Here’s How to Sleep With a Broken Shoulder

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A broken shoulder can be painful, and there’s nothing worse than crawling into your bed to sleep, only to find that your hurt limb hurts even more when you try to sleep. Help is on the way, however! Here’s how to sleep with a broken shoulder, without causing further injury or increasing your pain.

1. Keep Your Sling On

If your doctor ordered a sling for you, make
sure you keep it on around the clock–yes, that means even when you’re asleep.
As uncomfortable and awkward as it might feel at first, it will keep your
shoulder in the best position so that it won’t hurt even more when you wake up.

Make sure you keep a t-shirt on underneath the
sling so that it doesn’t rub your skin raw.

2. Sleep Upright

The best way to sleep is upright, on a
recliner, if you have one. A recliner will allow you to get comfortable but
won’t allow you to move and, say, accidentally roll over onto your shoulder.
This is especially important because if you’re taking medication (especially
sleep-inducing drugs), you might be too sleepy to notice pain and can re-injure
your arm. 

If you can’t sleep in a recliner, sleep
propped up by bolsters and pillows so that you’re on an incline and can’t
easily roll over. 

3. Manage the Pain

Finally, when you’re learning how to sleep
with a broken shoulder and are trying to get a good
night’s sleep
, it’s important to manage your pain. You
can try to be a hero during the day, but this usually results in a painful
night–which makes it even harder to heal and handle pain in the long run.

Here are some tips:

  • With your doctor’s permission, ice
    your shoulder down before bed. This will help reduce inflammation and thereby
    pain and discomfort.
  • Don’t overdo it during the day, as
    this will increase inflammation and pain at night.
  • Take your medication as instructed
    by your doctor.

Now that you know how to sleep with a broken
shoulder, you’ll be on your way to sweet dreams in spite of your injury.

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