in late.
I’ve started doing some heavy squats and lunges with my trainer recently but we’ve had to stop because of the hip. The pain starts around the front of the hip and then slowly spreads throughout the pelvis.”
This is a common train of thought. Sleeping is usually thought of as a probable suspect when the cause is not immediately obvious.
It’s unlikely to be factor however as during sleep our skeletal muscles are paralysed and contrary to popular belief, our central nervous system is highly active.
Heavy squats and lunges on the other hand will cause problems if the amount of force involved exceeds what the person is capable of tolerating. Too much weight and the body may respond by switching muscles off to protect them.
The effect of this is not always immediately obvious which can cause confusion. It can take a few days of moving around without the affected muscles working particularly well before it’s apparent that something isn’t right.
The answer is to take a step back. A lot of people are not strong enough to squat or lunge and insisting they do so because these exercises are considered ‘functional’ will not be beneficial.
It’s better to work on the constituent parts of the movement in a more isolated way and discover where the weaknesses are before integrating them into multi joint exercises.
Rest assured, how you sleep is probably not the issue.