How To Ease Neck Pain When Sleeping?

How To Ease Neck Pain When Sleeping
How to sleep with a stiff neck and shoulder or back – To avoid aggravating a sore shoulder, it’s a good idea to sleep either on your opposite side or your back. If you’re on your back, you can try putting a pillow next to your sore shoulder to discourage yourself from rolling that direction in the middle of the night.

sleeping on your back slightly reclinedsleeping on your back with a pillow under your kneessleeping in the fetal positionsleeping with a pillow between your knees

Read about the best pillows for neck pain.

How do I stop my neck from hurting when I sleep?

What is the best sleeping position for neck pain? – Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck: on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head.

Try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck. Feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so. Another option is a traditionally shaped pillow with “memory foam” that conforms to the contour of your head and neck. Some cervical pillows are also made with memory foam. Manufacturers of memory-foam pillows claim they help foster proper spinal alignment. Avoid using too high or stiff a pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight and can result in morning pain and stiffness. If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. When you are riding in a plane, train, or car, or even just reclining to watch TV, a horseshoe-shaped pillow can support your neck and prevent your head from dropping to one side if you doze. If the pillow is too large behind the neck, however, it will force your head forward.

Sleeping on your stomach is tough on your spine, because the back is arched and your neck is turned to the side. Preferred sleeping positions are often set early in life and can be tough to change, not to mention that we don’t often wake up in the same position in which we fell asleep. Still, it’s worth trying to start the night sleeping on your back or side in a well-supported, healthy position.

Is it better for your neck to sleep without a pillow?

– Sleeping without a pillow may help some people who sleep on their front. It can help keep the spine and the neck in alignment during sleep, easing neck and back pain. It is not a good idea for everyone, though. People who sleep on their back or side might find that sleeping without a pillow causes neck or back pain.

Shop for memory foam pillows. Shop for thin pillows. Shop for body pillows.

Why do I have so much neck pain while sleeping?

Two Reasons for Torticollis – So now we know the “what” of neck pain from sleeping. What about the “how?” Generally when you wake up with neck pain, there are one or two issues at play here. Either your pillow isn’t right for you, the position in which you sleep is aggravating your neck, or both.

You might think that a hard pillow can hurt your neck, but it’s usually a pillow that’s too soft that makes you wake up with neck pain. Just like you need to keep your cervical spine aligned during the day to avoid overly taxing your muscles and ligaments, you need to do the same at night. It’s harder, though; you can make a conscious effort in daylight, but how can you control your posture when you’re asleep? Your pillow is the answer.

A nice, firm pillow will keep your spine in a straight line from your atlas (the first cervical vertebra, C1) down to your coccyx (tailbone). Any deviation from straight runs the risk of torticollis, so avoid it by making sure your pillow is right. Your pillow or your sleeping position could be the culprit. The way you sleep can also have a profound effect on the way you wake up—ready to face the day or ready to crawl back under the covers and hide from your neck pain. The best sleeping position for neck pain is usually on the back.

Why does neck pain get worse at night?

Sudden movement – Sudden movements, like sitting up quickly or flinging your limbs around in a dream, can strain your neck muscles. Tossing and turning while you’re sleeping, or trying to sleep, can also create tension and stress in your neck.

How do you align your neck while sleeping?

Your body doesn’t shut down when you sleep. The night is a regenerative time. Our bodies are mending and rejuvenating so that when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. That’s not always automatic, though. When it comes to back and neck pain, your body needs a little help from you to get things right.

The position in which you sleep has a direct impact on your spine health. Most of us will wake up at some point in our lives with neck or back pain and oftentimes our sleeping position is the culprit. What can we do to fix it? In short, the way to ensure a happy spine is to keep it neutral. Neutral means that your spine is straight.

This starts with your head and neck and goes all the way down. Even things like having your hips/pelvis tilted one way can in turn twist your spine. Below is a breakdown of the four most basic sleeping positions. The Overall Best: On your back. Sleeping on your back evenly distributes weight throughout your body and avoids unnatural or unnecessary curves in the spine. Use a small pillow underneath the head and neck (not shoulders) to keep everything in alignment.

