Today I want to continue the previous subject about pain in neck after waking up. So let’s talk about how to prevent it from occurrence. To be able to do so one has to know what causes it and hot to avoid that.
The majority of such pains occur due to the bad sleeping position. If you slept wrong neck pain can occur quite often. Virginia Tech University’s Schiffert Health Center recommends that the best position for sleeping is on the side of your body with a pillow under you head. I need to mention here that I have been successfully sleeping without a pillow for many years, but this may be due to my regular yoga practice. Anyway, in such position your spine is straight (unless you turn around during sleeping). You can also use a pillow between your knees – this may help to make the position more comfortable and let your body relax better.
It is not recommended to sleep on stomach, because it leads to many problems (more on that below). Sleeping on your back may be fine unless you have any respiratory problems, or there are difficulties in relaxing the back muscles, or specific spine problems are in place.
Another thing to consider is having many pillows or too high pillow for sleep. Both cases are bad for your spine and neck, interrupting with their alignment and decreasing the blood circulation in the upper back, neck and head. If you like to sleep with a pillow, and you do it on your back, it may be good to try using an orthopedic pillow to let your spine remain in the correct position during night.
Neck Pain from Sleeping On Stomach
This is one of the most common cases, because as I mentioned earlier, sleeping on stomach is not a good idea. If your arms are over your head, your shoulders are close to your neck, which leads to worse blood circulation and may cause muscle cramps.
Sleeping with the raised arms leads to nerve irritating, which reduces their functionality, and the ability to send signals to the brain. This often causes numbness or tingling in the arms.
If you happen to sleep with your head turned to a side, you are prone to having a stiff and painful neck in the mornings. This is due to the muscle imbalance during night, when one side of the neck have contracted muscles, while the other side have them extended, so it creates unnecessary strain in your neck, and very easily causes painful sensation.
Neck Pain from Sleeping On Back
Often there are no problems with sleeping on your back, because there is a support for the entire spine and the surrounding muscles, but nevertheless, there are conditions when it may be not the best pose to spend the night.
For some people having no pillow may be an issue; it may refer to both: a pillow under your head, and a pillow under your knees. Sometimes it may be difficult to relax, when your legs are straight; and there is not enough support for the lower back. It is not the problem that everyone should be concerned about; just if you feel that you cannot relax during sleeping on your back, use a pillow. As for myself, I don’t use any pillows while lying on my back, but I don’t sleep on it very often either. Mostly I sleep on the side.
Neck Pain from Sleeping On Side
Often it is considered to be the best sleeping pose. Ideally it should resemble the position of the fetus: hands are close to the body, and both knees are bent. The problems occur when we overlap our legs, which lead to muscle imbalance in hips, may worsen the blood flow in the area and even cause some pain in the lower back and knees.
Also try not to have your hands over or under your head in this position; this will not only may lead to hand numbness and shoulder pain, but is a very common cause of the pain in neck after waking up.
But in general, side sleeping is the best one and is the preferred way for the majority of people. If you develop a habit to sleep properly at night, you will be able to prevent neck pain from sleeping wrong, and will wake up fresh in the morning.
More Tips On How to Avoid Stiff Neck and Back Pain after Waking Up
- Exercise regularly – it tones your muscles, making them more flexible and improving blood circulation throughout your whole body.
- Doing mild stretches before going to be helps relieving the strain in muscles accumulated during the day.
- Don’t eat any heavy foods before going to bad; the food we eat affects the state of the muscles; switching to vegetarian diet may help get rid of many such pains.
- Avoid stress and strong emotions before going to bed; it is well known that stress can affect the state of our muscles and easily leads to cramping and unnecessary tension. Peace of mind and relaxation in the evening ensures you are going to have sweet dreams and fresh morning.
If you follow these simple tips, waking up with neck pain will not be an issue for you anymore.