Sleep should be a restful period, but for a lot of people with chronic pain, it’s not. For some reason, sleeping actually seems to make pain and fatigue worse. Frustrating? Yes. Incomprehensible? No.
When pain is a result of poor posture, sleeping can often exacerbate the pain. Beds often tweak the body in ways that aggravate bad postural habits.
One that I often hear is back-sleepers using multiple pillows stacked up so high that their chins are tucked into their chests. These people generally have lots of neck and shoulder tension throughout the course of the day and have heads and necks that are thrust forward (mimicking their sleeping position!).
That issue has a quick fix, but there are other less well known issues that can hamper a good night’s sleep. Though I don’t have the time (or talent) to draw up a bunch of diagrams, Esther Gokhale has a book chock full of great tips that can help you adjust your sleeping position for maximum rest and recovery. It’s $16 from amazon. It’s well worth it if you or someone you know needs to try to make their sleep feel a little more restful.
For people with chronic myofascial pain, simple adjustments like those in Gokhale’s book can be extremely helpful.