Addressing Neck Pain
The source of bodily pain can be elusive, but the feeling certainly isn’t. You may not know why you’re hurting, but you always know when you are. Immediately and thoroughly. Never is this more evident and disruptive than when you are trying to sleep. And tonight’s tossing and turning becomes tomorrow’s late start, tomorrow’s missed deadline, tomorrow’s bad day. This makes it all the more important to treat your pain, whether it’s in your neck, shoulders, back or hips. Immediately and thoroughly.
We use our necks almost constantly, but only seem to think about them when they are in pain. Thankfully, you can help put them back out of mind with a few tips:
-Pillows are key when diagnosing neck pain. Memory foam helps proper spinal alignment, while feather pillows will conform to the particulars of your shape. Avoid stiff, tall pillows that put strain on your neck, and match your pillow to how you sleep to avoid further pressure and constricted air flow.
-Back sleepers: Thinner pillows will help properly align your neck posture, as will an extra rounded neck pillow (or consider stuffing a rolled towel in your pillow case for a similar effect).
-Side sleepers: Pillows higher under the neck can help keep your head centrally positioned between your shoulders.
-Travelers: Consider a horseshoe neck pillow for your car, plane or train.
-Cell phone usage can contribute to muscle strain in bed. This “text neck” can also occur while watching TV, reading, or working from bed. An adjustable base can ease this pressure, but even without, take special care to adjust your posture as needed.
-For those of us who work from a desk, avoid slouching and practice proper posture to offset potential nightly pain.
-Avoid sleeping on your stomach if possible. It practically invites pain all over with the smallest shift or adjustment. Experiment with sleeping on your side or back to reduce your potential for pain, though switching your position as you sleep gives you the best odds for better sleep.
-Practice proper “sleep hygiene.” What this entails is following good habits to encourage quality sleep, such as exercising, losing the sleep meds, making your room dark and cool, letting natural light in during the day, minimizing technology usage in the bedroom, pre-sleep stretching, following a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding stimulating substances such as soda close to bedtime, and more. Better sleep allows your body to heal and relax, while poor or little sleep increases our sensitivity to pain. A few simple improvements to your nightly routine can do wonders for your health and happiness.
-There is no one-size-fits-all bed that will fix all your problems. You need a properly fitted sleep solution to truly reap the benefits of quality sleep. Come by a local Mattress Warehouse for an exclusive Sleep Assessment by our friendly staff to learn what bedding options will make a difference in your night’s sleep.
Hopefully these tips have pointed you in the direction of better sleep and less pain. If you can’t seem to shake the pain no matter what you try, it’s time to consider a professional opinion from the appropriate doctor. Either way, a better mattress is the first step. Visit one of our local showrooms today!