What’s one of the best ways to help alleviate chronic neck pain? Getting a good night’s sleep.
If you suffer from neck pain, your restless nights of sleep may actually be making your pain worse. A 2015 study found that people with chronic neck pain are less likely to improve if they have poor sleep quality.
You’re probably thinking, “But how can I get a good night’s sleep if my neck pain is keeping me up?!”
It can definitely feel like a catch-22. Sleeping with a stiff neck is often frustrating and painful. It can make it difficult to fall asleep and or prevent you from actually sleeping restfully.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to alleviate the pain and make falling and staying asleep easier. Conveniently enough, these are also some of the best ways to prevent neck pain from happening in the first place.
Routine is Key
The way you sleep can have a big impact on the health of your neck. Making sure you have good sleep hygiene can go a long way in reducing your risk of pain and discomfort.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent neck pain is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim for 7-9 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 screentime before bed and keeping late-night snacks and alcohol to a minimum will also go a long way towards a more restful sleep.
Stomach Sleepers Beware
Stomach sleeping forces your head to one side and puts pressure on your neck, so if you’re a stomach sleeper who’s suffering from neck pain, it’s time to try another sleep position.
Sleeping on your back is typically thought to be the best option for preventing neck pain. Sleeping on your back 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, use a pillow that supports the natural curvature of your neck.
A good pillow is also important for preventing neck pain and ensuring quality sleep. 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.
You’ll also want to make sure your mattress isn’t negatively impacting your sleep or causing your neck pain. A medium to firm mattress is a better option for your neck than a deep, soft mattress that your body sinks into.
Practicing yoga, meditation, deep breathing or any relaxation techniques before bed can be effective for chronic neck pain sufferers. 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.
Reach Out to Us
All of the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic are dedicated to helping you get to the root cause of your neck pain. Reach out today to book your appointment. Let’s get you back to feeling good again.