Neck Pain From Sleeping: Causes, Remedies, Prevention & More

5 min read
5 min read

Waking up after a rejuvenating sleep is one of the best feelings in the world; however, waking up with a sore neck is the most irritating feeling. Neck pain from sleeping is widespread among adults, and there are various causes to it. This detailed article will explain everything related to neck pain, including causes, remedies, prevention, the best way to sleep for neck pain, and much more.

What Causes Neck Pain From Sleeping

According to research, sleeping problems are the root cause of almost 5% of the new cases of chronic pain. Most of the causes of neck pain are controllable, and you can relieve your neck pain from sleeping by making minor changes to your sleeping pattern. Let’s take a look at what causes a stiff neck.

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position has a significant impact on your neck. Although back and side sleepers are not much prone to pain in the back of the neck, stomach sleepers may face many issues with their neck. Sleeping on your stomach bends your neck on a specific side for many hours leading to chronic neck pain. Sleeping with a stiff neck on one side may further aggravate your neck pain.

Stomach sleepers may also feel a sore back if they sleep on the mattress without any support. Stomach sleeping without any firm support can alleviate the stress and pressure on your neck, back, and spine.

Pillow Quality

Your neck spends the most time with your pillow. Sleeping on a poor-quality pillow that doesn’t support the neck may lead to strain in your neck and lead to neck aches. 

A good quality memory foam or feather pillow provides the necessary support that aligns the back, neck, and spine to reduce chronic pain if any.

Abrupt movement

Abrupt movement of your neck, such as sitting up quickly or twisting your limbs suddenly in a dream, leads to stress in your neck. Constant movements during sleeping may also strain your neck.

Past injury

Some injuries do not hurt on the spot but have a long-lasting impact that can be felt later. At times your injury impacts your neck; in such a scenario, you may go to sleep feeling okay, but you may have a sore neck when waking up.

Miscellaneous

Some other factors that lead to neck stiffness and pain include-

  • poor posture during work
  • sitting in the same position for hours in front of tv or laptop
  • nerve compression due to bone spur in your neck

How to Get Rid of Neck Pain

Some valuable remedies help in neck pain relief. You may go for medical advice provided the neck pain lasts for very long, but before that, you can try these stiff neck remedies to ease your neck and shoulder pain relief.

Apply Ice Pack

Perhaps the most effective way to reduce neck pain is to apply an ice pack to the painful part of your neck for 20 minutes. It helps reduce swelling in your neck muscles.

Apply Heat Pack

Applying a heating pad to the sensitive area can help to relax the neck muscles. However, it should be tried only when the pain lasts for more than a day.

Try Painkillers

If the pain doesn’t settle after hot or cold packs, trying painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)m can help in reducing the neck pain.

Try Gentle Exercises

Stopping the movement of your neck can lead to increased stiffness in the neck. Try doing some gentle exercises like yoga or walking that maintain healthy blood circulation to your neck. 

How to Prevent Neck Pain While Sleeping?

They say prevention is better than cure. You can prevent your neck from hurting after sleeping by following these valuable tips.

Choose the Right Pillow

Using the right pillow can help your head and neck conform easily to the cushion. Memory Foam pillows adjust to your neck and head appropriately. It gives proper support to your neck. Using a stiff pillow can lead to stress in your neck, so it is advisable not to use a firm pillow.

Check Your Mattress Regularly

A sagging mattress can lead to soreness in the muscles of the neck. Hence, check the bed regularly and replace it with a good quality mattress that supports your neck and shoulders.

Maintain a Proper Posture

Try maintaining a proper posture while sitting, standing, and working during the daytime. 

Proper Usage of Phone

Try holding the phone at eye level. Bending your neck forward to look at your phone may lead to strain in the neck. It is advisable to avoid using the phone between the neck and shoulders.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise regularly can help in strengthening your muscles. It helps in reducing any kind of stress and tension in the neck and shoulders.

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain?

The best positions to sleep for your neck pain are sleeping on your side or your back. If you are a back sleeper, it is advisable to use a rounded pillow. It helps to support the natural curve of your neck. Also, using a flatter pillow cushioning supports your head and aligns it with the neck and the spinal cord.

If you are a side sleeper, try using a pillow between your legs. It helps to align your neck with the cervical spine and prevents the sore neck from sleeping.

Exercises for Strengthening Your Neck

A couple of simple exercises for neck pain can quickly help you in reducing neck pain. 

Neck Stretch

  1. Stand straight by keeping the hands at your sides, ensuring your back and neck are straight.
  2. Slowly rotate your head to the left.
  3. Hold it in the same position for 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. Slowly turn your head to the right and repeat the same process.
  5. Repeat 3 to 4 times on either side. 
  6. You can perform this exercise regularly.

Dumbbell Shrug

  1. Stand straight and keep some distance between your feet and shoulder.
  2. Hold your neck straight and keep your jaw above.
  3. Hold an object in each hand like a Dumbbell or a water jug.
  4. Slowly move your shoulders up towards your ears, hold in this position for 1-2 seconds.
  5. Exhale and move your shoulder back to its original position.
  6. Redo the exercise 8 to 10 times.
  7. For better results, try this exercise at least three times a week.

The Final Word

Waking up with neck pain is very common, and there are some simple remedies and exercises that can help you reduce and prevent neck pain. Finding the right pillow, comfortable mattress, sleeping correctly, and creating a comfortable sleeping position can undoubtedly help alleviate soaring neck.

Hopefully, following our tips, remedies, and exercises will help you get a pain-free neck and a healthy sleep life.

Happy Sleeping!

Typically, neck pain lasts somewhere between a day to a week.

The fastest way to get rid of a stiff neck after sleeping is to use a cold or hot temperature treatment and resting the muscle strain.

Sleeping without a pillow is suitable for neck for stomach sleepers, but it may be bad for side and back sleepers, as it may induce strain in the neck and the shoulders.



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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by healh experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Disclaimer

www.sleepauthority.com is brought to you by Resident. Our company sells Nectar, DreamCloud, Awara, Level Sleep, and Home Well Designed. While we intend for this site to be an educational and useful resource for consumers interested in sleep-related topics, we also promote our family of brands – brands that we believe in – on this website. Where we have commissioned independent research and/or articles to support our content, we will state as such in the sub-heading of the article. Where we compare our brands and products against others, we will provide the review criteria as well as state our basis for choosing the “best” or “top” product in a link accompanying the comparison. Our aim is to assist consumers in choosing the best solution for getting restful and comfortable sleep and it is our belief that there is a Resident product that meets any sleeper’s needs.

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians