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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

5 Sleeping Positions That Can Cause Muscle Pain

We all sleep in our unique sleeping position. Some sleep like they are standing in attention, while others who do break dancing moves in bed.

Our goal is to find a position to sleep in which we are comfortable. But if we are suffering from muscle pain regularly it’s worth wondering if it’s because of it.

Your sleeping position muscle pain plays a vital role in ensuring that the muscles are not subjected to abnormal pressure which can lead to discomfort and pain. Today we are looking at 5 sleeping positions that have been linked with muscle pain.

Here are sleeping positions that you should avoid:

Sleeping Facedown

A woman sleeping upside down

Sleeping upside down causes neck and back pain, Credits: Freepik

In this position, a person is facing the bed and rotating their neck to face either left or right. This position is not good for two particular sets of muscles, neck muscles and back muscles. The turning of the head to one side strains the neck and causes muscle soreness. This can last through the next day and even longer in some cases.

The second sets of muscles this position harms is the back muscles. When you are face down there is no lumbar support for the spine which does not provide comfort and rest for your back. This position leads to back pain.

If this is your sleeping position you should change to help with muscle soreness.

Fetal Position

woman suffering from shoulder pain

Sleeping in the fetal position can cause shoulder pain, Credits: Pxhere

This is a position which resembles a foetus. A person is on their side with their arms and legs folded. This position can lead to many kinds of muscle pain because it is not a comfortable position. The neck and back do not have support which leads to strain and soreness. In addition to that, this position has also been linked with leg pain and shoulder pain.

Raised Armss

A woman sleeping with raised arms

Raising arms above the head strains the shoulders, Credits: Pikrepo

In the raised arms position, a person is either sleeping facedown or face up but their arms are raised above their head. This extension of the arms increases pressure on the upper back as well as shoulder muscles.

This position can lead to extensive shoulder pain. It is also known as the starfish position. To keep the shoulders pain free and comfortable arms should be kept on the sides.

Sleeping on Your Side with Arms Out

A woman sleeping with stretched arms

Stretched arms restrict blood flow, Credits: Flickr

This position can lead to muscle soreness as well as cause discomfort because of pressure on your internal organs. When you sleep on your side, the entire body weight is shifted on it which can harm internal organs and create pressure on the abdomen and other internal organs.

The stretched out arms are also damaging as stretching them out can restrict the blood flow. This restriction in blood flow causes shoulder and arm pain. It is also believed that sleeping on your right side is worse than sleeping on your left.

One Leg on Top of Other

Sleeping with one leg on top of other imbalances the pressure on each leg. This uneven pressure is not good for the knees and legs. It is important to ensure that equal pressure is there on both the legs.

Keeping one leg on top of another can also lead to back pain.


Finding the right best sleeping position for muscle pain is very important for a host of reasons but if any of the above-mentioned positions is your ideal best sleeping position for muscle pain then you should consider changing it. These positions cause muscle discomfort which can last for days.

If you are suffering from muscle soreness for long periods of time then you should see a doctor.

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