Finding it Difficult to Sleep with Neck Pain? Try This
Here at To Better DaysTM we are interested in all things Chronic Pain and Vitamin D. We are committed to continually researching these topics as well as publishing content that can be of interest to those experiencing prolonged discomfort.
When we live such busy lives, going to bed after a long day should be a welcome relief and a chance to de-stress – the last thing we want to experience is neck pain. The ache and inflammation can make what is meant to be a rejuvenating experience more of an irksome ordeal.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be hard enough some nights without having to deal with chronic pain. Whether you can’t seem to quiet your mind, have trouble staying asleep or find yourself waking up earlier than intended, we’ve got some tips that could help ease some of that nettlesome neck pain, so you can try to get a good sleep all through the night.
How to Ease Neck Pain When Sleeping
How you should approach easing your discomfort may vary depending on the location, severity and longevity of your pain. However, here are some helpful suggestions on how to ease neck pain when sleeping.
The Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain Sufferers
Studies have shown that the best sleeping positions for neck pain sufferers are on your back and on your side.
Our preferred sleeping positions are typically determined at a young age. If you grew up as a stomach sleeper, making the transition to a full night’s sleep on your side or back can take a bit of effort. Most of us don’t wake up in the same position we fell asleep in anyway, so even starting to sleep on your side or your back is a great step to take toward easing your neck pain.
- Sleeping on your back mimics the support your neck gets during the day while you’re standing. With a rounded pillow that is flatter where your head rests, you’ll be comfortably supported and ready to rest without unwanted tension in your neck. You can also achieve this by placing a neck roll in your pillow case if you don’t already have a rounded pillow.
- Side sleepers require the same bit of neck support while sleeping. The goal is to keep your spine straight while you sleep. Using a pillow that’s higher under your neck than your head will help you to maintain this healthy position.
The Best Pillow for Neck Pain Sufferers
Each night we spend hours upon hours on our pillow, so it’s important to have a pillow that you can rely on to support your head and neck while we sleep. The wrong pillow will cause tension in your neck, straining your muscles and causing stiffness in the morning.
When sleeping on your back, you want a pillow that’s going to support the natural arch in your neck. The best pillows for neck support have a slight curve to cradle the neck and a flatter cushioning for the head. A pillow that supports the natural musculoskeletal position of your neck and head throughout the night may reduce the amount of soreness and pain you would otherwise feel in the morning.
Tip: search for ‘orthopaedic pillow’ or ‘cervical pillow’ online to view a range of specialist brands.
A feather pillow is another option that can easily contour to the shape necessary to support your neck while sleeping, although they tend to lose their bounce after a year and could need to be replaced. Memory foam pillows are a firmer variety of bolster that offer the same effect, so you’ll end up with a shape that’s just right for your neck and head.
How to Sleep with Neck Pain: Other Solutions
Aside from adjusting your sleep position and type of pillow, there are some other natural remedies you could consider before turning off the light.
To Better Days Active Patches
Our easy-to-apply active patches can be used to soothe pain directly where it hurts, allowing for a patented combination of vitamin D and dextrose to be absorbed safely into the skin. These ingredients are proven to improve the health of nerves and muscles over time, allowing you to move freely and keep the muscles in your neck flexible and strong. You should be able to feel the effect after 30 minutes, and relief can last for up to 24 hours.
Tip: our small joint patches are the perfect size to apply to the neck.
Shoulder and neck pain has been a problem for me for years… I was recommended by a friend to try a To Better Days patch so I put one on my shoulder one painful morning. I didn’t expect much but within an hour the pain and stiffness had gone.
I thought that it could have happened anyway as it sometimes does but the same happened the next time I used a patch. I also noticed I had more energy for the day after using the patch.
I don’t know what’s going on but it’s made a real difference to my life. Wake up sore, stick on a patch. It’s very simple!
Neck Stretching Exercises
Staying active during the day by doing gentle exercises, like yoga or walking, will keep blood flowing to your neck and can improve the pain you may feel at night. Simple stretches can also improve the risk of waking up with pain in your neck.
Simple Neck Stretch
- Stand in a neutral position with your hands at your side
- Slowly turn your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch in your neck – take three deep breaths in this position
- Exhale as you turn your head forward again, and continue to turn your head to the right side until you feel a slight stretch in your neck – take three deep breaths here
Arm Assisted Neck Stretch
- Stand in a neutral position with your hands at your side
- Raise your right arm toward the sky and bend at the elbow so that your right hand is touching the top of your left ear
- Using the weight of your right arm, gently pull your head to the right so that your right ear is hovering over your right shoulder. You should feel a stretch on the left side of your neck -take three deep breaths here
- Repeat these actions on the other side of your body, raising your left arm up and reaching for your right ear
If you have a stiff neck, practising these light stretches every day can help to improve the flexibility and health of the muscles in your neck, so that you can get the restful sleep you deserve.
Have you tried these stretches and found relief from your neck pain? Whether you want to share your story about dealing with neck pain or submit remedies that have worked for you, your experience is very important to us. We would be delighted to hear from you!