How to Get the Best Sleep With Neck Pain
Do you ever wake up in the morning and find yourself wondering, “hey, did I get hit by a bus last night?” Bonus points if that happens every morning.
If so, you’re an unlucky member of the neck pain club, alongside 10 to 20 percent of American adults.
Neck pain makes everything more difficult, but sleeping with neck pain is its own special (read: miserable) challenge. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of tips for getting better sleep with neck pain. You can thank us later!
Stop sleeping on your stomach
Stomach sleepers, we have some bad news. Your sleeping position is… not it. At least, not if you have neck pain.
Prepare yourself for some more hard-hitting truth bombs
Unless you're a fish person with gills that allow you to breathe while putting your head straight down on the mattress, you probably have to turn your head to one side or the other when sleeping on your stomach. Keeping your head twisted like that for hours at a time can put stress on your spine and strain your neck. Not good.
Your best bet is to avoid this sleeping position entirely.
Choose the right pillow
If you take our advice above to stop sleeping on your stomach, you’ll still have a couple of other sleeping positions to choose from. Once you do, make sure you also choose the right pillow to go along with that sleeping position.
Side sleepers should opt for a pillow that’s thick enough to fill the space between your head and your shoulder. Ultimately, you want your neck in alignment so you don’t wake up with any new pains.
This form right here? Our judges give it a 3/5... looks like that pillow could use a little more fluff.
Over to our pals who just flop onto the bed on their backs and sleep that way. Back sleepers, you need a thin pillow that keeps your neck in a similar position to where it is when you’re standing.
When in doubt, you can add a pillow below your knees (stomach sleepers) or between your knees (side sleepers) to give your spine extra support.
Put your devices to bed
Listen, we all spend too much time on our devices these days. We’d wager you’re even using one right now to read this article unless you found a way to access the internet through the power of your mind.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some light or not-so-light internet surfing, but be aware that using your phone before bedtime can contribute to your neck pain.
Most of us are guilty of bending our necks forward to look down at our phones, and it turns out that puts stress on the spine. Like, a lot of stress– up to 60 pounds of force. The best way to go is to limit your screen time near bedtime and hold your phone at eye level when you use it.
Check out your mattress
Your mattress can be the source of a lot of sleep-related issues, and unfortunately, neck pain is no exception. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, but you’re still waking up with neck pain in the morning, it’s probably time to investigate whether your mattress is the culprit.
Old or overly soft mattresses may not provide enough support to keep your spine in alignment while you sleep. Check to make sure that your mattress doesn’t sag or have any hard pressure points.
Imagine a future free of neck pain with your new mattress!