How to Get Quality Sleep After Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery is a common procedure that many people undergo to relieve chronic pain, repair injuries, or restore full range of motion. However, it can also cause discomfort and disruption to daily life during the recovery process. One of the most challenging aspects of recovering from shoulder surgery is getting good quality sleep. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to sleep after shoulder surgery.

Understanding Shoulder Surgery Recovery

It’s important to understand that every person’s recovery process after shoulder surgery is different. Depending on the type and extent of your procedure, you may require a longer or shorter healing time than others. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare carefully so that you can have a successful recovery.

During the first few days following shoulder surgery, you are likely to experience some level of pain and discomfort in your affected area. Your doctor may prescribe medications as needed to help manage this pain and allow you to get better rest at night.

The key concern when it comes to sleeping after shoulder surgery is finding comfortable positions that don’t put too much pressure on your surgical site or affect your mobility.

Sleeping Positions After Shoulder Surgery

Finding comfortable sleeping positions can be challenging due to limited mobility caused by wearing an immobilizer or sling for several weeks post-surgery.
Here are some suggestions:

1) Sleeping on Your Back: Sleeping flat on your back with support under the elbow (e.g., pillow) helps keep weight off the injured arm reduces strain while keeping alignment supported.

2) Side Sleeper – Non-affected side:
Sleeping comfortably without hurting yourself requires strategic positioning by protecting injury prone areas such as avoiding rolling over onto an unhealed portion of body during sleep.

3) Side Sleeper – Affected side:
If you prefer sleeping on one side only then try lying down with pillows tucked between your chest and arm to prevent the shoulder from rolling forward.

Additional Tips for Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

Aside from adjusting your sleeping position, there are a few other things you can do to help ensure good quality sleep during shoulder surgery recovery:

1) Manage Pain: It’s important that pain is kept under control so follow doctor’s prescriptions on medication .

2) Use Pillows to Elevate Your Arm: Some people find it helpful to prop their affected arm up on a pillow while they sleep. This can help reduce swelling and improve circulation in the area.

3) Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: To promote better quality sleep, try keeping your bedroom cool and dark, avoiding screens before bedtime or limiting blue light exposure by using glasses with orange lenses or special devices that decrease blue light emissions like Night Shift mode on iPhone/MacOS


Recovering from shoulder surgery may take time but getting proper rest is crucial for healing process. By following these tips mentioned above, adapting new habits in sleeping positions and post-surgery practices will improve overall recovery experience. However, always talk with your healthcare team before making any changes as every person’s situation varies depending on treatment plan or unique case factors.