Your sleeping posture plays a huge role in the health and functionality of your shoulders. If you’ve been waking up each morning with an ache in one or both your shoulders, or if they’ve been feeling unusually sore for extended periods, it may be because of the posture you adopt while sleeping.
Here are three sleeping mistakes to avoid.
Sleeping Curled Up
A lot of people prefer sleeping in a fetal position, curled up on their sides with the legs bent. However, instead of only slightly bending their legs in this position, they end up bringing them all the way up to their chests. The posture seems comfortable initially and may even lead to a peaceful sleep. However, the hunched position tends to hurt the shoulder you’re sleeping on as well as your neck. The sleeping position exerts excessive strain on the rotator cuff, causing it to become sore, stiff, or damaged.
Try to avoid sleeping in the fetal position and aim to keep your body as straight as you can when you go to bed so that the correct spine alignment can help support the structures in the shoulder. You should also use up to three pillows if you do choose to sleep in a curled-up position, one each for supporting your neck, stomach, and knees (place this one between the knees). This will also help maintain the right alignment and give support to your shoulders.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Let’s be real: sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended at all. In fact, it’s considered to be the worst possible sleeping position as it strains your neck, restricts your breathing by covering your nose and mouth (at least partially), and exert excessive pressure on your spinal vertebrae. The sleeping posture does no favours to your shoulders, either. They’re left unsupported when you lean on your stomach while sleeping, causing them to be stiff and unstable when you wake up.
This is one sleeping position that should be avoided at all costs. Sleeping in this posture even for a nap can leave your shoulders feeling stiff and painful.
Sleeping With Your Arms Raised
Sleeping on your back in a “starfish position” with your arms raised is another popular sleeping position. Since it involves sleeping on your back, one may even mistake it to be a healthy sleeping posture. However, the trouble arises with the raised arms. When your arms are left in a slightly elevated position over your head for too long, they can cause shoulder pain. This is because the posture exerts additional pressure on the nerves located in your upper back and neck. It may even result in your arms and hands feeling numb or you may experience a tingling sensation in your limbs.
Instead of raising your arms while you sleep, try lowering them down by your sides. You can even keep them folded on your chest.
RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy uses platelet rich plasma injections to treat rotator cuff injuries and shoulder pain. Call us 1 855 847-3975 for an appointment at our clinics in the greater Toronto area!