How to Sleep with Neck Pain? 3 Best Sleeping Positions!

Back or neck pain may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. It’s a never-ending circle. It would help if you slept to recover, but your back pain prevents you from doing so. As a result, your back continues to suffer, and you cannot sleep.

One of the most incapacitating and prevalent musculoskeletal pain diseases worldwide is neck pain. Additionally, it may be challenging to fall asleep if your neck is unpleasant, stiff, or sore. Read and learn about how to sleep with neck pain.

Sleeping can be difficult and painful when you have neck pain. However, you can protect your neck while you sleep!

Starting with a sleeping posture that supports and cushions your neck rather than aggravates it is an excellent place to start. Then, despite your sore neck, use sleep supports and make your bedroom a comfy place to sleep.

Continue reading to find out the ideal sleeping positions for people with neck pain or stiffness and other strategies to find relief. In addition, this article discusses how to prevent neck pain and when to see a doctor.

how to sleep with neck pain
By osteoclinic / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1. How to Sleep with Neck Pain

When you have neck pain, drifting off to sleep can be a real hardship. Even worse, if you toss and turn as you sleep, it may be activated each time you change positions.

The secret to getting good sleep when suffering from neck pain is to choose a position that keeps your spine straight. Avoid sleeping on your stomach by doing so on your back or side.

1.1 Best Sleeping Positions for Neck Pain

Your sleeping posture has a significant influence on how well you sleep. The best sleeping positions are on your back or side if you have neck pain. These two options are less traumatic for your spine than sleeping on your stomach.

Considering that your favored position is frequently established early in life, it may be challenging to shift your sleeping position.

However, when the new place gets familiar to you over time, you’ll feel more at ease. You can stay comfortable even if you move around during the night, which is when most people tend to shift around, by keeping extra pillows close by. You must know about the best sleeping position to get relief from your neck pain.

1.1.1 Sleeping on Your Back

The natural contours of your spine are preserved while you sleep on your back. In contrast to sleeping on your side, you can utilize a thinner pillow in this posture.

You should only gently raise your head so that it is at an angle comparable to when you are standing.

Use a memory foam pillow or cervical pillow to support your neck area. You may sleep on your stomach rather than your back if you snore a lot or have sleep apnea.

1.1.2. Sleeping On Your Side

One of the most proper postures for maintaining a neutral head position with your chin directed forward as you sleep on your side.

Use a high enough cushion to keep your neck neutral while sleeping in this position but not so high that your upper ear rubs against your shoulder.

To keep the neck and head aligned with the center of the shoulders, side sleepers often require a thicker pillow than back sleepers.

By whitesession / Pixabay Copyright 2022

1.1.3. Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

It’s an excellent way to avoid sleeping on your stomach if you have a neckache. The problem with this position is that your head stays on one side for way too long. This unnatural stance could put an unnecessary strain on your neck.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach to lessen extended neck tension in one direction. If a person must sleep on their stomach, they can support their forehead with a skinny pillow to give their neck a more natural angle.

2. Match Your Pillow Height with Your Sleeping Positions

You want a pillow that supports your neck’s natural curve, even if there isn’t a particular pillow height that is ideal for everyone who sleeps.

Follow these recommendations for selecting the right pillow based on your favorite sleeping position to reduce stress on your neck:

2.1. Back Sleepers

A thin pillow may be helpful for back sleepers. By laying on a pillow and having a family member or friend take a picture of your neck’s curvature, you may see if the buffer is right for you.

The ideal neck curve resembles when you are standing straight (standing tall with your head up and shoulders back).

The ideal neck curve resembles when you are standing straight (standing tall with your head up and shoulders back).

2.2. Side Sleepers

Side sleepers frequently need a thicker pillow than back sleepers to maintain their neck and head alignment with the middle of their shoulders.

The cushion you should purchase will be influenced by your height and shoulder breadth. For example, if you are petite, you will require a narrower pillow than if you have broad shoulders.

2.3. Stomach Sleepers

An ultra-thin pillow or no pillow may be beneficial for stomach sleepers.

Some people might want to avoid sleeping on their stomachs because this posture significantly strains the cervical spine more than any other position.

By Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay Copyright 2022

3. Put Pillows in The Right Places

The proper placement of pillows can support your neck and spine, reducing neck pain and enhancing sleep.

For back sleepers, that means using one pillow to support your neck and head while sleeping. Consider placing one to three pillows beneath your knees and thighs to lessen tension and prevent your lower back from arching.

Would you rather sleep on your side? Like back sleepers with neck pain, side sleepers should utilize a pillow to maintain head support while maintaining a neutral spine alignment.

It can be challenging to change one’s usual sleeping posture, though. Most people decide on their ideal sleeping positions while they are young.

Additionally, many people spend more time than they are conscious in positions other than the ones they think they are sleeping in. Some individuals might sleep in one position and awaken in a different one.

Soft props or pillows can be used as support structures to help people with trouble controlling or adjusting their sleeping posture stay in a chosen position. For instance, one can place a firm, elevated pillow behind the back to prevent rolling over.

While lying on the side or back, using pillows to support the arms may also lessen the tension and pain in the neck.

To lessen pressure or strain on the spine, a person might also consider putting a pillow under or between their knees while sleeping on their back or side.

4. Ways to Help Relieve Neck Pain

Be sure to take care of your neck’s demands and prepare for a successful nap. Restorative sleep is one of the best strategies to treat neck discomfort and guarantee ongoing sound sleep.

4.1. Make Sure Your Workstation is Ergonomic:

If your computer isn’t at eye level, you can look down more often, making your head tilt forward and putting stress on your neck.

Prop up your monitor with books or boxes; if you use a laptop, invest in a separate keyboard.

4.2. Relaxation Methods

Neck pain can be caused or worsened by holding stress in your body. Relaxing before bedtime with stress-reduction practices like massage or meditation helps ease tension in your neck muscles.

4.3. Cold and Heat Therapy:

Your neck will feel less sore if you apply an ice pack to it several times during the day for up to 20 minutes each time. A heating pad or a hot bath before bed will also help relax your neck muscles.

4.4. Medications:

Short-term use of over-the-counter painkillers can assist ease discomfort brought on by a neck injury or other acute pain problem.

If necessary, a medical practitioner may also recommend additional medications to treat neck pain and improve your sleep.

Suggested Reading- How to Sleep While Suffering From Lower Back Pain For the Most Relief

neck pain
By jennyfriedrichs / Pixabay Copyright 2022

5. Best Way to Sleep with Neck Pain

Three locations on your spine naturally curve outward. Your neck and lower back are where it curls forward. Your upper back curves the other way.

You can lessen neck or back pain by positioning your bed to maintain these natural curves as much as possible. If you do so:

  • Use a small pillow-Using a thin pillow can maintain a tiny forward curvature in your upper spine.
  • Test using a cervical pillow-Your neck and head are supported by a cervical pillow, which keeps them in a neutral position.
  • Make use of a firm mattress-Your back may round if your mattress is overly soft, causing you to sink into it.

6. Final Words

Almost everyone will eventually develop a sore neck. Sleeping on your side or back might relieve pressure on your neck and help you cope with pain.

Your neck is positioned awkwardly while you sleep on your stomach, which could exacerbate your pain.

If neck symptoms persist for more than a week, are severe or unexplained, interfere with daily activities or sleep, are resistant to simple treatments, or are accompanied by other unsettling symptoms, it is advised to consult a doctor.


Apeksha Soni

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