Your neck may be small, but it’s a crucial component of a healthy body and overall wellness. Symptoms of neck pain can include numbness, stabbing or shooting pain, inability to turn one’s head regularly, and migraines or headaches. Neck pain is a result of cervical spine pressure or tension, nerve irritation or inflammation. Take note of what limitations you have with your neck pain and/or where the pain is centralized. The neck is an integral part in supporting and mobilizing the head, so it’s important that it is attended to before the condition worsens.
Most neck pain conditions heal within a few days or weeks, but sometimes the damage may need more than just a bit of rest and an ice-pack. This is most likely dependent on the cause of neck pain. One of the causes of neck pain is sleeping in an unusual position. Check out the below tips to avoid neck pain from sleeping.
Find the best pillow height.
It is important to find a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck when you lie down to sleep. If your pillow is too low, you risk straining your neck. If your pillow is too high, you are also at risk of straining your neck and obstructing your breathing.
If you are a back sleeper, a thin pillow is your best option. Side sleepers need a thicker pillow to ensure that their head is in the middle of their shoulders. The height and width of your shoulder will determine the exact thickness. Sleeping on your stomach is the most detrimental position for your neck. If you must sleep on your stomach, you will need a very thin pillow or perhaps no pillow at all.
Put your phone away.
Checking your phone at night, even if just for a few minutes, can cause neck pain. When you look at your phone in bed, you may tilt your head up to 60 degrees. This angle strains your neck muscles, tendons and ligaments. Another negative about looking at your phone in bed is that the light your phone emits can actually block your body’s release of melatonin. This makes it harder to fall asleep.
Stretch your neck.
If you work at a desk all day, the strain from slouching or poor posture can cause neck pain. This pain can persist throughout your sleep. Stretching your neck before going to sleep can help loosen tight muscles from a stressful day