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The Best Sleep Positions to Avoid Neck Pain

We explore if sleeping on your side, back, or stomach is best as well as how to prevent neck pain and sleep better.

Best sleeping position

The Best Sleep Positions to Avoid Neck Pain

Are you waking up one too many times with a stiff or sore neck? One of the best ways to minimize pain is to make use of quality pillows and be aware of your sleeping position. After all, it's not for nothing that the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

While neck pain can be caused by all sorts of activities, especially as we grow older, there are certain factors over which we have a measure of control. One of these is our sleeping position.

Two sleep positions are said to ease the pressure on your neck; namely, sleeping on your side and sleeping on your back.

Should you choose to sleep on your back, then you should make use of a rounded pillow that will support the natural curve of your neck while a flatter pillow can be used in conjunction to provide the necessary support for your head.

Experts suggest one makes use of a unique pillow that features built-in neck support.

How Does a Pillow Help to Prevent Neck Pain?

The primary role of one's pillow is to position your head in such a way that it keeps your head in a natural and healthy position.

Your nose needs to be in line with the core of your body, the spine. By using a pillow that is too high up, you will do your head and neck an injustice as it will bend upwards. On the flip side, a very flat pillow will cause your head to bend downwards.

The pros reckon you should opt for a memory foam or feather pillow so it will mold to the shape of your neck.

Did you know that the average head weighs around 12 pounds? Neck pain from an incorrect sleeping position can cause a lot of distress and will interfere with one's daily life. Our poor necks already have to work very hard during the day to keep our heads in the right position. Why put any more strain on it at night by sleeping in such a way that puts a lot of tension on it?

What are some of the leading causes of neck pain?

Some of the causes for neck pain include:

  • Stress, whether at home or work
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Bad posture when lying down, standing, or walking

One of the most common causes happens to be an improper sleeping position.

How many of you find yourselves sleeping in a different position than what you fell asleep in? What we do have control over is the position we adopt when we go to sleep. Hopefully over time, you can train your body to remain in the best position for neck pain relief.

Some would say that if we sleep on our backs, it keeps the spine in the right position and places less strain on our neck. The best pillow to use is one that supports our neck and head.

The fetal sleeping position is regarded as a painless way to experience a well-deserved rest. It is a position that is very similar to side sleeping, except that you are all curled up with your arms in front of you. It is recommended you make use of a pillow that supports your head properly.

Another popular sleeping position is to be on your side. However, doing so will put a lot of pressure on some areas of your body, such as the hips and shoulders. Neck pain can be neutralized when using a very firm pillow for support.

Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

Paying attention to all areas of your sleep routine will pay off in the end. These final tips will help you keep your neck pain-free:

  • Utilize a high-quality pillow such as memory foam or down
  • Keep your phone away from your bed, so you are not tempted to look at it during the night
  • Engage in a variety of sleep activities before going to bed to ensure you get quality sleep
  • Getting yourself a firm pillow for traveling purposes to support your neck and minimize pain.

Our suggestion to you is to do all you can ensure you minimize the chances of developing neck pain as it will interfere with your sleep quality.

Resources— Harvard Health, Thrive Global, National Sleep Foundation

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