Even better, a small cylindrical pillow in the crook of your neck supports your neck and keeps your head neutral on the mattress. Do note, though, that this sleeping position can cause some people to snore. Runner-Up: On your side, with your legs stretched. This is a great alternative to sleeping on your back, especially if you’re prone to snoring.

Putting a thin pillow between your legs can help align your spine, hips, and pelvis. Still pay attention to the pillow under your head. It should only be thick enough to create a straight line from your head and neck down through your spine. Your shoulders should not be on the pillow.

  • Not So Great: On your side, with your legs curled up towards the chest.
  • This does not provide spine alignment for the shoulders and neck.
  • It also does not evenly distribute weight throughout your body and can lead you to waking up in the morning with back pain.
  • One to Avoid: On your stomach.
  • This position doesn’t support spine alignment and puts pressure on your joints,
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In addition, because you can’t breathe through your pillow, your head is forced to the side, twisting your neck. These are only the most general sleeping positions. As we all know, there are a thousand other ways to position ourselves at night. So how do you tell a good sleeping position from one that will leave you with back and neck pain? As mentioned earlier, the most important question you should ask yourself when you lie down at night is “Are my head, neck, and spine all in a neutral position?” If they are, chances are pretty good you’ll wake up to healthy spine. Casey McClone, MD Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.

What is the best sleeping position for neck hump?

1. Flat On Your Back – Lying on your back is considered the best sleeping position because it disperses the full weight of your body. This minimizes the number of pressure points on your back and fully supports the natural curvature of your spine. It also helps align your neck with the rest of your head, which prevents any nerves at the base of your head from being damaged.

Can barely move neck?

How To Get Rid Of Stiff Neck In Less Than 90 Seconds Working on computers and staring down at our smartphones for hours each day has left over 20% of us experiencing neck pain over the past few months. A stiff neck is usually the result of postural issues that have tired the neck muscles over time. Why it Matters: If you are looking down at your digital devices all day every day, the stress can add up and result in your neck not moving correctly. At this point, it’s only a matter of time before you wake up with a stiff neck or turn your head during the day and are greeted by an intense muscle discomfort or pain. ‍ Here are our 3 smart tips for getting rid of that stiff neck:

Perform exercises each day to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your neck.Sleep on a supportive pillow to keep your head in a neutral position throughout the night.Visit your chiropractor regularly for gentle adjustments to restore the proper motion of your neckand spine.

Next Steps:

Remember, chiropractic care can lead to big changes in your quality of life. Our practice is focused on helping you feel and move better through gentle adjustments and by providing you with the stretches and exercises you can do at home to keep improving. If neck pain is getting in the way of you enjoying your life, give us a call. Our team is here to help!

Science Source(s):

Do You Have a Stiff Neck? Try These Simple Remedies. Cleveland Clinic.2015.

Learn more about and how we can help ‍ : How To Get Rid Of Stiff Neck In Less Than 90 Seconds

When is neck pain more serious?

Overview – Neck pain is common. Poor posture — whether from leaning over a computer or hunching over a workbench — strains neck muscles. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care for neck pain with numbness or loss of strength in the arms or hands or for pain that shoots into a shoulder or down an arm.

Should I sleep on the side where my neck hurts?

– The position that you sleep in is strongly related to the quality of your sleep. If you’re dealing with neck discomfort, the best positions for sleep are on your back or side. These are both less stressful on your spine than sleeping on your stomach.

Where do you put a pillow for neck pain?

Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions – Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow. Sleeping on the back or side, if possible, is advised for those with neck pain.

When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck. The rolled towel or pillow can be put in the pillowcase. Some pillows combine both these elements by including a roll-shaped area for the neck and a deeper, lower area for the head. Some people find it beneficial to try and change the position of the pillow to be more comfortable. For example, many people find that sleeping with the pillow tucked under the shoulders a bit can be more comfortable. Tucking the pillow under the shoulders will position the head further up on the pillow, so the neck is not flexed (bent forward). This position may feel as though the head is more extended slightly, and may be more comfortable for those with muscle pain in the neck. When sleeping on the back, it is best to place a pillow under the knees to minimize strain on the lower back as well.

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When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head. See Ten Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics Resting one arm on a pillow and adding a pillow between the knees offers additional support for the spine. Some body pillows may provide support similar to this mix of pillows.

