How To Sleep Comfortably When You Have Pain

If you want to optimize your health and wellness, prioritize getting enough sleep. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep is very important. Not only does sleep play a role in learning and memory, but it also supports the maintenance of both physical and mental health. Per Healthline, in addition to regulating inflammation, getting enough sleep can also make your heart stronger. In turn, poor sleep can negatively affect your daytime life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get seven or more hours of sleep per night. Notably, millions of Americans do not sleep enough or get poor quality sleep (via American Psychological Association).

One reason that many people lose sleep is pain. According to the Sleep Foundation, 25% of people with chronic pain also have a sleep disorder. Chronic pain often causes people to not get enough sleep and to wake up frequently during the night. Further, a lack of sleep also can heighten a person's sensitivity to pain, says Berkeley News. If pain is keeping you up at night, check out these tips on how to get a better night's sleep.

Find the right position to sleep comfortably with pain

According to the Sleep Foundation, the type of pain that you experience may dictate the bodily position that you sleep in. For example, people with shoulder pain may generally try to avoid sleeping on their sides. On the other hand, back pain can make it difficult to sleep on the stomach or back.

If you have back pain, Cleveland Clinic recommends that you avoid sleeping on your stomach because it can add more pressure. Instead, try sleeping on your side. You can place a pillow between your legs to help maintain good alignment. Avoid curling up; instead, try to stretch out so that you can keep pressure off your lower back. If the position starts to feel uncomfortable, you can always switch sides. 

For shoulder pain, you should avoid lying directly on the shoulder that hurts. Instead, try laying on your back and modify the position by placing a pillow under the shoulder to help keep it aligned with your body (per Cleveland Clinic). If you are a side sleeper, consider sleeping with the hurt shoulder facing up and modifying the position by placing a pillow under the hurt shoulder. Other factors that can improve your sleep are a pillow and mattress that fit your sleep needs.