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The Complete Guide to Preventing Neck Pain From Sleeping

woman having neck pain

Are you experiencing neck pain? You are not alone. Neck pain impacts 30 to 50% of the population yearly.

There are many neck pain causes, but a common cause is neck pain from sleeping. There is nothing worse than waking up to new pain, which can often linger for days or weeks if you do not take action. However, the good news is that there are ways to prevent neck pain while sleeping.

Here is the complete guide for preventing neck pain when sleeping. 

What Causes Neck Pain While Sleeping?

Several common factors can cause neck pain while sleeping. Certain sleep positions can trigger neck pain, such as sleeping on your stomach or with a hand on your forehead. It can put your neck in an unnatural position and cause neck strain.

It could also be your bedding that is contributing to your neck pain while sleeping. Situations during the day, such as stressful moments, could also contribute to neck pain. 

Certain factors are out of your control, such as wear and tear as you age. However, there are ways to reduce your risk, such as managing your sleep to prevent neck pain.

Preventing Neck Pain When Sleeping 

The best way to prevent neck pain when sleeping is to take action before you experience neck pain or before it worsens. Neck pain can be a blessing to notify you that there is an issue you need to address. The sooner you can take these steps for preventing neck pain, the sooner you can feel better. 

Find the Best Sleeping Posture

Adjust your sleeping position, so it is kind to your neck. There is more than one best sleeping posture for neck pain, so restless sleepers can also change positions safely. The best sleeping postures for preventing neck pain are:

  • On your side
  • On your back

The sleeping posture you choose will also impact the bedding you choose. For example, the pillows you pick can help support your sleeping position and the natural contours of your neck, head, and back. There are also specialized pillows with built-in support if you need them.

If you sleep with a machine or other breathing device, make sure you have the right posture and support to avoid your neck arching while you sleep. 

Also, check your posture before bed is correct. Many people read or use digital devices in bed. Make sure you sit in a neck-friendly position to avoid neck strain before you sleep. For example, you can check your neck is aligned with the rest of your spine. 

Sleeping with Pillows Correctly

Sleeping with pillows is a personal choice. There are some benefits to sleeping without a pillow and many for sleeping with the correct pillow. While research is limited, some people report sleeping without pillows helps manage their back or neck pain.

However, there are pillows out there that can help prevent neck pain while sleeping. You could pick a pillow that supports the best sleeping posture for you, such as a rounded or thin pillow to support your neck if you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side, you can pick a thicker pillow to keep your head in alignment with the middle of your shoulders.

Some pillows suit different sleeping styles, such as memory foam pillows. If you sleep a lot on transport, find a specialized travel pillow that supports your neck. 

Pick a Quality Mattress and Bedding

Your mattress may be causing neck pain and other issues such as back pain. Use a mattress that supports your sleeping position and spine. It should remain level without sinking in different areas, which suggests it needs replacement.

You want to find a mattress that is not too hard or too soft. Over time mattresses can also deteriorate, with the average lifespan being seven to ten years. If you think your mattress could be on your neck pain causes, it is time to replace it. 

Your bedding can also help you relax and easily transition sleep positions if you are a restless sleeper. Also, consider a weighted blanket to reduce anxiety and help you relax at night, which can help reduce tension in your neck.

Have a Bedtime and Wake Up Routine

Around a third of American adults do not get enough sleep. But did you know this could also be contributing to your neck pain?

Having a set bedtime helps you wind down and relax before bed. If you go to bed after checking work emails or without a break from screen time, you could still be tense. Take time to relax before, such as by listening to relaxing music or gently stretching

Also, rethink your alarm if you often jolt awake to it or often feel startled. Maybe you can change it for an alarm that slowly wakes you up so you do not strain your neck. 

Get a Diagnosis

If you follow these steps for preventing neck pain but still have issues, it is time to see a chiropractor or other medical professional. There could be other neck pain causes you need to address, which need medical guidance to manage.

Medical professionals will be able to give long-term neck care tips so you can continue to manage your own neck pain triggers. You can still follow all these steps for preventing neck pain, but it helps to have a professional opinion before neck pain worsens further. 

Manage Neck Pain While Sleeping 

People say things are a pain in the neck for a reason. Neck pain can cause a lot of frustration and can even be debilitating. It is not something anyone should have to put up with, and you do have the power to help manage neck pain.

A great place to start for preventing neck pain is to address your bedding. Finding the right bedding, mattress, and pillows manage neck pain and also offer many other benefits. 

Nest Bedding has a variety of quality mattresses, bedding, and pillows. Do not hesitate to contact us to get started.