Person holding their neck in pain after waking up in bed

4 sleeping positions to avoid if you suffer from neck pain

When you’re tired, achy, stressed, and not feeling your best, there’s nothing like a refreshing night’s sleep.

However, when you suffer from neck pain, you can often wake up feeling worse than when your head hit the pillow!

The position you sleep in can strain your neck muscles, making the pain you feel even worse. We’ve put together the four worst sleeping positions if you’re experiencing neck pain so that you can say ‘goodnight’ to aching and stiffness once and for all!

1. Sleeping on your stomach

With 7% of adults snoozing on their stomachs, this position is fantastic if you snore in your sleep!

However, it’s not so good if you experience neck pain. As you need to twist your neck to the side to breathe, this strains your neck muscles and vertebrae.

Love sleeping on your stomach, but hate the thought of neck pain? Placing a pillow under your pelvis can align your spine and move your neck into a more neutral position.

2. Fetal position

If you want a calm night’s sleep and want to sleep like a, well, baby, the fetal position is perfect.

The problem with this sleeping position is that we tend to tilt our heads down towards our chests, putting more pressure on our necks. Try sleeping on your side instead, or place a pillow between your knees to keep your posture aligned.

3. Sleeping on your back

Out of all of the positions on this list, sleeping on your back isn’t the worst for neck pain. The key is keeping your neck supported to ensure it stays in a neutral position.

Using no pillow, or a pillow that’s too thin can strain your neck, making the pain worse. Conversely, while propping your head up with lots of pillows may sound like the most comfortable option, it’s not as good for your neck as you might think. Too many pillows can cause your neck to curve upwards, meaning you wake up with a sore, stiff neck.

If you prefer sleeping on your back, it’s important to use a pillow with the right neck support, like Fitpeak’s ergonomic memory foam pillow. Alternatively, place a rolled-up towel under your neck to offer relief.

4. Arm under the pillow

Are you a fan of cuddling your pillow? This sleeping position can be one of the worst for neck pain as it forces you to elevate your shoulder, meaning your neck tilts at an awkward angle.

If you can’t sleep without spooning your pillow, try using a more supportive pillow or switching sides during the night to reduce the risk of strain on one side of the body.

Which sleeping position is best for neck pain?

Side sleeping is ideal if you experience neck pain, as it takes the pressure off your head and neck. Back sleeping is also okay as long as you use a pillow that cushions your head and supports your neck.

If you’re suffering from neck pain in your sleep instead of experiencing sweet dreams, your sleeping position may be the culprit. Try another position and see if it makes a difference.

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