The human neck curves slightly forward to sustain the weight of the head when upright , and it is very important to maintain this curve when in a resting position. If the height of the pillow is too high or low when sleeping, your neck is bent abnormally out of alignment, causing muscle and joint strain.
You can even wake with headaches. Poor pillow support can also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep. The best lying or sleeping position may vary, depending on your symptoms.
Say “good night” to neck pain
No matter what position you lie in, the pillow should be under your head , but not your shoulders , and should be a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position. To give your body the proper rest it needs, and to ensure the health of your spine, physiotherapists recommend only two sleeping positions:. Both of these positions prevent poor alignment of the neck and upper back. Proper alignment can help to reduce the number of neck aches, back aches, pinched nerves, shoulder and arm referred pain, insomnia, and mental fatigue from a lack of effective sleep.
The Most Popular Sleep Position
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Physio Works - Physiotherapy Brisbane. What are the Healthiest Sleeping Postures?
Everybody has their favourite sleeping position. However, some are better for you than others. Best Sleeping Position Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your lower back. Best Mattress Select a firm mattress or an ensemble that does not sag. Rising from Bed When standing up from the lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees and swing your legs over the side of the bed.
Best Pillow The human neck curves slightly forward to sustain the weight of the head when upright , and it is very important to maintain this curve when in a resting position. To give your body the proper rest it needs, and to ensure the health of your spine, physiotherapists recommend only two sleeping positions: Sleeping Tips Sleeping on your side, with the spine straight. Still, it's worth trying to start the night sleeping on your back or side in a well-supported, healthy position. Research suggests that not just sleep position, but sleep itself, can play a role in musculoskeletal pain, including neck and shoulder pain.
In one study, researchers compared musculoskeletal pain in 4, healthy men and women with and without sleeping problems. Sleeping problems included difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking early in the mornings, and non-restorative sleep. They found that people who reported moderate to severe problems in at least three of these four categories were significantly more likely to develop chronic musculoskeletal pain after one year than those who reported little or no problem with sleep.
One possible explanation is that sleep disturbances disrupt the muscle relaxation and healing that normally occur during sleep. Additionally, it is well established that pain can disrupt sleep, contributing to a vicious cycle of pain disrupting sleep, and sleep problems contributing to pain.
For the latest in sleep research, information about the numerous health conditions and medications that can interfere with normal sleep, as well as medications used to treat sleep disorders, buy the Harvard Special Health Report Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night's rest. Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Awareness of sleeping positions and proper pillows can minimize pain As with so many things, when it comes to neck pain, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure. What is the best sleeping position for neck pain? Here are some additional tips for side- and back-sleepers: Try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck.
7 Of The Best Pillows For Neck Pain; Based On Advice From A Physician
Feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so. Another option is a traditionally shaped pillow with "memory foam" that conforms to the contour of your head and neck. Some cervical pillows are also made with memory foam. Manufacturers of memory-foam pillows claim they help foster proper spinal alignment.