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Trying to Sleep with Wide Shoulders


Trying not to turn this into another my legs are too jacked pants wont fit thread, I'm having a son of a bitch finding a comfortable position to sleep in.

I'm by no means huge, but I am a solid 205-210 lbs at 5"10 with <12% bodyfat, and genetically wide shoulders.

I'm a side sleeper naturally but it jacks up my shoulders by crushing them together, I simply cant fall asleep on my back. If i double up on pillows, it helps the shoulders a bit but now my upper back and neck get jacked up.

This sucks, because Instead of needing 8 hours of solid deep sleep, I need about 9-10 of uncomfortable sleep using valerian root and ZMA, waking up in the morning feeling achy all over.

I have tried to wedge pillows in various places like between my legs, under my armpit, etc. None of it works.

does anybody who has the same problems have a suggestion? Should I just start sleeping on my back? How do you switch?


I don't do it all the time, but I find if I want to sleep on my side if I hold my pillow vertically as opposed to horizontally, I can put my head on the top part but use the bottom part to support my chest slightly. It's not perfect for side sleeping I guess but more of a stomach/side sleeping position hybrid that might be worth a shot, since I also find sleeping JUST on my side an uncomfortable position.


I love sleeping on my back, but I snore when I do. So, my gf will wake me up and I roll onto my side.

When I sleep on my side I prop the edge of the pillow between my neck and my shoulder and the angle is perfect for sleep. I never feel achy or sore in the morning (although I never feel quite as good as when I sleep the whole night on my back).

I used to always sleep on my stomach, then, through evolutionary means (ie over a period of time) I started falling asleep on my back and now I can't sleep on my stomach. I can fall asleep on my sides just fine as well ... point is, over time, you'll be able to sleep on you back.

Good luck Schultzie


I've noticed more shoulder problems while sleeping the past couple of years, not sure if it's just age, or if I'm just sudenly a beast -lol. I actually use those really soft/mushy pillows that you can just squish up into any shape you need. I probably sleep in between my side/stomach, with my arm extended under the pillow.

I used to be able to keep this arm bent at about 120 degrees, but now it has to be perfectly straight or else my shoulder just feels like I wrenched it. I've tried sleeping on my back as well, but even when it feels comfortable, I never actually doze off that way, there's always the urge to rol over onto my side.



Giving shoulder training serious attention in the last year has caused a sleep problem for me as well. I bought a new pillow especially made for side-sleepers, but I still need to put a smaller pillow under it for my head to be aligned with my spine.



my reason for switching was because I started developing neck/shoulder pain if I sleep on my stomach or side.

I was able to switch to my back through two things:

1 - Lack of sleep (not recommended)
2 - putting a small pillow or something under my knees.

By slightly causing a bend in the knees it relieved pressure on my lower back and make it less comfortable to roll sideways.

Possibly try getting one of those body pillows so you can prop up one side of your body so your somewhere between flat on your back and on your side. Basically experiment.

Good luck.


I know exactly what you mean. I'm not massive, 240lbs-ish but I can only get to sleep on my back. Nice peaceful sleep until my gf wakes me up for snooring. I turn on my side and get to sleep but then wake up repeatedly as circulation gets restricted and I can't feel my arms. I should try that old navy trick but draw the line at painting my nails!


what you gotta do is stop training shoulders


thanks for the tip about pillows for side sleeper; i have similar problems so i'll give one of these a try


I have wide shoulders too and I sleep on my back usually with one arm out behind the pillow and the other stretched out to the side. No shoulder problems but occasionally I wake up from my arms falling asleep.


Is your bed positioned against the wall? If it is, throw some pillows against the wall, lay on your side but lean your back against the wall at the same time. It will take pressure off of your shoulders but you'll still be on your side, and you'll probably wake up less from your arm falling asleep.


Side sleeping pillow FTW!


Have this issue for years. Best cure is a good mattress and find some good pillows you can use to adjust yourself so your shoulders don't take all the weight when you sleep on your side. I sleep on my back for the most part but of course the ol lady gives me the 'YOUR SNORING FOOL TURN OVER' I end up on my side from time to time.


Memory foam.

Cost a bunch but I have about 2-3" of it on top of my mattress. I find sleeping on it quite comfortable once you find a position.

My friend's parents have memory foam that was about 5-6". Unreal, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ran into the $1,000.


Get a side sleeping pillow and a body pillow. The body one is the really long one. Get the side one big enough to support your head without having to smush your shoulders. Use the body pillow by draping one arm and one leg over it. It helps keep your spine aligned and not torked over. I started doing this when I was pregnant and can't sleep any other way now. My back bothers me if I don't have one knee supported to keep my back straight.


I have pretty big shoulders (at least compared to even most people I see lifting seriously) and there is no way I could sleep on my side unless I had my head elevated by about 4 pillows. In other words, yes, the bigger you get, the more adjustments need to be made. It isn't like Ronnie Coleman was able to sleep on his side without several pillows.

I mostly sleep on my stomach or back and yes, I use several pillows. At over 285lbs I would imagine most near my size have the same issue.


That wouldn't even be noticeable for me and the issue isn't "comfort", it is that my head will not touch a flat surface if I sleep on my side because my shoulders are big enough to keep everything above the neck elevated about 6 inches.





sleep on your stomach


I generally sleep on my right at a 45 degree angle between being on my side and on my stomach. Can't sleep on my side because I'll wake up with achy shoulders. Can't sleep on my stomach because of night time erections. So I split the difference. Usually it takes 3 big pillows (or lots of little ones) for me to sleep comfortably.

My right arm is tucked under the pillow my head is on. Second pillow, the thickest available, is used as wedge to prop up left side upper body. The third pillow is a prop for hips and left leg. Some times a girl can substitute for two pillow if she doesn't mind being used like a wheel chock.