5 Best Ways to Sleep for Neck Pain

If you wake up with neck pain every morning, you’re not alone. Up to 75% of people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. I struggled with neck pain for years until I started making changes to my sleeping habits and my daily routines. 

I’m going to share my top tips for the best way to sleep for neck pain, so you can finally get the relief you need.

1. Change Sleeping Positions

Your sleeping position will play a big role in whether or not you wake up with neck pain. The right position can prevent neck pain, but the wrong position can cause pain or make existing pain even worse. 

When I first started experiencing neck pain, the first thing I did was change my sleeping position. And guess what? It worked. 

Was it a miracle? No, but I had less pain in the morning. 

The best sleeping position for neck pain is on your back or side with your legs stretched out. Sleeping on your back is the best position to prevent back and neck pain. When you sleep on your back, your weight is distributed evenly, and your spine is kept in a neutral, healthy position.

My chiropractor told me that it’s okay to sleep on your side as long as you keep your legs stretched out. If you curl your legs up to your chest, it causes your spine to curve in an unnatural position. I sometimes sleep in this position and when I do, I always put a pillow between my knees. 

When I finally started sleeping on my back, my neck pain improved significantly. But I still had some pain in the morning, and that pain would often get worse throughout the day.

2. Invest in a Neck Massager

Along with changing my sleeping position, I invested in a good neck massager. The massager is what really kicked my pain to the curb. The right massager will alleviate tension and help you relax. 

I found that using it before bed and first thing in the morning helped me enjoy pain-free days. 

I recommend choosing a quality neck massager. I tried quite a few before I finally found an effective one: Neck Relax

I like Neck Relax because it uses Electronic Pulse Massage (EPM) to release tension. This massager has Pulse Patches that you can place on your back or wherever to maximize the tension relief. 

It wasn’t until I started using Neck Relax that my pain finally went away for good.

3. Choose the Right Pillow Type and Position

What type of pillow do you sleep with, and what position is it in? I had no idea that there were different types of pillows. I always thought that pillows were pillows, but as it turns out, there are different types of pillows.

  • Thin pillows are ideal for back sleepers. 
  • Thick pillows are ideal for side sleepers.

The key most important thing is to make sure that your neck and head are positioned in the middle of your shoulders. If you’re petite, you may need a slimmer pillow to keep your neck and head in the proper position.

If you’re a side sleeper, it’s important to keep your spine straight. The best way to do this, I’ve found, is to use a pillow that is higher under the neck than the head. 

It’s best to avoid using a pillow that’s too stiff. These pillows put a lot of strain on the neck, which can lead to stiffness and pain the next day. 

There are also a few different pillow materials that can help with neck pain. 

I have found that sleeping on a down (feather) pillow works best for me because it has some flexibility and conforms to the shape of my head. Memory foam pillows can work the same way, and many people love them for this reason. 

Along with memory foam and down pillows, there are also water pillows. Just as the name suggests, water pillows are filled with water. The water allows the pillow to conform to the natural curves of your head and neck. It provides support without sacrificing comfort.

I used a water pillow for many years. I loved them – until they started getting moldy inside. But they did work well to help prevent neck pain.

4. Sleep Upright

If you have serious neck pain, you may find that sleeping upright is the best position. Sleeping on your side or back may be too painful. 

Sleeping upright or in a recliner works best in this case, especially if you’re pregnant. My sister stayed at my home when she was pregnant, and she had the best sleep in our leather recliner.

But if you want to sleep upright, you need to have the right pillow. A horseshoe pillow (like the kind you use on an airplane) is ideal. They provide support for your neck without straining it. Just make sure that the pillow isn’t too thick, or it will push your neck forward and cause even more pain.

5. Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

I used to be a stomach sleeper, and I later found that this was the root cause of my neck pain. IF you’re a stomach sleeper, I would recommend changing your position if you want to get rid of neck pain and keep it from coming back.

The problem with stomach sleeping is that it doesn’t provide your spine with any support. It also puts extra pressure on your joints. Because you can’t breathe properly when your face is buried in your pillow, you have to twist your head to the side. That puts extra strain on your neck. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best way to sleep for neck pain, these five tips will help. The key is to make sure that your head and neck are properly aligned when sleeping. Proper alignment will help prevent pain and help you wake up feeling refreshed. 

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