How To Sleep With Neck And Shoulder Pain?
It’s never a good day when you wake up and you haven’t had any sleep all night.
You've tossed and turned all night and now you’ve got a big day at work, nothing is worse.
But when you are sacrificing that restful night because of neck and shoulder pain, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to ease the pain and make you fall asleep again?
Some pain-related issues when it comes to the neck and shoulder such as aging or deeper injuries are harder to fix. But easing the pain could be as simple as changing your mattress or sleeping position or even swapping out your pillow.
In this article, we take a closer look at ways you can alleviate some of the neck or shoulder pain you have been dealing with and look at the small changes you can make in the bedroom so you can say goodbye to those sleepless nights.
What Could Be Causing Neck And Shoulder Pain?
Before we give you some tips on tricks to switch things up, do you know what is causing the pain in your neck or shoulder?
If not, you should keep reading. Many people suffer from neck and shoulder pain a lot more than you think.
Both muscles are used in everyday tasks and something such as answering the phone awkwardly or sleeping in a bad position one night could cause a slight strain.
However, neck and shoulder pain could also be caused by injury or injury from overuse, worn joints if you have osteoarthritis, pinched nerves, or sleeping on the wrong pillow or mattress.
If you are unsure what is causing the pain, and none of the tips in this article help you sleep any better, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis.
Tips On How To Sleep With Neck And Shoulder Pain
Change Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping position is often one of the biggest culprits when it comes to neck and shoulder pain.
To avoid neck pain, a general rule is that you should always sleep on your back.
You should avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts strain on your neck and lower back, especially when using a thick pillow too.
If you have shoulder pain, you should avoid sleeping on your side, in particular, the side you have pain on.
Sleeping on your back could alleviate pain and you should keep your hands relaxed by your side, instead of placing them above your head.
When you have shoulder pain, you could also try sleeping on the opposite side to where you are experiencing pain and place a pillow between your knees to maintain good posture when you are sleeping.
Experts say that sleeping on your back is the best position as it keeps your head, neck, and spine in neutral alignment and this is key when reducing the chances of neck pain at night.
Change Your Mattress
Sleeping on the wrong mattress could also be the culprit and this is common when sleepers have shoulder pain.
You will want to buy a mattress that is not too soft or too firm.
A mattress that is too soft will means you bottom out onto the firm base which can cause pain and one that is too firm mean you won’t sink down and too much pressure will build on your shoulders.
You should also take into account weight.
If you are lightweight you will be better supported on a softer mattress but heavier people might suit firmer mattresses as they offer more support.
If you sleep on your side, it’s better to have a softer mattress too as this can contour your body, alleviating pressure on the shoulders, whilst back sleepers benefit from firmer mattresses to keep their spine aligned.
Change Your Pillow
When it comes to using the wrong pillow, this is often the case with those who have neck pain as a pillow is used to support your head at night and keep it in neutral alignment.
Your neck and spine need to be aligned at night and a good pillow will help to support a healthy sleep posture.
Height, weight, and personal preferences will help which pillow you end up choosing but generally if you sleep on your sides, you need a firmer pillow to support your head and neck and keep it in the middle of your shoulders.
Back sleepers need flatter pillows that support the natural curvature of the neck and spine and stomach sleepers need pillows that are not more than 3″ in height, so they do not put additional strain on their neck.
Do Gentle Stretches And Practice Posture Habits
Stretching before bed could also help with neck and shoulder pain as it loosens tight muscles.
There are different sorts of stretches depending on the pain location in either the neck or shoulder, but you should consult a medical professional before trying any stretches to ensure you’re loosening the muscles correctly and not making things worse.
If you are looking at your phone or computer all day, you can also make posture adjustments to help with the pain.
You should keep your shoulders in line with your hips when working and take breaks during the day to stretch out your muscles.
Your computer monitor should be at eye level and you should adjust your desk chair to do this.
Finally, avoid using your phone in bed as this could put stress on your neck.
We hope this article has helped you out when it comes to sleeping at night if you are experiencing back and shoulder pain.
Remember, mattress, pillow, and sleeping position are usually the biggest culprits so changing these up might be the answer you’re looking for!
If you have tried our tips and tricks and nothing seems to be improving, consult a medical professional.