Sleep & Health

How to Sleep with the Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that affects the outer part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). It happens as a result of overuse injuries to the forearm extensor muscles and tendons, which cause inflammation and minor muscle tissue rips. Tennis players and other avid racket sports players frequently experience tennis elbow, therefore the name.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow, weakness in the forearm, and difficulty gripping objects. The pain may also radiate down the forearm towards the wrist.

How to Sleep with the Tennis Elbow


  • The symptoms of tennis elbow
  • The impact of tennis elbow on sleep
  • Techniques for a good sleep with tennis elbow
  • How to ease tennis elbow pain at night
  • Treatment of tennis elbow
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • FAQs

The symptoms of tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is mainly caused by overusing the arm, so symptoms usually do not appear immediately and gradually become painful over a few months. Other signs that you may have tennis elbow include:

  • A burning sensation and pain on the outside of your elbow when trying to lift or bend your arm, the pain may extend to your wrist and become worse at night.
  • You may feel stiffness or pain when your arm is straightened.
  • A decrease in grip strength when trying to hold objects such as a tennis racket, pencil, or even shaking hands with someone.
  • Twisting your arm may also cause pain, such as when turning a doorknob or opening a bottle cap.

Tennis elbow can affect anyone, but it’s most common in adults between the age of 30 to 50. It’s a common injury that can significantly impact your daily activities, including your ability to sleep restfully.

The impact of tennis elbow on sleep

Having a restorative sleep with tennis elbow would be challenging, especially to stand the pain and discomfort all night long. Looking for a comfortable sleeping position to accommodate your painful arms is really a hard job. And you may also find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night. The result that comes the next morning would be a bad mood, low energy level, and terrible overall quality of life.

Additionally, sleep deprivation can exacerbate the pain associated with tennis elbow. One of our sleep stage (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, promote our body for healing. If we do not spend enough time to sleep in this crucial stage, which can slow down the healing process. Your ability to tolerate pain might also be impacted by a lack of sleep. Chronic sleep loss can reduce your pain threshold and increase your sensitivity to pain. This implies that if you don't get enough sleep, your tennis elbow pain may feel worse.

Techniques for a good sleep with tennis elbow


A comfortable sleep environment and routine can significantly improve your sleep quality. Maintain your bedroom or your sleep environment dark, cool, and quiet. These factors can signal your body and mind to prepare for a good rest. Wearing earplugs or eye masks as you are sensitive to noise or light.

It’s always important to wind down before bed and avoid activities that stimulate your brain. Engaging in vigorous exercises or using blue light devices can trick your body into thinking it’s not yet time to rest. Instead, try taking a warm bath, meditating, reading a paper book, or journaling before bed to help calm your mind and prepare for sleep.



Of course, first of all, you should avoid your affected arm. Sleeping on sides (especially the affected side) can exacerbate the pain or aggravate your tennis elbow by restricting the blood flow, thus making it even more difficult to get a good night’s rest. Sleep on your back would be the best rule of thumb, sorry to inform you that you have to be a back sleeper now whatever your original habitual sleeping positions.

Here is the problem: I am pretty sure I am a 100% side sleeper or a stomach sleeper, but I have to change my lifestyle and sleeping position during this short period. Obviously, my mattress matches my original sleeping posture, is it matching my changed sleeping position?

We usually recommend that a side sleeper should be looking for a relatively soft mattress so as to allow greater sinking range for the shoulders, which can prevent poor posture or other health issues caused by forward displacement of the humerus. However, if you have to change to a supine position, you’ll need greater support for your back and lumbar region. Congratulations if your current mattress offers the necessary support and comfort you need, then there’s no worry. But you should sound the alarm if you feel discomfort or pain after changing your sleeping position, it might be the time to consider switching to a new mattress, or instead of a budget-friendly way - adding a mattress topper.

If you’re lucky enough to have a double-sided flippable mattress, even better! Just flipping or rotating your mattress to achieve your desired firmness level will do wonders for your sleep and even help with tennis elbow. SweetNight Prime Mattress comes with the innovative Contouring CurveTM, which helps multiple foams instantly adjust to your unique body shape and curvature.


Use some tools and products for sleeping well. A standard pillow can help you a lot, you can invest in a body pillow for your entire arm, the pillow can provide support and prevent your arm from suffering from pressure. Elbow straps and braces might offer support and lessen the strain on your damaged tendons. They exert pressure below your elbow, altering the angle at which your tendons function and potentially reducing pain.

How to ease tennis elbow pain at night

  • Cold pack. Applying a cold pack is a simple but effective way to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. This helps you fall asleep easier and the rest you need.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers. Such as ibuprofen, which can provide relief, but it’s important to use them sparingly and only as a temporary solution. You’ll want to avoid the side effects if for long-term use.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises. Daily exercises routine can also be beneficial in reducing the strain on your tendons. But make sure to perform these exercises correctly, and not overdo it as it could potentially worsen your condition.
Stretching and strengthening exercises.

Treatment of tennis elbow

  • Rest. It’s important to avoid activities that may strain the affected muscles and tendons. If you t tennis elbow is caused by work, try alternating tasks to give those muscles a break.
  • Physiotherapy. Therapists will help you to recover your painful arm in multiple ways, which mitigate your pain and stiffness. For example, joint stabilization and massage therapy will relieve your pain and tense muscles. Also, therapies will show you how to stretch your arm for flexibility. The elbow straps and braces will also restrict the motion of your arm for better rest.
  • Painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Medical professionals will prescribe such as NSAIDs for relieving pain and inflammation.
  • Injection. Generally speaking, injection is used when other treatments have failed. Steroid injections can reduce the inflammation of the affected tendon but need to be used in conjunction with other treatment options such as physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication to be most effective.
  • Surgery. If the aforementioned treatments are failed, severe and consistent pain occurs. The doctor may recommend surgery to remove the inflamed muscle bundle and surrounding injured tissue.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle not only helps to alleviate the pain of the tennis elbow but also prevents the pain from worsening or recurring. Adequate rest, regular exercise and stretching, a healthy diet, and stress management can all have a positive impact on the recovery of tennis elbow.

  • Stretching. Keep the elbow straight, rotate the forearm back, and bend the wrist severely. You may feel tension or even slight pain at the upper outer edge of the humerus. Or you can make a fist and extend the affected area outwards from the body, turning from the back of the hand facing up to the palm facing up. Repeat 20 times per set, 3 sets per time, and practice twice a day.
  • turning from the back of the hand facing up to the palm facing up
  • Diet. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet to ensure your body is getting the necessary nutrients it needs for healing. Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like fish and flaxseeds can help reduce inflammation, while vitamin C and zinc are significant for tissue repair and healing.
  • Stress management.You can try meditation or yoga to manage your stress level, as this can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being.

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