If you’re like most people, at least a few times in your life you’ve woken up with a stiff neck after “sleeping funny”.
But did you know that not getting a good night’s rest could be making your chronic neck pain even worse?
A 2015 study found that people with chronic neck pain are less likely to improve if they have poor sleep quality. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways you can heal from neck pain.
If you suffer from chronic neck pain, you’re probably thinking, “Good to know that bad sleep is making my neck pain worse. But I can’t sleep because of my neck pain!”
It can definitely feel like a catch-22. Sleeping with a stiff neck is often a frustrating and painful experience. It can make it difficult to fall asleep and can also lead to a restless night’s sleep.
However, there are steps you can take to alleviate the pain and make drifting off and staying asleep easier. Conveniently enough, these are also some of the best ways to prevent neck pain from happening in the first place.
Establish a Healthy Sleep Routine
A healthy sleep routine can be an effective way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep to help you prevent neck pain or heal from existing pain.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent neck pain is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep in a cool, dark room each night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and ensure you get the rest you need. Avoiding screen time before bed and keeping late-night snacks and alcohol to a minimum will also go a long way towards a more restful sleep.
Change Your Sleep Position
Another important factor to consider is the position in which you sleep. Stomach sleeping forces your head to one side and puts pressure on your neck, so if you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll want to try out another sleep position.
Sleeping on your back is generally considered the best option for preventing neck pain, as it allows your head, neck, and spine to be in a neutral position, putting less strain on your neck. If you prefer to sleep on your side, however, you can try using a pillow that supports the natural curvature of your neck.
Speaking of Pillows
A good pillow is also important for preventing neck pain. Look for a pillow that keeps your head and neck in a neutral position, and that provides enough support to keep your spine aligned. Consider switching to a memory foam pillow, which conforms to the shape of your head and neck, providing customized support.
While we’re on the topic of cushions, make sure your mattress isn’t the culprit of a bad night’s sleep or any pain you’re waking up with. A medium to firm mattress is much more supportive for your neck than a deep, soft mattress that your body sinks into.
If you have chronic neck pain, it may be helpful to practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing before bed. These practices can help reduce stress and tension in the body, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Get Some Help
If you’ve adjusted your sleep routine and position, got yourself the best pillows and mattress for your needs, and tried practicing relaxation techniques before bed and still find yourself struggling to get a good night’s sleep or cope with your neck pain, it might be time to seek help.
A chiropractor can help get to the root cause of your neck pain and come up with a proper treatment plan to help you alleviate your pain so you can get the rest you need.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Is neck pain preventing you from getting quality sleep? Then schedule your appointment with Cianci Chiropractic today.