We’ve all been through the motions of sleeping perfectly healthy the night before, only to wake up with a chilling pain in the neck. Awkward sleeping postures can cause stress and pressure on your body while you sleep, resulting in pain while waking up. Plus, your bedding and pillow could be exacerbating your discomfort.
This condition worsens as you age, as the cartilage that supports your joints deteriorates. But that doesn’t mean you have to bear this pain. You can relieve yourself by aligning your head, shoulders, and hips in a stress-relieving neutral stance. The goal is to find a posture that preserves and supports the inherent curvature of your neck and back.
If you haven’t been able to find that stance, in this article, we will discuss various sleeping positions that can help you with the pain. We will also explore the reasons behind that excruciating pain, the sleep positions that contribute to it, and some solutions that will help you with the problem.
Why is Neck Pain So Painful?
Neck pain, like any other type, can make falling and remaining asleep tough. According to experts, almost 10% of people suffer neck discomfort, and nearly 70% of people with chronic neck pain have poor quality sleep. So why do you have to go through this? The reason lies in how you sleep or the pillow you use, among others.
- Pillow: If your pillow does not correctly cushion your neck and head, you are bound to feel pain sooner or later. Switch to feathery or memory-foam pillows; they will cradle your neck, thus balancing your spine and neck.
- Sleep Position: Sleeping with the spine in a relaxed position relieves tension on the neck and back. It is also beneficial to lie on a solid surface. Sleeping in the wrong position might result in significant neck pain.
- Jerky Movements: Sudden movements, such as sitting up fast or tossing your arms around in your sleep, can put tension on your neck muscles. Tossing and moving while attempting to sleep can cause neck pain and stress.
Say Goodbye to Neck Pain With These Sleeping Positions
According to research, some sleeping positions might cause neck pain and lead to poor sleep quality. So, it is time to change your sleeping position so you can get a good night’s sleep:
- On Your Side: Sleep on your side and place a thick pillow between your legs or beneath them to ensure your hips, pelvis, and spine are correctly positioned. Also, it is always a good idea to switch sides. This will help you prevent muscular imbalance and possibly scoliosis (a medical condition in which the spine curves sideways). Also, if you have slipped disc pain sideways, lying in a curled-up baby posture may benefit you.
- On Your Back: Lying down distributes your weight evenly across your body and prevents abnormal or excessive spine curves. To maintain proper posture, place a little pillow beneath your head and neck. A little cylindrical pillow at the angle of your neck, on the other hand, cushions your neck and maintains your head level on the mattress. However, this position can often lead to snoring. It is because, in this position, your nasal passage may get compressed. Don’t you worry, though; if you have a snoring problem, you might want to use a snoring solution like Smart Nora. It repositions your pillow the moment it senses any snoring sounds.
- This is Not a Good Sleeping Position: As per experts, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine, and it strains your joints. Plus, to breathe while sleeping on your stomach, you will have to tilt your head to the side. This could twist your neck, which causes it to go out of sync with the rest of your backbone. Cue the pain. If you still want to sleep on your belly, use a small pillow (or don’t use one!) and avoid awkward angles as much as possible.
Tips to Alleviate Neck Pain
Since there is a link between pain and sleeping position, it makes sense to change your sleeping style just a little to relieve back discomfort. Obviously, less pain means greater sleep. Besides this, you can make the following changes as well:
- Exercise regularly to keep your flexibility and stiffness in check.
- Regularly stretch the neck.
- Select the best mattress.
- Check the fit of your pillow.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Before going to bed, avoid using any electronic gadgets.
- Use a hot water bag to massage your neck.
Have a Painless Night!
Almost everyone will get a stiff neck at some time; it is as normal as not being able to sleep sometimes. However, sleeping on your back or side might keep the pain at bay and keep your neck stress- and pain-free. Also, remember sleeping on your belly is like sending an invitation to pain (with an option to RSVP), so you might want to avoid it entirely because it puts your neck in an uncomfortable position, which may increase your pain.