Best Sleeping Position for Shoulder Impingement

Best Sleeping Position for Shoulder Impingement

Give this read some star power!
[Average: 5]

If you have a painful shoulder, is it possible to get a good night’s sleep? Your sleep position plays an essential role in achieving a sound sleep while suffering from shoulder impingement. This condition involves inflammation in the shoulder joints that compress specific structures while causing pain. But what is the best sleeping position for shoulder impingement?

Please continue reading to get insights.

But first of all, what are the usual causes of shoulder pain? Aside from shoulder impingement, other common reasons you have a painful shoulder include frozen shoulder, shoulder bursitis, arthritis, and torn rotator cuff muscles. Knowing how to cope with these health conditions is vital to avoid getting inadequate rest, especially at night.

Why Does Shoulder Impingement Hurt More at Night

Why Does Shoulder Impingement Hurt More at Night​

Some shoulder conditions, such as shoulder impingement can cause more pain when you lay down in bed. One of the foremost reasons for this is sleeping on the wrong side of your body. Although it’s hard to find a comfortable position when sleeping with an achy shoulder, it’s possible to get uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.

Here are the following reasons why your shoulder impingement hurt more at night:

  • Tendon and bursa inflammation which becomes more irritated after performing your usual physical activities during daytime.
  • Uncomfortable mattress adding direct pressure on your shoulder when sleeping on the inflamed side. It is more painful when you don’t move while asleep, which can compress shoulder structures, especially the joints.
  • Further impingement, pain, and spasm may be the result when you sleep on the unaffected side while the affected shoulder becomes unsupported and unstable. Also, this sleep position may cause the ball to be misaligned from the socket of the shoulder.
  • Instability and pain can also be due to sleeping while the arms are above the head, at an unstable position, or across the body.

It’s essential to understand what’s causing your shoulder impingement to hurt more when sleeping so that you can prevent further damage in your upper body.

How Should I Sleep with Impinged Shoulders


Have you’ve been trying different positions to make sleeping less painful with shoulder impingement? There are various sleep positions you can choose from so you can enjoy a restful sleep even with shoulder pain. Now, what is the best sleeping position for shoulder pain? Check out the following tips:

  • Back sleeping position. Sleeping on the back is best for everyone, especially for those suffering from shoulder pain. It is because back sleepers are in a neutral position when sleeping on their back with only a slight pressure on the shoulders, neck, and back. With the spine laid straight, there’s better posture and less likely to have back pain.
  • Stomach sleeping position. Sleeping on the stomach may add pressure on the injured shoulder. However, putting one pillow under the pelvis can help ease the pain. You can prop your shoulder up using a cervical pillow to prevent it from falling forward and creating lousy posture. This position may not be ideal, but you can create a comfortable position with some adjustments.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Shoulder Impingement

The average recovery time for shoulder impingement is between 3 to 6 months, depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition. The medication may take up to 8 weeks to completely heal the shoulder tissues. However, expect that the recovery process will take longer if there are complications in your shoulder, aside from the pinched rotator cuff.

On the other hand, shoulder impingement surgery can restore the shoulder’s normal function while relieving the pain. It’s essential to prepare for the operation by asking your doctor what to expect from the procedure. More importantly, be sure to understand how long it will take for you to recover based on the current status of your shoulder.

What Shoulder Impingement Stretches Doctors Recommend

Before going to bed, there are some shoulder impingement stretches you can do to prepare your body for sleeping. You can also act it when you wake up in the middle of the night due to pain. Here they are:

  • Shoulder rolls. From a neutral position, roll your shoulders forwards up to 10 times. Repeat the step, but backward this time. Make sure your movements are small by controlling and trying to make the stretches light and comfortable.
  • Shoulder shrugs. From a resting position, shrug your shoulders towards the ears and lower them down to the resting position in a gentle manner. Breathe without exerting too much pressure on the shoulder and neck muscles. Repeat the step up to 10 times if you can.
  • Pec stretch. The pec muscle is located in the chest area. When it’s constricted, it forcefully pulls on the shoulder, which results in neck and shoulder pain. Therefore, you need to exercise it by bending the right elbow while holding onto the doorway with palms flat.

Lean forward while twisting the upper body going to the bent elbow on the left. The stretch must be felt in front of the chest. Breathe while holding the stretch within 30 seconds. The same must be done on your right side.


The pain from shoulder impingement can affect your sleep. It’s essential to consider some support tools and sleep position adjustments to stay comfortable while sleeping with shoulder pain. Make sure to consult your doctor for other treatment tips you can do at home to relieve pain. After all, you deserve a excellent night’s sleep after a tiring day at work.

Leave a Comment