How can I get my neck aligned without a chiropractor?

Download Article Download Article Having your neck out of alignment is a common issue, especially if you’re sitting at a computer all day. A neck that is out of alignment can cause pain and discomfort. If you’ve been experiencing neck pain and tension, then you are likely looking for a solution. Fortunately, it’s possible to realign your neck using neck stretches, lifestyle changes, or a chiropractor.

  1. 1 Warm up your neck. Warming up your neck muscles before stretching will help prevent muscle tightness and pain. Gently stretch your neck by rolling your head to each side. Start with your head leaning toward the right, then gently lower your head in front of you. Continue around until your head leans to the left.
    • Repeat the exercise, gently rolling your head from side to side.
    • Anytime you are stretching your neck, be very careful not to go too far. Use slow, gentle movements.
  2. 2 Try a front neck stretch. Called a cervical flexion stretch, moving your head to the front and back can help realign your neck. Sit in a straight chair looking forward. Bend your chin down to your chest and hold for 15 seconds. Lift your head back to the starting position, then repeat ten times.
    • Make sure that your movements are smooth and gentle.
    • When moving your head backwards, go very slowly and stop as soon as you feel resistance. Never force your head backwards.


  3. 3 Do a side neck stretch. Called a cervical lateral flexion stretch, turning your head side to side can help with alignment. Start with your head straight with your chin parallel to the floor. Turn your head to the right and hold for 15 seconds. Relax and return to your starting position. Repeat for ten repetitions.
    • After you finish on the right side, repeat for your left side.
    • Stop turning your head as soon as you feel resistance, even if you haven’t turned all of the way to the side.
  4. 4 Use your arm to stretch your neck. Stand or sit with your back straight. Turn your head to the right, then turn your face toward the ceiling. Look forward and bend you head to the right. Using your right arm, gently press your head toward your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat the stretch on your left side.
    • Don’t force your head down. The tilt of your head should be slight.
  5. 5 Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Relax your shoulders and keep your arms at your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for five seconds. Release, then repeat the stretch for ten repetitions.
    • Do three sets of ten each day.
    • Intensify the stretch by holding for ten seconds instead of five.
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  1. 1 Adjust your computer monitor. If you spend time on a computer, then the position of your monitor could be causing your neck misalignment. Raise your monitor so that the top third of your screen is directly in your eyeline. Position the monitor 18 inches (46 cm) to 24 inches (61 cm) from your face.
  2. 2 Sit up straight. When you sit in a chair, press the bottom of your butt against the back of your chair. Allow your back to curve slightly, pressing your upper back against the chair. Keep your neck and head straight.
  3. 3 Sleep on a pillow that supports your neck. You spend about a third of your time sleeping, and the wrong pillow can cause your neck to be poorly aligned. Your pillow should support your neck and keep in in line with your upper back and chest. A pillow that is too high or too low will put strain on your muscles, resulting in misalignment and pain.
    • Great pillow options for neck alignment include memory foam pillows or neck roll pillows.
    • A good pillow will also allow you to stay comfortable in different sleeping positions.
    • Replace your pillows annually.
  4. 4 Take posture breaks, Many people spend their day sitting at a desk, which can negatively affect your posture and health. Schedule breaks throughout your day to get up and walk around. While you’re up, focus on walking with good posture.
    • Stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, and face forward.
    • Do your neck stretches during your breaks.
  5. 5 Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure that your diet is high in nutrients that support healthy bones, such as protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin D3. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which will help your bones by making their load lighter.
    • Eat lean proteins, fruit, and plenty of vegetables.
    • Consider taking a multivitamin.
  6. 6 Exercise regularly. Gentle exercise will help prevent injuries and pain in both your neck and back. When you exercise, your vertebrae swell with water, which allows nutrients to flow into your bones. Exercise can also help you control your weight, which will help by reducing the pressure on your bones.
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  1. 1 Research your local providers. Do a little research about your local providers, including looking them up on the web. Check out their reviews, office ratings, and office website. Search for any news items related to the office.
    • Call to ask them about their services.
    • Ask if they take your health insurance.
    • Tell them that you are having neck issues and want to have your neck realigned.
    • Some suggest looking into an Egoscue practitioner. These professionals use exercises to let gravity realign your neck and back.
  2. 2 Make an appointment. Once you choose a provider who can offer the service you want, schedule your appointment. You may be able to do this over the phone or online.
    • Ask if there is any paperwork you need to complete before your visit, and how early you should arrive.
    • Tell the office that you want your neck realigned.
    • You may need to go to a consultation first. The doctor will evaluate you and recommend a treatment plan comprised of multiple visits, as well as self-care you can practice at home.
  3. 3 Attend your appointment. On the day of your appointment, wear a loose-fitting, two-piece outfit that you are comfortable in. You will be lying on a table and possibly shifting around, so keep that in mind.
    • Bring any questions you have for the doctor.
  4. 4 Schedule your remaining visits at the end of your first appointment. You may need more than one appointment in order for your treatment to be effective. Talk to the office about scheduling your remaining appointments before you leave so that you are following a proper treatment schedule. Starting the process but not finishing it could cause more harm than good.
    • Bring your personal calendar or scheduler.
    • Ask the doctor when they recommend you come back, and then follow their instructions.
  5. 5 Expect side effects. Mild side effects are normal for a few days after treatment. Call your doctor if they bother you or if they continue more than a few days. Possible side effects include:
    • Pain in the treatment area.
    • Fatigue.
    • Headache.
  6. 6 Follow the doctor’s instructions. Your doctor may recommend additional steps to support your alignment procedure, and it’s important that you follow their instructions. These steps could include:
    • Exercise.
    • Stretching.
    • Massage.
    • Weight Loss.
    • Heat or Ice.
    • Foam roller.
    • Trigger point therapy.
    • Electrical stimulation.
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Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Article Summary X If you’re having pain or tension in your neck, try to realign it using stretches and lifestyle changes.

