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How to Sleep with a Frozen Shoulder: Tips for a Restful Night

How to Sleep with a Frozen Shoulder: Tips for a Restful Night

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Frozen shoulder, a condition that makes your shoulder joint stiff and painful, can turn sleeping into a nightly challenge. If "how to sleep with a frozen shoulder" is the question you're desperately seeking an answer to, you've come to the right place. 

In this guide, we'll navigate the discomfort to find you the best sleeping positions, supported by tips to ensure a good night's sleep despite your frozen shoulder.

Understanding How to Sleep with a Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, medically known as adhesive capsulitis, restricts your shoulder movement, causing pain and sleep disturbances. 

It often develops without an apparent reason but can follow trauma or periods of immobilization. The condition progresses through stages, each affecting your ability to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Finding a comfortable sleeping position is crucial. The goal is to avoid putting pressure on the affected shoulder while maintaining a posture that supports the shoulder's healing process. Here are some positions you can try:

Side Sleeping

If you're a side sleeper, lie on your unaffected side. Position a pillow before you to rest the affected arm, keeping it slightly elevated. This posture minimizes stress on the frozen shoulder. A soft- firm balanced mattress may help you with a comfortable rest, enhancing the quality of your sleep.

Back Sleeping

For back sleepers, placing a pillow beside you to support your arm can significantly relieve discomfort. The Zonli Futon's soft PP cotton layers provide a cozy surface that adapts to your body, keeping your arm comfortably elevated and reducing shoulder strain.

Front Sleeping

Sleeping on your front might seem tricky with a frozen shoulder. Try lying with your affected arm by your side or using pillows to prop yourself into a slightly tilted position. This arrangement helps maintain your shoulder in a less painful posture. 

Enhancing Your Sleep Environment

Creating an optimal sleep environment is crucial when dealing with a frozen shoulder. Beyond selecting the right mattress or sleeping position, the ambiance of your bedroom plays a significant role in how well you sleep.

Temperature and Lighting

Maintaining a cool, comfortable temperature in your bedroom has been shown to promote better sleep quality. The breathable cotton layer of futons regulates temperature, ensuring you stay comfortable throughout the night. 

Additionally, minimizing exposure to bright lights before bedtime can help signal your body that it's time to wind down, making it easier to fall asleep despite shoulder discomfort.

Noise Reduction

A quiet environment is conducive to deep, restorative sleep. Consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to block out disruptive sounds. The peace and tranquility will allow your body, including your tense shoulder muscles, to relax more fully, contributing to overall recovery.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Incorporating mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your bedtime routine can significantly impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, especially when dealing with pain from a frozen shoulder.

Guided Imagery and Meditation

Engaging in guided imagery or meditation before bed can help shift your focus from the pain and prepare your mind and body for sleep. These practices encourage relaxation, reduce stress levels, and make finding a comfortable sleeping position more accessible by easing muscle tension.

Breathing Exercises

Deep, controlled breathing exercises can also alleviate discomfort. Focusing on your breath can decrease your heart rate and relax your body, including the muscles around your frozen shoulder. This relaxation can make it easier to drift off to sleep.

Adaptive Tools and Aids

In trying to find out how to sleep with a frozen shoulder, consider incorporating adaptive tools designed to alleviate discomfort and support healing.

Shoulder Support Braces

A shoulder support brace specifically designed for nighttime use can help maintain your shoulder in an optimal healing position. These braces are engineered to reduce stress on the shoulder by ensuring it remains slightly abducted and in neutral rotation, similar to the supportive positioning offered by the right mattress and pillows.

Heat Therapy

Applying heat to your frozen shoulder before bedtime can help relax the muscles and reduce pain, making it easier to fall asleep. Use a heating pad or a warm towel for 15-20 minutes as part of your nightly routine. The warmth eases the shoulder discomfort and promotes relaxation throughout the body, facilitating a smoother transition to sleep.

Technology Integration

In our modern age, technology offers numerous tools and resources that can support individuals dealing with a frozen shoulder, especially when it comes to improving sleep quality.

  • Sleep Tracking Devices
  • Wearable technology that tracks sleep patterns can offer valuable insights into the quality of your rest and how it is affected by your frozen shoulder. These devices can help identify patterns or behaviors that contribute to or detract from a restful sleep, allowing for more targeted adjustments to your sleep environment or routines.

  • Mobile Applications
  • Several mobile applications are designed to enhance sleep quality through guided meditations, sleep-focused exercises, or ambient soundscapes. Apps providing guided stretching or gentle yoga routines can be particularly beneficial for individuals with a frozen shoulder, offering a convenient way to relax the body and prepare for sleep.

    Lifestyle Modifications

    Making minor adjustments to your daily lifestyle can profoundly impact managing a frozen shoulder and improving sleep quality.

    Activity and Exercise

    Maintaining a balanced activity level during the day can help improve your shoulder's range of motion and decrease pain over time. However, balancing activity with rest periods is crucial to prevent overexertion, which could exacerbate shoulder pain at night.

    Stress Management

    Chronic stress can tighten muscles and worsen pain, including the discomfort associated with a frozen shoulder. Stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, or simple breathing exercises can help manage stress levels, indirectly reducing pain and improving sleep quality.


    How long does a frozen shoulder last?

    The duration of a frozen shoulder varies but typically progresses through three stages over 1.5 to 3 years. Proper care and adjustments to your sleeping arrangements allow you to manage the symptoms more comfortably during this time.

    Can sleeping on a floor mattress help with a frozen shoulder?

    Yes, a floor mattress like the Zonli Home Futon Mattress can provide the firm support needed for someone with a frozen shoulder. Its design promotes proper spinal alignment and offers customizable support based on sleeping position, which can alleviate shoulder pain.

    Can I do any exercises before bed to help with my frozen shoulder?

    Gentle stretching and mobility exercises can help ease the stiffness associated with a frozen shoulder. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially when dealing with a condition like a frozen shoulder.

    Final Thoughts

    Living with a frozen shoulder requires a comprehensive approach beyond finding a comfortable sleeping position. It involves a blend of professional guidance, the smart integration of technology, personal care routines, and adaptability to changing needs. 

    The journey toward recovery and better sleep is personal and multifaceted, requiring patience, persistence, and a willingness to explore various strategies. 

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