3 Tips for How to Prevent Neck Pain When Sleeping

Do you wake up with a “crick in your neck?” 

Even people with healthy spines occasionally wake up feeling like they’ve gotten into a fight in their sleep. That soreness can last all day and get in the way of your activities. Ouch!

So what gives? What are you doing at night that’s causing this, and how can you prevent it? 

We’re here to talk all about how to prevent neck pain when sleeping so you can avoid neck pain treatment in the future. 

  1. Adjust Your Pillows

If you’re experiencing neck pain at night, your first place to look is your pillows. 

Everyone loves the aesthetic of plenty of plush pillows lining the headboard of the bed, but is this the best option for sleeping? The only time that you should have so many pillows is when you’re trying to stay upright while you sleep (more on that later). 

While it might seem cozy while you’re lying awake in bed, when it’s time to actually go to sleep, stick with a pillow that isn’t too plush. When your pillow is too high, you’re putting your neck in a bad position. 

You want to keep your spine as neutral as possible. Some people who experience significant neck pain even prefer sleeping with no pillow at all. 

If you need a pillow and you’re still having pain after getting a flatter one, consider switching to memory foam. 

  1. Sleeping Position: Does It Matter? 

Believe it or not, the position that you sleep in will have a huge impact on your neck pain.

For some people, this is problematic. It’s common for people to only be able to fall asleep in one position, and that position isn’t often the best for your spine.

The best position to sleep in is going to be flat on your back, facing up. This is great for your spinal health and even your skin

When you lay on your stomach, especially with a tall pillow, you’re putting your spine in a bad position. Your lower back is curving up and your head is elevated, causing your neck to bend as well. 

If you can’t sleep on your back, sleeping on your side is also acceptable as long as you have an appropriate pillow. 

If you need more support while you sleep on your back like if you like to sleep sitting up (common for people who are sick or pregnant), make sure that your pillows are in a position that allows them to support your back so your neck doesn’t fall forward.

  1. See a Professional

If nothing seems to be working and you still wake up feeling sore, there’s nothing wrong with consulting with a physical therapist or chiropractor. They can observe your position and determine where you should make changes.

They can also help you by doing massages and adjustments if there’s an underlying neck problem. 

That’s How to Prevent Neck Pain When Sleeping

Figuring out how to prevent neck pain when sleeping is a trial and error process. You’re going to have to test out several positions and pillows to find the right answer for you. 

When in doubt, talk to a professional about common causes of neck pain and how they can help. 

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