How To Prevent Neck Pain While Sleeping
Neck pain can have a significant effect on your quality of life. While some of the causes such as wear-and-tear caused from aging, or injuries such as a slipped disk or arthritis is not something you are able to control, many other common triggers are factors you are able to control. One of these factors is the way you sleep at night. Below are some of the reasons as to why you may be experiencing pain in your neck when you wake up in the morning.
A good pillow designed to alleviate neck pain (read our guide) will position your head in a neutral and healthy position. This means that your nose should be in line with your spine or your body. If your pillow is too bulky, your head and neck will probably bend upwards.
When you use a pillow that is too flat, your neck and your head bends downwards. When deciding on the type of pillow to purchase consider a memory foam or feather pillow that will mold in a comfortable way to the natural shape of the neck.
Your Sleeping Position
Chances are that you found your preferred sleeping position many years ago and unfortunately these old habits are not easy to change. If you are a back sleeper, avoid using pillows that are too stiff or too high. These are the types that keep the neck in a flexed position through the night and are usually a contributing factor as to why you wake up with stiffness or pain.
If you are a side sleeper, you must use a pillow that is positioned higher under your neck compared to your head. Double-humped pillows work well for back and side sleepers. If you are a stomach sleeper you are forced to twist your neck and head to one side that creates pressure on your nerves. Choosing to change to a back or side sleeping position can assist you in waking up without pain in your neck.
Your Muscles Are Weak Or Stiff
If you have changed your sleeping position and your pillow and still wake up in pain, or when the neck pain is contributed to chronic conditions or arthritis, it is advisable to see a chiropractor or physical therapist. These professionals will teach you exercises that can strengthen and stretch the muscles that supports your neck.
Your Sleeping Habits
It is a reality that issues related to sleep problems are able to cause stiffness or pain in the neck that usually results in additional sleep problems. However, consider following good practices such as waking up and going to sleep at similar times every night, as well as over weekends.
Other tips include doing a neck exercise routine, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol before going to bed and turning off your computer, TV, tablet or mobile phone well before bedtime. Remember that a quality pillow is a great investment that can really help you in getting the right amount of sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and pain-free.