Have you ever woken up with pain or discomfort in your neck? Your sleeping position affects all parts of your body, especially your neck muscles, with little effort, you can prevent pain and discomfort in the future. There are neck problems that are related to age or weak bones, but most of the neck pain and discomfort problems can be fixed by changing your sleeping positions and habits.
Usually, during deep sleep, your head falls into positions that stress your muscles and cause discomfort. This happens because of the brain, while asleep, is not in the position to command repositioning of your neck. As a result, you have neck pain and discomfort in the morning. Here are some changes you can make in your sleeping habits to avoid neck pain and stiffness in the morning
Bad Sleeping position lead to neck pain
Your sleeping position plays a significant role when it comes to discomfort in any muscle of your body. If you are in the habit of sleeping on your stomach, it is better to consider changing your sleeping position. While sleeping on your stomach, the back is inclined, and the neck is twisted towards one side. This awkward position of your back and neck can be stressful for the muscles of your neck.
For a comfortable and stress-free sleep, consider sleeping on your back. In this position, the spinal muscles and neck muscles are positioned comfortably, and you will wake up with no discomfort or pain in your neck.
Sometimes, sleeping on the back is difficult for people; in this case, you can either sleep with a small incline or with a pillow under each arm, this helps reduce the stress on your neck.
- Also read: The Best sleeping position
Best pillow for neck pain
The ideal pillow height depends on the sleeping position that you normally take. If your pillow is too high, it can cause stress to your muscles. Similarly, if your pillow is too low, this can also stress your muscles.
There is no hard and fast rule to follow while choosing a pillow, but one can follow the general trend and the general techniques that work for others. For back sleepers, thin pillows work best but test different pillows to see which one is right for you.
People who prefer sleeping on their side should use a thick pillow as it ensures that the head is positioned in the center of the shoulders. This depends on height and body structure as well.
Usage of the phone
Using a phone before sleeping in bed is the norm nowadays. We are in the habit of browsing through our phone once we lie down for sleeping but this is causing stress on our neck and back muscles which can result in pain and soreness.
Normally, there are ten to twelve pounds of force on your neck and back muscles, but while using the phone when you are lying down this increases to a sixty-pound weight on your neck and back muscles. That is 600 percent more than the normal weight. Thus, limiting the usage of phone while lying can reduce the stress on your neck and back.
This aspect of relieving neck pain in the morning is related to sleeping from the night before. During the day, poor posture habits and even sitting all day can result in tightening of neck muscles. If you don’t loosen these muscles before sleeping, they stay this way all night long and cause even more stress.
Thus, stretching your neck and back muscles for at least five to ten minutes before sleeping can be helpful in alleviating stiffness in neck and back muscle.
The quality of sleep, as well as the sleeping position, are principal factors in the amount of stiffness someone experiences. Research has shown that people with sleeping disorders tend to develop neck and shoulder pain with time. These sleeping disorders consist of difficulty in falling asleep, restless sleep; trouble staying asleep, nightmares, etc.
Approximately 140 people were examined and interviewed for this research. Results showed that after one year of sleeping disorders these people developed neck and back pain along with stiffness of muscles. At the same time, people with no sleeping disorders did not complain about back or neck pain. Trying to combat your sleeping disorders might help with relieving your neck pain.
A water pillow is seen more of as a cure rather than a preventive measure.
Water pillows have a rejuvenating effect on people that complain about neck pain. You can change the firmness of the pillow according to your need. More water will result in more firmness while less water will result in a less firm pillow, as water displaces when you put your head on the pillow. A water pillow gives you the exact support required to alleviate neck pain.
You can also find water pillows that provide warmth along with support. This way you can get a physiotherapy effect as well while sleeping.
Sleeping in chairs
Sleeping in a chair can be dangerous for your neck muscles if you don’t take proper precautions. Sleeping in car, plane or in your office chair, all fall under the category of sleeping in a chair.
There is a “U” shaped pillow that is commonly present in the market; it is usually known as a travel pillow and this can help you sleep comfortably in a chair without causing stress on your neck and spine muscles. It stops your head from falling to either side by creating a natural resting position for the head. You can find cotton, bean and feature filled pillows easily on the market.
Warm compress is not a new kind of pillow or massaging device; it is just a simple trick that can help in curing neck muscle stiffness and pain within a few days. You don’t have to visit the clinic every day for physiotherapy, rather you can do mild physiotherapy at home by yourself before sleeping, and results in wonders.
Research has shown that using warm compress before sleeping is the most effective technique to ease neck pain. What you do is put a warm damp towel on your neck for approximately 20 minutes. It is best to keep two towels with you, one on your neck while the other should be in a bucket of hot water. As the first towel starts getting cold, rotate the towels and put the warm one on your neck so that the neck is not exposed to cold air.
Self-Massage Moves to Relieve Neck Pain
Messaging your neck with warm oil before going to sleep can release the stiffness in the muscles, this helps you have a good night’s sleep and keeps the muscles relaxed throughout the night.
Asian herbalists suggest the use of olive oil with sea salt mixed in it for a message. It is an old remedy to ease neck pain and has been used for centuries by Asian herbalists for this purpose. It has helped many people in mitigating their neck pain.
The above-mentioned preventions and cures for neck pain make it evident that sleeping positions and habits play an essential role in the stiffness and pain of neck and back muscles. The neck and back muscles are connected causing them to be affected in a similar manner by poor posture and bad sleeping habits.
The techniques mentioned above apply to all ages. Prevention at a young age can help in easy and painless adulthood. The things that appear insignificant can be a cause of the most irritating and detrimental problems for us in the future. It is better to identify these problems now to prevent inconvenience and pain in the future.