How to Sleep with Neck and Shoulder Pain for Cyclist: 3 Positions

3 Best Positions for Sleeping with Neck and Shoulder Pain for Cyclists

If you prefer to sleep on your side, ensure your pillow is an excellent height to support the neck. Place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a better position and support your lower back. Avoid lying directly on the bitter side if you have a sore shoulder.

Grinch agrees that sleeping on your back could work for many cyclists to avoid aches, as it allows the hips, lower back, and neck to stretch out, offering riders a different position than what they maintain on the bike.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go through some of the best sleeping positions, pillows, mattresses, and other products to help you manage neck and shoulder pain as a cyclist.

How to Sleep with Neck and Shoulder Pain for Cyclist: 3 Best Positions

The best positions for sleeping with neck and shoulder pain for cyclists

The aftermath of a long ride can sometimes lead to painful neck and shoulder muscles. To help alleviate the discomfort and allow for a good night’s rest, it’s essential to understand how to sleep correctly. We’ll explore the best sleeping positions for those with neck and shoulder pain and how cyclists can adapt them for maximum relief.

Back Sleeping for Cyclists

Back sleeping is a recommended position to relieve neck and shoulder pain. For cyclists, it may only sometimes be the most comfortable position due to the tendency to snore or suffer from sleep apnea. Here are some tips for back sleeping that can help:

Maintain Spinal Curves and Avoid Neck Twisting: Place a pillow under your knees to support your spine’s curvature and limit neck twisting.

Choosing the Right Pillow and Using Shoulder Support: Choose a medium-firm or firm pillow to support the head and neck, and place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under the shoulders for added support.

Alternatives for Snorers and Sleep Apnea Sufferers: Elevate the head with an adjustable bed or pillow, or try a wedge-shaped pillow to open airways and reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

Side Sleeping for Cyclists

Another recommended position against neck and shoulder pain is side sleeping. When done correctly, this position can help alleviate pressure on the neck and allow for a more comfortable sleep. Here are some tips for side sleeping:

Aligning Head and Abdominal Spine for Pressure Relief: Place a firm pillow between your knees to align your head with the abdominal spine and relieve pressure on the neck.

Selecting the Proper Pillow Height and Using Leg and Arm Support: Use a thick pillow under the head and prevent it from tilting, and place a folded towel under the arm for additional support.

Avoid Overloading One Shoulder and Protecting the Chin: Place a pillow under one shoulder to prevent shoulder sagging and limit pressure points, and tuck the chin slightly to avoid straining the neck.

Stomach Sleeping for Cyclists

Stomach sleeping is generally not recommended in cases of neck pain due to the risk of forced neck rotation and pressure on neck joints. However, if you must sleep on your stomach, here are some tips for doing so more comfortably:

Forced Neck Rotation and Neck Joint Pressure: Avoid turning the head to the side or using multiple pillows, as this can strain the neck and create additional pressure on the joints.

Tips for Using a Very Thin Pillow for Forehead Support: Use a skinny pillow for forehead support only to help keep the neck and spine more aligned and prevent discomfort.

Neck and Shoulder Pain Sleep For Cyclist: Best Products

Investing in the right products is one of the most effective approaches to alleviating neck and shoulder pain. The products can contribute to reducing discomfort and facilitating better sleep. We will explore the best products for neck and shoulder pain relief and provide you with essential tips on choosing and maintaining them over time.


Best Pillows for Cyclists with Neck and Shoulder Pain

Pillows are crucial in promoting spinal alignment, reducing pressure points, and easing tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. Finding the right pillow can be challenging, but it is essential to consider some criteria to ensure that you choose the best option for your sleeping position. The following are some elements to keep in mind:

Once you have chosen the right pillow, you must ensure that it lasts longer and remains hygienic. You should wash your pillow regularly (depending on its material and manufacturer’s instructions) and replace it every 1-2 years when it loses shape or feels uncomfortable.


The mattress is another critical factor that can affect your neck and shoulder pain, as it provides the primary support for your body during sleep. A good mattress should distribute your weight evenly, align your spine, and relieve pressure points. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a mattress:

As with pillows, mattress maintenance is essential for its longevity and hygiene. You should vacuum your mattress regularly, rotate or flip it every few months, and replace it every 7-10 years when it loses its support or shows signs of wear and tear.

Other Products

A Sleep Solution for Cyclists Other Products

In addition to pillows and mattresses, several complementary products can help alleviate neck and shoulder pain stress and promote relaxation. Some of these products include:

Using these products safely and cautiously is crucial, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions, allergies, or sensitivities. You should consult your doctor before using any new product that may interact with your medications or cause side effects.


Cycling can be a source of great joy and adventure, but it can also come with discomfort, particularly if you need to care for your body’s alignment and posture. Back and neck pain are common complaints among cyclists, making it hard to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Manage this pain and sleep better with the correct information and tools.

We hope this guide has helped you choose pillows, mattresses, and sleeping positions that suit your needs and preferences. Remember that everyone’s body is different, so don’t hesitate to experiment and adjust until you find what works for you.


Yes. Holding the handlebar in an uncomfortable position for an extended period can cause muscle tension, cramps, and inflammation. Consequently, this can lead to pain and discomfort during sleep.

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