Around two-thirds of people deal with neck pain on occasion. Waking up with neck pain can be, well, a pain in the neck! It’s difficult to do anything without turning in the wrong direction. Driving, working, watching television, and of course going back to bed at night are all suddenly painful. Because the head weighs approximately 10 pounds, the neck muscles truly have a heavy load to support. Changing both how and where you fall asleep can help to alleviate your neck pain.
Common Sleeping Habits That can Lead to Neck Pain
One of the most common reasons a person wakes up with neck pain is that they fall asleep somewhere other than their bed. Perhaps you’re watching television on your sofa and fall asleep slumped over to the side. Maybe you’re traveling and fall asleep up against the car window or with your head on your shoulder for several hours without a travel pillow. Ouch! Sleeping in a location other than a bed, such as a plane seat, back seat of a car, hammock, lounge chair, or a couch, can contribute to neck pain. Any spot other than a bed does not have room for you to move around and allow your head to be in a comfortable position.
Neck Pain from Stomach Sleeping
If you commonly sleep on your stomach rather than on your back or side, this will contribute to neck pain. Sleeping on the stomach forces your head to be turned fully to the left or to the right, all night long. This is not a natural position for the neck and shoulder muscles. Sleeping on your stomach may initially feel comfortable, but upon awakening, the pain has set in. This is why sleeping on your stomach is not considered the best sleeping position for your neck.
Best Sleeping Positions for Your Neck
So, the question becomes, what is the best sleeping position for your neck? Some people find that their neck pain decreases when they sleep on their back with their head supported by a relatively flat, but supportive pillow. Generally speaking, sleeping on your back is the best position to let your entire spine rest comfortably. Some also prefer sleeping on an adjustable bed with the upper part of the body at an incline. In this position, your neck isn’t twisted and isn’t forced to carry the burden of a ten-pound head all night long! Adding a wedge pillow to your bed can offer some of the same benefits.
What can Help You get Rid of Neck Pain from Sleeping?
As mentioned above, you’ll want to make sure you’re sleeping in the right position. If you’re prone to neck pain, avoid sleeping on the floor, chair, couch, or any place other than your bed. Make sure your bed has everything you need to be comfortable and supported, like a new, high-quality mattress and a pillow that holds your head in the right position. Yes, getting a new pillow is incredibly important if you’re waking up with neck pain!
You should rest your head on a cloud of dreamy support, no matter which position you sleep in! A pillow that is too old, flat, or lumpy is at best not going to help your neck and at worst actually contribute to making your pain worse. On the other hand, contoured pillows for neck pain and migraines make it possible to not only get through your day, but enjoy it! Contoured pillows feature an ergonomic design that conforms to the neck and head, giving you the support you need to correctly align your spine. One of our favorite options is the Malouf Contour Dough Pillow. The ergonomic contour design fits the natural curves of your head, neck, and shoulders, correctly aligning your spine for comforting sleep. Thanks to the Dough® formula, which creates a softer, more supportive memory foam, this wedge pillow reduces pressure points and adds comfort. Another one of our top choices for a contour pillow is the Malouf Contour Gel Dough™ + Z™ Gel Pillow. This is one of our favorites because it does more than just contour to your body. Infused with Z™ Gel, the Gel Dough® formula creates a cooler, softer memory foam. The breathable Tencel™ cover aids in obtaining the perfect sleeping temperature.
There are many supportive mattresses and contoured pillows made to eliminate neck pain, and we want to help you find the right bedding essentials for you. We carry options from top brands like PranaSleep, Tempur-Pedic, Malouf, Blu Sleep, and more. We’re confident we have the right products for you. The best mattress and pillow for neck pain can be found at City Mattress!