How to Avoid Shoulder Pain From Sleeping on Side

Waking up refreshed after a good night’s sleep is one of the most invigorating feelings, you can do anything, you’re energized and looking forward to what the day has in store. Unfortunately, many suffer shoulder pain from sleeping and that joy sparked from a good night’s sleep is rarely felt.

If you’re a side sleeper who experiences shoulder blade pain, then this article is for you. Let’s talk about the causes of your shoulder pain and what you can do tonight to feel better. Everyone can sleep soundly, especially those suffering shoulder pain at night.    

What is Causing Your Shoulder Pain?

Some of the most common reasons for shoulder pain at night are;

  • Rotator cuff injury: a strain or tear in the tendons, muscles, and shoulder joints of the rotator cuff. 

Symptoms

  1. Deep pain in the shoulder that can feel like a dull ache
  2. Pain is more severe when using the affected arm
  3. Loss or diminished motion in the affected arm
  4. Sleeping on the affected shoulder is impossible  
  • Shoulder bursitis: inflammation of the fluid filled sac, bursa, that protects the rotator cuff tendons. 

Symptoms:

  1. Pain around the outside tip of the shoulder 
  2. Pain to the touch
  3. Limited range of motion
  4. Swelling and redness around the area
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome: shoulder bones impinge on the bursa or tendons causing pain and mobility issues

Symptoms:

  1. Constant pain in the arm
  2. Pain radiates from the front of the shoulder to side of the arm 
  3. More painful at night 
  4. Weakness in the affected arm 
  • Frozen shoulder: the upper arm, shoulder blade, and collarbone made up your shoulder capsule that is surrounded by soft tissue. In frozen shoulder, the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints diminishes, scar tissue develops and motion becomes limited

            Symptoms:

  1. Painful when moving 
  2. More painful at night
  3. Range of motion is limited  
  4. Pain and stiffness gets worse and can take years to recover    

Why do my Shoulders Hurt When I Sleep?

Shoulder blade pain can be most painful at night while lying still. During the day, you’re distracted by running errands, taking care of family, and working. You don’t have time to think about shoulder pain, perhaps now and then when you attempt to lift something heavy, you’ll feel a twinge of pain. At night there’s nothing to distract you. 

Side sleepers enjoy the most favorable sleep position for digestion problems, it eases snoring and acid reflux while aligning the spine. If you’re a side sleeper who is experiencing shoulder pain from sleeping, you’re probably tempted to blame your sleep position.  

However, it’s often the mattress that’s to blame for side sleeper shoulder pain. If your mattress doesn’t offer adequate pressure relief, the delicate shoulder areas are put under strain. Shoulder pain at night could be the result of the mattress being too soft. If your mattress is too firm it pushes against your shoulders, aggravating the symptoms further. 

Those who sleep on a memory foam mattress tend to complain about muscle stiffness in the morning. Memory foam usually offers little to no pressure relief. You may think a soft memory foam mattress is ideal for side sleeper shoulder pain but it could make it worse. 

The shoulders sink into the memory foam, compressing the shoulders to create more discomfort. Shoulder pain from sleeping will dampen your day, can affect your ability to work or do household chores but is there relief from shoulder pain sleeping on either side? Yes, there is. 

What is the best way to sleep with shoulder blade pain?

Shoulder blade pain could be alleviated by sleeping on your opposite shoulder or sleeping on your back. Put a pillow between or under your knees for added comfort. A pressure relieving mattress such as AirFoam™ provides optimal support and relief from shoulder pain from sleeping.  

How to Avoid Shoulder Pain From Sleeping on Side

How to sleep without hurting your shoulders.

  1. Ensure your head is on a supportive pillow and the spine is aligned.
  2. Sleep on your opposite side or back
  3. If sleeping on your side put a pillow between your knees to align the hips
  4. Put a pillow behind your back so you don’t roll over
  5. Sleep on a soft and supportive mattress that provides pressure relief.  

Choose a Supportive Pillow for Your Head

Put a supportive pillow under your head to align the spine better and not put any additional strain on your shoulders. Sleeping without a pillow puts a strain in the neck and will make shoulder pain much worse.  

Sleep on Your Other Side

Sleep on your opposite side with a pillow behind your back so you don’t roll over in your sleep.  

Put a Pillow Between or Under Your Knees

A pillow between your knees, if you’re a side sleeper, will align the hips. A pillow under your knees if you’re a back sleeper will help to support your lower back. 

Can your sleeping position cause shoulder pain at night?

Have a look here at the many cozy sleep positions you can try tonight that could offer some relief from shoulder pain from sleeping. Alternating sleep positions could help your recovery from shoulder pain, allowing your tendons some relief from stress.  

Upgrade to a supportive Mattress

The best mattress for shoulder pain offers superior pressure relief that supports your body weight and comfortably aligns your spine and hips. Sleeping on an old and uncomfortable mattress could be exacerbating your shoulder pain at night. 

Tips to Avoid Shoulder Pain From Sleeping Side

How do you sleep at night? If you’re a side sleeper who sleeps on their left side, pain in left shoulder blade could be eased by sleeping on your opposite side. Remember to put a pillow behind your back to prevent you from rolling over to the affected shoulder in your sleep.   

How to sleep on your side without hurting your shoulder:

  • A quality pillow under your head will support the delicate neck area, preventing additional pain radiating to the shoulders
  • Switch your sleep position   
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach as this puts your shoulder out of alignment 
  • a pillow between your knees helps to align the hips  
  • Sleep on a soft and supportive mattress that provides pressure relief  

What is the Best Mattress to Avoid Shoulder Pain?

AirFoam™ for side sleeper shoulder pain: AirFoam™ mattresses are made of innovative and modern materials that offer superior pressure relief that no other mattress can compete with.

The best mattress for shoulder pain will be soft yet supportive, especially in the hip and shoulder areas. AirFoam™ is designed with side sleepers in mind, the delicate hips and shoulders are gently supported by billions of tiny air bubbles in the foam.

AirFoam™ also sleeps much cooler than memory foam because air can circulate around and through the foam. You sleep cooler on AirFoam™, it’s supportive, pressure relieving, durable and comfortable. Especially for those suffering shoulder pain from sleeping.   

Conclusion

Shoulder pain at night can be resolved with medical treatment and making some changes to your sleep hygiene. Try these tips and gain some relief from pain while sleeping better tonight.  

  • A quality pillow under your head will support the delicate neck area, preventing additional pain radiating to the shoulders
  • Switch your sleep position   
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach as this puts your shoulder out of alignment 
  • a pillow between your knees helps to align the hips  
  • Sleep on a soft and supportive mattress that provides pressure relief  
Enjoy a 120-night free trial of an award winning AirFoam™ mattress