Outfitters Journal

Explore our stories for a wide range of topics, from helpful tips to the latest sleep technologies and innovations. Our team of expert Outfitters offers insight into common sleep problems and advice on selecting the right mattress and accessories to find the perfect sleep solution for you.

Sleeping With Pain

— by Sleep Outfitters on Jun 20, 2024

We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, and there's nothing more frustrating than hours spent tossing and turning. Restless nights are often linked to pain throughout the body. Based on your sleep habits, your neck, shoulders, back, and hips are at risk for additional wear and tear. Daily life lends itself to strain, from extended hours slouching at desks to "text neck" (a result of using your cell phone, reading books, or working from a laptop). Correct posture is one way to help minimize the risk of shoulder and neck pain, but there are plenty of other tricks to maintain proper spinal alignment.

A woman in bed sleeping with neck pain

Changing your sleep position can drastically reduce the likelihood of waking to discomfort. A risk factor for developing shoulder issues is sleeping on the same side every night, so alternate the direction you face or consider sleeping on your back. If you can't fall asleep any other way, try using a pillow to reduce pressure on your hips and shoulders. As comfortable as it may be, sleeping on your stomach is rarely a good decision as it flattens the natural curve of your spine. Side and back sleep positions are preferable, but the best solution is to vary your position throughout the night. If stomach sleeping is your only comfortable option, consider thin or no pillows to minimize strain on your neck and shoulders.

As you might imagine, pillows are vital for restorative sleep. High profile and firm pillows strain your neck muscles and constrict your breath. To avoid this, choose a feel best suited for your preferred sleeping position. Feather pillows easily conform, which can prove helpful when treating a sore neck, but memory foam is ideal for healthy spinal alignment. Thinner options allow back sleepers to retain their natural neck curve, while a rounded pillow (or a rolled-up towel) placed under your neck provides additional support. For side sleepers, consider placing a pillow higher under the neck than the head to ensure correct alignment.

One of the best ways to reduce the possibility of injury at night is adopting proper sleep hygiene. This can include sticking to a routine, reducing stimulants before bed, exercising regularly, using sleep medication sparingly, avoiding screentime at night, and stretching. The better you sleep at night, the less likely you are to experience pain. It can help your muscles relax and heal – so to make the most of every night, try sleeping in a way that won't cause pain in the morning.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution to improving your sleep – some issues require a health professional's help. However, if you believe a new sleep set could ease your troubles, visit your nearest Sleep Outfitters, and we'll be happy to help you find the right system!

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