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.