shoulder pain after sleeping

Shoulder Pain After Sleeping [Best Solutions for Side Sleepers]

How many times did you wake up with shoulder pain? Still, you can’t stop sleeping on your favorite side. Many of us think it’s due to sleeping on the side but others think they may have some sort of injury. Don’t worry that’s a pretty common problem and we have come up with solutions. 

What are the best solutions for shoulder pain after sleeping? If you’re a side sleeper you could simply try to sleep on the other side or on your back. However, if you’re looking for a better solution, try specially designed pillows to relieve your shoulder pain. 

Best Solutions to Shoulder Pain

#1 The Scrumptious Pillow by Honeydew Sleep

Honeydew Sleep (previous name Drift) brings you a pillow that goes by the name The Scrumptious.

This pillow is super soft and incredibly supportive. You can easily make an adjustment to its height according to your preferences.

There is a hidden zipper that enables you to maintain its right height and adequate neck alignment. Improving your sleep position will also improve your breathing and reduce the chances of snoring. The best part is you get your pillow with a 60-day risk-free trail along with free of cost return shipping.

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#2 Cervical Pillow by Cradle Me

The Cervical Pillow from Cradle Me features contouring memory foam.

It is an ideal option for side sleepers who have to deal with shoulder pains.

The pillow features designated support for your spine and neck.

For this reason, it is a good option for neck and back pains too. If you prefer to sleep on your back or front then this pillow will work things out for you. Your purchase also comes with a refund or replacement guarantee so that you can sleep well at night.

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#3 L-Shape Pillow by Z

This pillow comes with polyurethane foam and has a very ergonomic L-shape construction.

This shape provides you with plenty of support for your neck spine and shoulders.

It will work wonder to get rid of your sleeping pains for good. Having this one pillow on your bed will allow you to get rid of all other pillows because you won’t need them anymore.

Above all, your L-shape pillow will come with a 5-year warranty too. Moreover, this pillow can optimize the sleeping temperatures as well and you will not have to worry about waking up hot right in the middle of the night. So it is your important shoulder pain at night relief solution.

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what causes shoulder pain

What causes shoulder pain after sleeping?

One of the most common causes of shoulder pains at night is the rotator cuff as well as the shoulder bursitis. There is no study to pinpoint the accurate reason behind shoulder pain worsening at night but most of the experts say that sleeping on your side is among the causes as well.

Sleeping on your side directly puts your shoulders muscles under pressure. Sleeping on arm pain can also shift its course towards your shoulder

Side sleeper shoulder pain

side sleeper solution shoulder pain

This is exactly the reason why most of the doctors don’t recommend sleeping on sides. A small group of tendons is under immense pressure and for this reason; you need a pillow that will provide you with good support.

You can always sleep on your good side that doesn’t experience any pain but sleeping in the same old positions is a habit that doesn’t go away that easy.

Solutions to shoulder pain from sleeping on the side

If your shoulder pain is driving you nuts then it’s time to change your sleep gear. So the best solution for you is to find a pillow that offers exceptional support.

Your mattress also has a significant role to play here. If you prefer to sleep on your side then look for a mattress that is ideal for side sleepers.

Best sleeping position for shoulder pain

There are different sleep positions that you can adapt if you want to deal with your sore shoulders after sleeping. 

You have to keep in mind that you must avoid sleeping on your front at all costs. In this position, your shoulder alignment is out. You can sleep on your good side to avoid experiencing any further pain.

The most important thing that you need to keep in mind is that always look for pillows that have much support to offer. Furthermore, you can also use a body pillow that goes full length. It will prevent you from moving around a lot at night and experience pain.

You can also try different sleep positions in which you feel comfortable. But don’t carry on sleeping on your bad side.

Best sleeping position for shoulder impingement

shoulder impingement

For those of you who don’t know what shoulder impingement is, it’s a condition where the space between the shoulder bones called acromion and the rotator cuffs reduce.

