I Slept On My Neck Wrong, What Now?
6 min read
Sleep is essential for our health and well-being.
And not just sleep, but deep, restorative sleep. When we are sleeping, our body can repair itself and heal. Basically, it’s like refueling a car with gas. Sleep keeps us going, so it’s imperative that we get a good night’s sleep every single night. We get it—life happens, and it’s hard to ensure you get a ‘perfect’ sleep night after night.
Maybe you have to stay up late working on a project, maybe you had caffeine too close to your bedtime, or maybe you had a fun night out. That’s totally fine; it would be nearly impossible to have a good night’s sleep every night of your life. The point is, it’s important that you try because we know how important sleep is. This means following a routine, winding down for bed, investing in great bedding, and setting a bedtime for yourself.
Even if you do all of those things consistently, things can still go wrong. Have you ever slept on your neck wrong and woken up with the worst pain? Seriously, it’s the worst! It seems like no matter what you do, the aches and pains are there all day (and sometimes even longer). If this happens, what should you do? We’ve got a few different tips and tricks that can help.
Try Different Massage Tools
There are lots of at-home devices and tools that can help relieve the pain in your neck. One tool that has gained recent popularity is massage guns. These have different strength settings and have interchangeable tips with various sizes and shapes. It then works to relieve any tension or pain you have in your neck or anywhere on your body. These are super handy and convenient because they are portable.
There are also rolling sticks that you use to apply pressure to your neck. These are great because you control the amount of pressure you apply. Similarly, there are also foam rollers, which are larger. There are different positions you can lay in with your neck on the foam roller to relieve tension.
You can also use a massage chair if you have one or any sort of neck massage device. There are all sorts of little tools you can find that are good for using on your neck. Any sort of rolling or massaging tool will work great.
Check Your Pillows
If this is a regular occurrence, you may have one culprit to blame: your pillows. Believe it or not, the amount of cushion in your pillow plays a critical role in preventing aches and pains in your neck. The pillow’s job is to help support your neck and head so that you can be comfortable while you sleep. This is important not only for the present but for the future of your health. If you constantly sleep on your neck wrong night after night, it can cause issues over time.
Some people love the fluffiest pillows they can find. The problem is, these offer little to no support. The same goes for thin and flat pillows. They might be nice to stack on top of each other and get cozy with, but they do nothing for supporting your neck and head. Sleeping on your neck wrong is almost guaranteed with these types of pillows!
Generally speaking, you want pillows that are a bit firmer. For many people, memory foam pillows work great because they form to the shape of your head and neck, creating the perfect support system. They are made from a thick foam that is much more supportive than down feathers that are typically in fluffy pillows. You also want to be careful not to use a pillow that is too firm. Just as fluffy pillows are bad for your neck, so are ones that are too firm.
If your pillow is rock hard, it can easily hurt your neck. You want to find something that is in-between soft and firm. And don’t forget to choose the right pillowcases to add to the comfort level!
Do Different Stretches
This is the simplest and easiest thing you can do. If you sleep on your neck wrong, you might just need a good stretch to get things back to normal. If you practice yoga, then you probably know quite a few different stretches that can help. If you don’t practice yoga or don’t know where to start with stretching, we’ve got you covered.
The key with all neck stretches is to be very gentle. You don’t want to jerk your neck around or make the pain worse. Start slow and never do a stretch that makes the pain more intense. Uncomfortable is fine, but painful is not.
The stretches you want to do are: forward and backward tilt, side to side tilt, side turn, and shoulder roll. Start seated or standing with good posture. Slowly move your head forward and down, and then backward. You can use your hands to apply slight pressure. Do the same thing but tilting your head down on one side and then the other.
Then, you can rotate your head from side to side (like shaking your head ‘no’). Finish by rolling your shoulders backward and forwards. You can do these stretches as many times as you need to until the pain starts to lessen.
Try Hot and Cold Therapy
Many people swear by using hot and cold therapy for all of their aches and pains. The trick is switching off between using the two temperatures on your neck. Start by using heat, which helps to loosen the muscles. You can use a towel soaked in hot water, or you can warm a heating pad to lay on your neck. Leave that on for about ten to 20 minutes, depending on how it feels.
Then, you switch to cold therapy. Typically, people just use an ice pack for this step. The cold helps to relieve inflammation in that specific area. Again, try and keep it on for the same amount of time as the heat. The ice pack is oftentimes harder for people to use because it is so cold. Switch back to the heat therapy, and then back to the cold one more time. You should start to feel some relief, and you can repeat this a couple of times a day if needed.
Go To a Masseuse or Chiropractor
If you’ve tried everything on this list and more, and your neck pain still won’t go away, you might want to consider going to see a masseuse or chiropractor. Depending on how you slept on your neck, there might be more wrong with it than just a bit of soreness. You can cause kinks and knots in your neck that can be hard to take care of on your own. We know this isn’t ideal since both massage therapists and chiropractors can be expensive, but your health is important.
A masseuse will work to rub the knots and kinks out of your neck. They will adjust the pressure according to what you need. While people tend to associate massages with relaxation, they can be uncomfortable when you are dealing with pain in your neck. However, massage therapists work to provide an individual approach to help ensure you are getting relief. They might also use things such as hot stones to provide deeper healing.
A chiropractor works in the healthcare industry, but they are not doctors. They are highly trained in performing adjustments to your entire body, but particularly your neck, head, and spine. They use quick and precise movements to snap things back into place and correct pain-related issues. If your neck pain is persistent, it might be worth it to see a chiropractor.
Nobody wants to deal with the annoying pain that comes from sleeping your neck incorrectly. Unfortunately, it just happens sometimes. One of the leading causes of neck pain during sleep is having the wrong pillow. Make sure you choose a pillow that supports your neck and head properly. And don’t forget to try out some Miracle Brand pillowcases and sheets to make things even more comfortable.
If you do wake up with a sore neck, don’t worry! It’s not the end of the world because there are, thankfully, a lot of things you can do to alleviate the pain quickly. You can try massage tools, icing or heating the area, and stretching. However, if none of these things work and the pain persists, then it might be time to pay a visit to your massage therapist or chiropractor who can help fix the problem.
- Neck Stretches for Pain Relief: How to Stretch Your Neck | Web MD
- Best Pillows for Neck Pain of 2021 | Sleep Foundation
- Chiropractic | Medline Plus