Get more time to pay with Klarna.
Back to blog

How to sleep with neck and shoulder pain

Jonathan Warren

15.07.2022

Sleep

Jonathan Warren

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning with a sore neck and shoulders, or being kept awake at night due to unwanted aches and pains. Though neck and shoulder pain can sometimes be caused by underlying health conditions, more often than not the root of the problem is a poor sleeping position, or choosing the wrong mattress or pillow for your bed. Luckily, we’re here to help with all of the guidance and advice that you need for sleeping soundly with neck and shoulder pain, or avoiding the problem altogether! 

Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

What’s the cause of neck and shoulder pain?

Wondering what might be causing your stiff neck and shoulders? Some of the common causes of neck and shoulder pain might include:

  • Muscle strain from overexertion
  • Bad posture, for example sitting at a desk for a long time
  • An injury, for example whiplash cause by a car accident 
  • Sore joints from medical conditions such as osteoarthritis 
  • Pinched nerves 
  • A poor sleeping position
  • Sleeping on the wrong mattress or the wrong pillow
     

How to help neck and shoulder pain at night 

If you’re wondering how to sleep with a stiff neck and shoulders, we’re here with the answers! From altering your sleep position, to switching up your mattress and pillows, our round-up of hints and tips will help you to avoid those pesky nighttime aches and pains. 

1. Sleep in the correct position

You may think that it’s best to sleep in the position that you find the most comfortable – but, when it comes to neck and shoulder pain, there are some sleeping positions which are better than others! The best sleeping position for neck pain and shoulder pain is considered to be sleeping on your back. This position allows your head, neck and spine to stay perfectly aligned, thus reducing the chances of pain and stiffness. 

Sleeping on your stomach is considered to be the worst sleeping position for neck and shoulder pain. This position puts pressure on your neck and shoulders (particularly if you sleep with a thick pillow) which may cause aches and pains. 

2. Rethink your pillows 

If you’re often waking up with a sore neck and shoulders, your poor choice of pillow could be the answer! In order to reduce nighttime aches and pains, it’s important to invest in a pillow that cradles your neck and head throughout the night. And, while we’re often used to sleeping on two pillows, it’s also thought that sleeping on a singular, supportive pillow may help to reduce the likelihood of neck and shoulder pain.

Want to know how to find the best pillow for you? Allow our guide to walk you through the best options on the market right now!

3. Try a different mattress 

Choosing a supportive mattress is key to reducing the chances of neck and shoulder pain. Whether you opt for a body-moulding memory foam or latex mattress, or a springy pocket-sprung mattress, finding a mattress that suits you and your body type is really important. It’s thought that those who sleep on their back or front benefit from a firmer mattress, which can help to keep their head, neck and spine properly aligned. If you sleep on your side, you may find a softer, body-moulding design more comfortable. 

4. Get your body moving 

If you’re suffering from neck and shoulder pain, a little light stretching and movement throughout the day could provide you with some relief. Whether you enjoy a brisk walk around the park, or some gentle poses on the yoga mat, keeping your body moving is an easy way to prevent unwanted aches and pains. However, it’s always best to consult a doctor or medical professional if pain persists! 

5. Consider your posture during the day 

If you’re struggling with neck and shoulder pain at night, it may be worth rethinking your posture during the day. If you often spend long amounts of time working at a desk, or looking down at a laptop or phone, you may be putting additional stress on your neck and shoulders. We recommend taking regular screen breaks, and routinely stretching out your neck and shoulders during the day. It may also be worth adjusting your desk and chair to ensure that your computer is at eye-level. 

On the look-out for a new bed?

Now you’ve chosen a supportive mattress and pillow set, why not find a beautiful new bed to go with them? From traditional wooden sleigh beds, to ultra-comfy upholstered beds, we have a bed to suit all bedrooms and styles!

About the author

Jonathan Warren

Jonathan Warren

Time4Sleep owner