T4 Physio

How to Sleep with Shoulder Pain? 5 Proven Tips

Navigating daily life with shoulder pain is challenging enough, but when it disrupts your sleep, it becomes an even bigger issue.

The pain can keep you awake, tossing and turning, unable to find a comfortable position.

This sleeplessness not only affects your physical health but can also take a toll on your mental well-being.

At T4 Physio, we understand your struggle and are here to provide you with proven strategies to help you sleep better despite your shoulder pain.

Understanding Shoulder Pain While Sleeping

Shoulder pain can stem from various conditions, including rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis.

When you lie down, especially on the affected side, the pressure can exacerbate the pain, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Additionally, certain sleeping positions may strain your shoulder muscles and tendons, leading to discomfort and restless nights.

Understanding these underlying issues is the first step towards finding relief and improving your sleep quality.

How to Sleep with Shoulder Pain? 5 Proven Tips

Choose the Right Sleeping Position

The position in which you sleep can significantly impact your shoulder pain.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Back Sleeping: Lying on your back is generally the best position for shoulder pain. It allows your shoulders to rest in a neutral position, minimising stress on the joints and muscles.
  • Side Sleeping with Support: If you prefer sleeping on your side, try to sleep on the non-painful side. Place a pillow between your knees to align your hips and reduce the strain on your shoulders. Use another pillow to support your arm and keep your shoulder in a comfortable position.
  • Avoid Stomach Sleeping: Sleeping on your stomach can cause your shoulders to rotate forward, increasing the pressure on the shoulder joints and aggravating pain.

Use Pillows Strategically

Pillows can be your best ally when dealing with shoulder pain at night.

Here’s how to use them effectively:

  • Support Your Neck and Shoulders: Use a supportive pillow that keeps your neck aligned with your spine. Avoid using too high or too flat pillows, as they can strain your neck and shoulders.
  • Body Pillow: A body pillow can provide additional support and help you maintain a comfortable sleeping position. Hugging a body pillow can relieve pressure on the shoulder and keep your upper body in a neutral position.
  • Pillow Under the Arm: If you’re a back sleeper, placing a pillow under the painful arm can help elevate it slightly, reducing the pressure on the shoulder joint.

Apply Heat or Cold Therapy Before Bed

Applying heat or cold therapy to your shoulder before bed can help reduce pain and inflammation, promoting better sleep.

Here’s how to decide which to use:

  • Heat Therapy: Use a heating pad or a warm towel on your shoulder for 15-20 minutes before bedtime. Heat helps relax the muscles, improve blood flow, and alleviate stiffness.
  • Cold Therapy: If your shoulder pain is due to inflammation, ice packs can be more effective. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Cold therapy helps reduce swelling and numbs the pain.

Incorporate Gentle Stretching and Exercises

Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate shoulder pain and improve your range of motion.

Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine, especially before bedtime:

  • Pendulum Stretch: Lean forward and let your affected arm hang down. Gently swing your arm in small circles for a few minutes. This helps relieve tension and promotes blood flow.
  • Cross-Body Stretch: Gently pull your arm across your chest with the opposite hand until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat a few times.
  • Wall Angels: Stand with your back against a wall, arms at your sides, and elbows bent at 90 degrees. Slowly raise your arms, keeping them against the wall, and then lower them back down. This helps improve shoulder mobility and strengthen the muscles.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

A relaxing bedtime routine can help you unwind and prepare your body for a restful sleep.

Consider incorporating these habits:

  • Relaxation Techniques: Practice deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Limit Screen Time: Avoid screens (phones, tablets, TV) at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your sleep cycle.
  • Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Use blackout curtains, earplugs, or white noise machines if necessary to create a conducive sleep environment.

Tackle Shoulder Pain with T4 Physio

At T4 Physio, we understand your concerns, your goals, and your search for reliable solutions.

We’re not just experts in relieving pain with custom orthotics; we’re your partners on the path to reclaiming an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Don’t let uncertainty dictate your journey.

Reach out to us today at 01204 958950 to speak with a dedicated professional committed to enhancing your quality of life through expert physiotherapy.

Let’s transform your challenge into our next success!

More Essential Content To Sleep With Shoulder Pain

Read Our Blog – 4 Expert Tips – How To Relieve Shoulder Pain

Get a copy of my popular book on Amazon – The Secrets To Ageing Well & Staying Active

Follow Us On Social Media – Facebook & Instagram

Scroll to Top