Best Sleeping Positions for Neck Pain According to a Physical Therapist
Are you dealing with stubborn neck pain? If so, you might be wondering how your sleeping position is contributing to your pain, and how you can change your sleeping position to feel better.
In this article we’ll break down how to optimize your sleeping position for neck pain, how to choose the best pillow pillow, and some tips on how to get the best results with both.
Let’s get started!
Neck Pain and Sleeping Positions
As one of the most common problems for adults worldwide, neck pain can seriously impact your daily routine and sleep quality. For some people, neck pain is a part of daily life that can be worsened by a bad night of sleep. However, some neck pain may actually be caused by how we sleep.
Most people prefer sleeping on their back, side, or stomach. Let’s talk about each of these three positions:
Sleeping on Your Back
For most people, sleeping on your back is the easiest and simplest way to sleep while maintaining a comfortable position for your neck. When sleeping on your back, lying flat or with one pillow is usually a comfortable option for most people.
Sleeping on Your Side
For a number of reasons, some people prefer sleeping on their side instead of their back. Depending on the bed and pillow that you use, sleeping on your side can be just as comfortable for your neck as sleeping on your back.
When you sleep on your side, make sure to use enough pillow support to keep your head in a neutral position (not tilted to either side). If you sleep on your side regularly, it’s important to switch sides every few nights to even out the stress on your back and neck.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
While sleeping on your stomach can work in a pinch, it isn’t recommended for most people, most of the time. This is because in order to breathe normally while sleeping on your stomach, your neck must be twisted to one side or the other, which can lead to stiffness or pain in your neck.
Pillow Types and Choosing The Right Pillow
When it comes to neck pain treatment, one of the most important tools to protect yourself is the right pillow. Since there are hundreds of different pillows to choose from, let’s talk about the two most popular types:
Standard Cotton or Down Pillows
These classic types of pillows are good for providing a combination of support and softness. Standard pillows are preferred by some people because the support of the pillow can easily be adjusted by fluffing or folding the pillow, and cotton pillows are usually the least expensive.
The main downside to standard cotton or down pillows is that they’re not very consistent. So, even if you had just the right amount of support and cushioning one night, it can be challenging to get the same results every night.
Memory Foam Pillows
Considered by many people to be a revolution in the pillow world, memory foam pillows provide more support than cotton or down pillows because of the material used to make them. Many people prefer memory foam pillows to help them sleep in the same position night after night with enough support to limit neck pain.
Of course, because memory foam pillows are firmer than standard cotton or down pillows, they can’t be adjusted as easily. This means that when choosing a memory foam pillow, it’s important to make sure that the pillow is the right size and firmness for your needs.
While there is no “best pillow” available for neck pain, there are some things that make a pillow a great choice, such as:
Adequate support to keep your head and neck in a comfortable position.
Enough cushion to help you feel comfortable and sleep soundly.
A price that doesn’t break the bank.
The pillow world has come a very long way in the last ten years, and getting a pillow that fits your needs is easier than ever before. That said, it still takes some time to find the best option for you.
Focus on What Works for Your Body
Your body is unique, and the sleeping positions or pillows that work for one person might not work for another. This means that even if your friends or family have recommended something to you that worked for them, it still might not be the best option for you.
To find out if a position, pillow, or mattress is best for you, you need to try it for yourself. Remember that your body may need some time to adjust to new positions or pillows, so give yourself a few days or even weeks to try something before moving on to the next.
For the absolute best results possible with your sleeping routine, consider custom fitted pillows as an option to ensure you’re getting the best support, cushion, and price for your needs.
Neck pain can seriously impact everyday life and the quality of your sleep. Whether your neck pain is worsened or caused by your sleeping position, changing up your sleeping habits can help you get your neck pain under control more effectively.
By finding the most comfortable sleeping position for you, and taking the steps to find a pillow that fits the unique shape of your body, you can start feeling more comfortable and seeing results for your neck pain faster.
If you need extra help for your neck pain, physical therapy from trained experts can help you find the root causes of your pain and recover faster. For the best physical therapy in Sharon, PA and Western Pennsylvania for neck pain, our expert therapists at Roscoe Physiotherapy can give you the tools you need to sleep better and make a full recovery.