Acromion is the part of your shoulder pain. The reason behind this reduction of pain is the extra pressure that you put on it when you sleep on your side.

In such a situation you need adequate support for your neck and shoulder so that the spine alignment remains free of any irregularities. An immediate but temporary solution to this condition is stopped sleeping on your bad side and sleep on the other side with pillows in your thighs.

Frozen shoulder sleeping position

If you are experiencing frozen shoulder when you get up from your bed in the morning then you need to look to change your sleeping position immediately.

Make sure that you sleep on your back as well as sleeping on your other shoulder. But remember to place a pillow under the armpit of your bad shoulder. This will create enough support for your shoulder blade and tendons to elevate pain.

How to sleep with shoulder blade pain?

You might be thinking that we are getting too pushy by repeatedly saying that don’t sleep on your front if you have shoulder pain.

We can’t do much about it because the truth is sleeping on your front is the only thing that comes to mind when you have shoulder pain and this is where things get a lot more itchy.

If your shoulder hurts then you need to have as much support as possible for your upper body section. You need to place a pillow in your armpit on that bad side.

Adequate pillow size is also required under your head so that your neck stays properly aligned. You can also place a small sized roll-up towel under your neck for additional support.

Worst sleeping position for shoulder pain

The answer that will pop up in your head immediately will be sleeping on your bad side. But there is a sleeping position that is even worse in the shoulder pain condition.

Most of the people with shoulder pain switch to sleeping on their fronts when they experience shoulder pains.

Now we understand that they are trying to solve their shoulder pain problem. But in reality, they are preparing themselves even more pain. Sleeping on your front in shoulder pain can only disturb the spine and neck alignment apart from doing anything else.

What do you need to avoid?

Make sure that you are using enough support for your neck, spine and shoulder areas.

Don’t sleep on a mattress that doesn’t offer any support for side sleepers. If you are a side sleeper then your mattress needs to offer plenty of support. Don’t sleep on your front and definitely not on your bad side.

Moreover, you also need extra support for your bad back if you also have to deal with back pains. In this case, you need to place a pillow between your things. To take care of your shoulder pain, avoid sleeping on your bad side and try to sleep on the other side with a pillow under your armpit of the painful shoulder.

Solutions to shoulder pain from sleeping on the side

If you can’t just have enough of sleeping on your side then you need to sleep on your back or on your good side. If you are looking to sleep on your back then it is important that your back needs to be in an adequate position.

Moreover, if your spine is not in proper alignment then you can develop back pains too. If you want to sleep on your other side, then place between your thighs. Also, place a pillow under your top shoulder to provide it with adequate support all night long.

How to sleep on your side without hurting your shoulder?

How sleep without hurting shoulder

It is important to keep the pressure off your bad shoulder. The only way of doing it is by providing it with plenty of supportive cushioning. You should place a towel roll under your neck and also use a mattress that is designed for side sleepers.

Such a mattress offers an exceptional level of support and flexibility to keep your spined in its proper alignment throughout the night. All in all, you have to maintain a proper sleep posture if you want to get rid of all these pains for good.

Is shoulder pain a sign of cancer?

Many people who have lung cancer tend to develop shoulder pain over time. In some cases, shoulder pain is one of the first symptoms of this disease as well. We are saying so not to create any panic because shoulder pain ain’t a telltale of lung cancer. Among the people with this disease, shoulder pain can also occur due to arthritis.

You are only feeling the pain in your shoulder but its source is somewhere else in your body. The worst part is that shoulder pain caused by cancer can be very similar to a shoulder pain caused by any other reason. Therefore, t is better to consult your doctor straight away.

best sleeping position shoulder hurts


You just have to make a few arrangements and adjustments to get rid of this uncomfortable experience. Just make sure to provide plenty of support to your neck, spine and shoulder region and avid sleeping on your sore shoulder as well as sleeping on your front.

Have you tried out any of these solutions before? How did it work out for you? Let’s hear your side of the story.