Often, that means lying on your back or on your side, using a pillow that provides enough support to keep your head level. If your head tilts down while you sleep, you’re likely to wake up with neck pain. Not getting enough sleep can cause you to become more stressed and cause chronic headaches. You may not think much about your body position while you sleep or the type of pillow you use.
But both the sleeping position and the pillow can cause stiffness and pain in the neck and also lead to back pain and other types of pain. One of the most common causes of neck pain is having your neck twisted or bent too much in either direction for a long time. If you wake up in the morning with neck pain, it may be because the pillow does not hold your head and neck in the correct position, which is described as a neutral position. That means that the slight normal curve of the neck does not change.
Torticollis is not a condition in itself as, for example, ankylosing spondylitis is. It is rather a symptom that can have several sources. Irritated ligaments, tissue that connects bones to other neck bones are a common culprit, and spasms of the neck muscles are another. Any of these can be caused by “bad” sleep, especially since the neck muscles will be exhausted from holding your head all day.
Research suggests that not only the sleeping position, but also the sleep itself, can play a role in musculoskeletal pain, including neck and shoulder pain. In one study, researchers compared musculoskeletal pain in 4,140 healthy men and women with and without sleep problems. Sleep problems included difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, and restless 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 sleep problems.
One possible explanation is that sleep disturbances alter muscle relaxation and healing that normally occurs during sleep. In addition, it is well established that pain can disturb sleep, contributing to a vicious cycle of pain that disrupts sleep and sleep problems that contribute to pain. There is also neck pain from poor sleep. Sometimes you wake up with neck pain.
Sleeping at an uncomfortable angle, sudden movements of the head or neck during sleep, or neck tension due to injury can cause pain. In addition to using treatments to relieve this neck pain, make sure that future sleep includes a good pillow to support the neck. For all sleeping positions with neck pain, you should use a pillow under the neck that provides support, such as a rolled towel or cervical pillow. This can be achieved by placing a small neck roll on the pillowcase of a flatter and softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with a slit for the head to rest.
The way you sleep can also have a profound effect on the way you wake up, ready to face the day or ready to crawl back under the covers and hide from neck pain. While it may seem innocuous, your sleeping position can play an important role when it comes to the neck pain you are experiencing. If the pillow is not level with the rest of the spine, it may not properly support your head and neck, causing severe pain. All that weight means that the muscles that support the head and neck need to work overtime, and everything that works makes the muscles tired.
The information is produced and reviewed by more than 200 medical professionals with the goal of providing reliable and unique information for people with painful health conditions. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins found that sleeping with a pillow filled with water had some advantages over standard down or foam pillows or even roll-up neck pillows to reduce neck pain for some of the study participants. If neck pain is caused by a spasmodic muscle, heat can help you relax and cause blood to flow into it. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors, from excessive strain to an acute injury such as whiplash and even a poor sleeping position.
If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow that cushions your head. While it is best to choose recommended sleeping positions, it can be difficult for those who find an unusual sleeping position as stressful as the pain they are experiencing. Memory foam or feather pillows can allow the head to be “cradled” at night, allowing for a neutral spine and neck.