If you are going to bed fine but waking up with pain in the neck, chances are you are putting strain and stress on the neck muscles at night while you are sleeping. There are certain ways you can help alleviate this type of neck pain at night.
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1. Be sure you are not bending your head sideways or in an upward position.
Try to keep it straight back to avoid neck pain. The most comfortable position can vary from person to person but keep this guide in mind.
2. Choose a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck.
Use a rounded pillow if you are a back sleeper with the roundness located under the neck, not the head, for optimal support. If you don’t’ have this type of pillow, take a neck roll and place it inside your pillowcase. You can also opt to purchase a specialty pillow with a neck support built right into it.
3. Another way to alleviate neck pain is to use a memory foam pillow.
This type of pillow molds to the contours of your head and neck for optimal support while you are asleep. Some designs have a small hump in the back of the pillow and a larger hump in front. The head fits between these humps and the neck is completely supported and pain-free. I personally use this type of pillow and it works very well for me.
If you are a back sleeper, do not use a pillow that is too high or too stiff. These types of pillows cause the sleeper to flex their neck throughout the night and can lead to a stiff neck in the morning.
If you are a side sleeper, make sure the pillow you are using is higher underneath the neck than the head. The memory foam pillow works well for side sleepers as much as for back sleepers.
4. If you wake up on your stomach, this can explain a lot of your morning neck pain.
Try starting out the night on your back or side to try and re-train your body to begin sleeping this way. When you sleep on your stomach, your head is simply turned and there is no support being given to the neck.
People spend 1/3 of their lifetime asleep. It is worth it to invest in a supportive memory foam pillow to ensure you are getting the support you need throughout the night and to end waking up with a stiff or sore neck.
Read more about the best pillow for neck pain HERE!