When your neck hurts, it can affect your sleep and lead to less energy and more pain. Here are 3 tips to help you reduce neck pain and sleep better. Torticollis: how to sleep?
Torticollis: How to sleep with the 3 commandments?
1. Match your pillow height with your sleeping position
While there's no single pillow height that works best for all sleepers, you need a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. To help alleviate stress on your neck, follow these guidelines for choosing the right pillow for your preferred sleeping position:
- Benefit from a thin pillow if you sleep on your back. Test if a pillow is right for you by lying on the pillow and having a family member or friend take a picture of the curve of your neck. Ideally, the curve of your neck will resemble that of good posture (standing with your head up and shoulders back).
- If you sleep on your side you will need a thicker pillow than the back sleepers to ensure the neck and head are positioned in the middle of the shoulders. Your height and shoulder width will help determine the type of pillow you should buy.
- Those who sleep on their stomachs can benefit from an ultra-thin pillow or forgo a pillow altogether. Since sleeping on your stomach puts more stress on the cervical spine compared to other sleeping positions, some people may want to avoid this position.
If you're a back or side sleeper, you may also benefit from placing a small roll-shaped pillow under your neck for extra support - or you can simply use a rolled up towel.
2. Drop your phone before sleeping with stiff neck
Believe it or not, your phone could be interfering with your sleep in several ways:
- Causes neck pain . Many people tilt their heads to look at the phone when texting or browsing the web. The more you bend your head forward, the more stress it puts on the cervical spine - up to 40 pounds of force. Spending too much time staring at the phone can cause neck pain.
- Disrupts the sleep cycle . Your phone emits blue light, which can be problematic at night when your body is trying to prepare for sleep. Some studies suggest that exposure to blue light may inhibit sleep by delaying the release of melatonin from your body. As sleep is an important part of the body's healing process, less sleep can also contribute to neck pain.
Try to avoid using the phone in bed and shortly before bedtime. If you must look at your phone near bedtime, hold it at eye level and limit screen time to just a few minutes.
3. Stretch your neck before bed
Stretching the neck relaxes tight muscles and can help relieve pain. Here's an easy neck stretch you can try before bed to loosen your levator scapula muscle (the muscle that connects your neck to your shoulder blade).
- Sit up straight with both hands at your sides.
- Raise the right arm forward and straighten the back with the hand grasping the right shoulder blade and applying downward pressure. (If raising the elbow above the shoulder is too complicated at first, this step can be skipped.)
- While keeping the balance, turn the head to the left about 45 degrees (which is halfway towards the shoulder).
- Tilt the chin down until a good stretch is felt on the back right side of the neck.
- Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, or as tolerated.
- Repeat on the other side.
Gentle range of motion stretches can also help reduce neck stiffness.
Torticollis how to sleep? Be sure to see your doctor if neck pain interrupts your sleep for more than a week. A trained medical professional can recommend a comprehensive treatment plan to help reduce neck pain while you sleep.