Sleeping with Neck Pain: What You Need to Know
Neck pain can make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. The good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce or even eliminate neck pain while you're trying to catch some shut-eye. If you're sleeping with neck pain, these tips are sure to be invaluable as they can allow you to wake up feeling energized and ready to conquer the day ahead.
Position Your Pillow Properly
Chances are high that you sleep with a pillow. The type of pillow you use and the way you position it can take a toll on your neck pain and slumber. Make sure your pillow allows your nose to be parallel with the middle of your spine.
If your pillow is too fat, it may force your head and neck to bend up. On the flipside, if it's too flat, your head and neck may bend down. A memory foam or feather pillow is ideal as it can conform to your neck's shape quite well.
Do Not Sleep on Your Stomach
While you may want to sleep on your stomach, doing so is not the best move for your neck. Here's why: Every time you lie on your stomach, you force yourself to twist your neck and head to the side. When you do this, you place unnecessary pressure on your nerves. So try to avoid sleeping on your stomach as much as possible. Get into the habit of sleeping on your side or back so you can keep your neck pain to a minimum.
See a Physical Therapist
Even if you choose the right pillow and sleep in the optimal sleeping position, your neck pain may still persist. If this is the case, it may be the result of arthritis or another chronic issue. Once you see a doctor, they may refer you to a physical therapist who can educate you on the right stretching and strengthening exercises to help support your neck.
Practice Healthy Sleep Habits
Take a look at your sleep habits and make sure you're doing everything you can to set yourself up for a successful slumber. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Turn off distractions like the television and your phone. Invest in a quality mattress. Soak a warm bath or engage in another relaxing activity before bed.
If your neck pain does not go away despite these measures, consult your doctor as they can evaluate your condition and help you determine next steps.