Sleeping with Neck Pain: What You Need to Know

Are you hurting yourself in your sleep? It sounds crazy but you can cause a lot of damage to your body when you sleep if you are using the wrong kind of pillows or mattress. While neck pain is not as common as lower back pain, millions of people go through it at one point or another in their lives. Poor positioning when sleeping or sitting often causes majority of these cases of neck pain. Neck pain is often addressed with non-surgical treatments such as back massages, chiropractic adjustment and medication. In order to avoid muscle strain that leads to neck pain while sleeping, you should consider the following:

Your pillow height should match your sleeping position

Your pillow should support the natural curve of your neck when you lie down to sleep. In case your pillow is too high or too low, it can strain your neck muscles or obstruct your breathing. If you like sleeping on your back, you should use a thin pillow that maintains the curvature of your neck as it usually is when you are standing. If you like sleeping on your side, use a thicker pillow that will keep your head positioned right in the middle of your shoulder. Your shoulder width and eight should be your guide to buying the right pillow. You should avoid sleeping on your stomach because is laces the most stress on you neck.

You should avoid your phone

Avoid using your phone when lying in bed. These few minutes of browsing on your phone in bed can provoke neck pain since tilting your head leads to sharp angles that increase the amount of force straining your neck muscles. This is commonly referred to as text neck. Doing things like reading books or finishing the crosswords in bed do not help either as the position of your head will put stress on your neck too. Simply limit screen time on your phone to only a few minutes before bed and hold the phone at eye level.

Stretch before going to bed

You probably spend the most time of your day sitting at your desk, driving a car or relaxing on the couch. Any poor posture such as slouching can cause the muscles in your neck to tighten up leading to neck pain. You often experience the cumulative pain from the strain in the evening before you go to bed. You will have a hard time sleeping too. Try stretching too loosen up the tension in your neck before you go to bed. You can also do exercises to loosen the levator scapula muscles.

Most cases of neck pain often disappear after a restful night, a massage or some good stretching. In case the neck pain persists or starts interrupting your normal sleep pattern for more than a week, you should consider consulting a doctor about it. There could underlying complications that led to the neck pain which need immediate treatment.