  1. When stretching your neck, gently warm up the muscles by rolling your head from side to side.
  2. Once your neck feels loose, sit up straight and bend your chin to your chest.
  3. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds, then lift your head to its natural position.
  4. Repeat this exercise 10 times, then lift your chin up toward the ceiling 10 times.

Along with stretching, try raising your computer monitor so that the top third of your screen is directly in your eye line, which will help you avoid neck strain. You can also start sleeping on a memory foam or neck roll pillow to keep your upper body fully supported.

Where do you put your arms when you sleep on your back?

If you lay mainly on your back, you can use a pillow to support your arm either by your side (pillow under arm) or out to the side (if your movement allows). Use a small pillow to support the weight of the arm. Many people need two pillows, one under the shoulder blade and one under the arm.

What’s the best sleeping position?

What Is the Best Sleeping Position? – The best sleep position is one that promotes healthy spinal alignment from your hips all the way to your head. What that looks like for you depends on your personal health situation and what you find comfortable. Having said that, there are some positions that are considered healthier than others.

  • Specifically, sleeping on the side or back is considered more beneficial than sleeping on the stomach.
  • In either of these sleep positions, it’s easier to keep your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables your muscles to relax and recover.
  • However, if sleeping on your stomach feels good to you, don’t feel forced to change it.

You can minimize your risk of pain and improve spinal alignment with the right mattress and pillow. Different sleep positions provide different benefits that may be helpful for you if you’re dealing with back pain, pregnancy, allergies, acid reflux, or another health condition.

  1. In these cases, it may be worth trying a new sleep position to enable more restful sleep.
  2. In one study, a group of adults with back pain were trained to sleep on their back or their side.
  3. They experienced significant pain relief in just four weeks.
  4. Adjusting to a new sleep position takes time, but it is possible.

Be patient with yourself and use pillows to help train your body to the new position. More than 60% of people sleep on their side, with each night than women. As children, we split our nights by sleeping in all positions equally, but by adulthood, a clear preference for emerges.

  • The flexibility of our spine decreases as we age, which may make the more comfortable for older adults.
  • Sleeping on your side offers several benefits.
  • It promotes healthy spinal alignment and is the sleep position least likely to result in back pain, especially when supported with pillows.
  • Side sleeping also may reduce and, making it a better sleeping position for people with or acid reflux.

Side sleeping may be particularly beneficial for:

Pregnant women People with acid reflux People with back pain People who snore or have sleep apnea Older people