Neck pain doesn’t only affect your sleep, it’ll also impact your mood and energy the next day. We’ve all experienced neck pain at some point in our lives - in fact, 10 to 20% of adults deal with neck pain regularly. Figuring out the best sleeping position for neck pain can help a long way in allowing you to prevent this problem.
You can experience neck pain for multiple reasons, whether it is from a neck injury, poor quality of sleep, or sleeping in a wrong position. In some cases, you can be suffering from back pain and it’ll reflect on your neck and shoulders.
Here we’ve discussed the best sleeping positions for neck pain and other remedies that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
What are the different sleeping positions?
Even though we develop our sleeping positions early in life, some of them may be unhealthy and can be causing more harm than good. Even if a sleep position is comfortable, it may result in back and neck pain in time. Below are the most popular sleeping positions and how you can improve them.
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back is the healthiest sleep position, it promotes the best sleeping posture. Your body is in proper alignment and the spine is in its natural curvature. It is recommended to sleep on a thin pillow so your head isn’t elevated too high. However, it can lead to snoring so it isn’t ideal if you have trouble breathing while sleeping.
Sleeping on your side
Sleeping on your side is the most popular sleeping position; it is recommended to switch from one side to another every few hours to avoid arm or shoulder strain and overall stiffness. You should also use a high pillow to keep your head in a neutral position and place a thin pillow between your knees to avoid adding pressure to your hips and pelvis as you sleep.
Sleeping on your stomach
This position is preferred to avoid as much as possible, especially if you’ve just eaten or experience back and neck pain. It adds pressure on your spine and arches your back, which can cause back pain.
Try adjusting your sleeping position by using pillows to support your body and fix your sleep posture. However, if you can’t sleep any other way, it is best to prop your forehead slightly up on a thin pillow to keep your body somewhat aligned.
What is the best sleeping position for neck pain?
It is worth stating that adjusting your sleeping position can help relieve your neck pain but if the pain lasts for longer than a week, it is advised to see a doctor about it. Most experts recommend sleeping positions for neck pain are to sleep on your back or on your side with your legs stretched and not curled up towards your chest. In either case, the pillow you’re using can make all the difference with your neck pain.
You should use a pillow that fills the gap between your head and shoulders and supports the natural curve of your neck. There are specific pillows designed to help alleviate neck pain like memory foam pillows, which help align your neck and shoulders. It can also reduce snoring, prevent neck pain and relieve symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have neck pain, avoid sleeping on your stomach because you’ll tilt your head as you sleep since you can’t breathe into the pillow and your head would be at an awkward angle, which will result in exacerbating your neck pain.
Other things to try to relieve neck pain include doing gentle neck stretches before you sleep and when you wake up in the morning to avoid stiffness, sitting and standing with good posture, and not hunching over your laptop while working. You can also use a horseshoe shaped pillow while traveling or when watching TV at night if you tend to doze off, to give your neck support and keep it from dropping to the side.
Tips to improve the overall quality of sleep
According to a report by Harvard Health Publishing, sleep plays a major role in musculoskeletal pain, including back and neck pain. After conducting a study on 4,140 healthy men and women, with and without sleeping problems, they found that those that suffered from a sleeping problem were more likely to develop chronic musculoskeletal pain after one year than those that didn’t have sleeping problems. And so, taking the time to improve the quality of your sleep and investing in your sleeping materials like pillows and a mattress is important.
To avoid neck and back pain in the future, you need a supportive mattress that isn’t too soft and allows your body to sink in and curves your back but also not too firm where it is uncomfortable and gives you back pain. The Puffy Lux Hybrid is a hybrid memory foam mattress with a unique Contour-Adapt Coil Base that conforms to the body as you sleep but keeps the spine straight. It minimizes the pressure on your joints and prevents body strain.
Small things like your bed placement, darkening your room and sleeping in a soothing environment, or lessening your screen time before sleeping, can help improve your sleep health. Another great tip to relieve your anxiety and improve your sleep is creating a soothing ambiance before you sleep. You can diffuse essential oils like lavender oil or chamomile oil that have a calming effect or light a scented candle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I relax my neck and shoulders while sleeping?
The best way to relax your neck and shoulders while sleeping is to sleep on your back. Sleeping on a thin pillow that slightly lifts your head will ensure that your spine is straight and your body is aligned properly. Avoid sleeping on your stomach when you have neck pain.
How do I get rid of neck pain from sleeping?
Getting neck pain while you’re sleeping means you’ve slept in a wrong position or your head was in an awkward angle while sleeping. It is very important to use a memory foam pillow that supports your neck while sleeping and adapting to healthy sleeping positions.
Is it better for your neck to sleep without a pillow?
Sleeping without a pillow can help in some cases if you’re a stomach sleeper as it reduces the strain on your neck and promotes spinal alignment. However, if you’re a back or side sleeper it is better to use a pillow to avoid your neck from moving at wrong angles.
Your sleeping position and sleep quality have a large impact on your physical and mental health. A few adjustments in your sleeping habits can do wonders for your body; with these few tips, you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep every night.
What sleeping position you practice every night? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.