3 Steps to Preventing Back and Neck Pain While You Sleep
We spend between one-quarter to one-third of each day sleeping. It is a critical part of life, and necessary for us to function properly. Sleep should be a time to relax painlessly and prepare for a new day. Unfortunately, sleeping is not a relaxing time for some people, as it can cause back and neck pain. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to ensure you are sleeping correctly to prevent neck and back pain.
First, make sure you're sleeping in a position that is conducive to maintaining the natural curves of your spine. Specifically, do not sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping can cause neck pain and headaches upon waking, and places your spine in an unnatural position. Try to sleep on either your side or back. If you're a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, it may help to place a pillow underneath your knees. Placing the pillow between and underneath your knees gives your spine the best chance of maintaining its natural curves while you sleep.
Next, make sure you're equipped with the proper sleeping supplies. For example, it's difficult to find a pillow that properly supports your neck. Most feather pillows don't provide adequate neck support, which can cause neck soreness even if you are sleeping in the recommended side and back positions. If you find yourself awaking with neck pain or headaches despite sleeping on your back or side, it is likely that you need a cervical pillow. A cervical pillow is specifically designed to support the natural curves of your neck while you sleep, and places your neck in its desired, natural position. Cervical pillows are designed for side and back sleepers, but make it difficult to sleep on your stomach, which is an added perk to using it.
Lastly, make sure you are getting out of bed properly. Unfortunately, the majority of people will sit up, twist their back to prepare to get into a standing position, and use their back to stand. This method is incorrect. The proper way to exit a bed upon waking is to roll onto your side and use your arm to push up from the side-lying position. From this position, scoot to the very edge of the bed and get up using your legs, not your back.
Sleeping shouldn't be painful. It should be a time to relax. Implementing these aforementioned suggestions is a great way to decrease pain while you sleep and increase your odds of having a great night's rest.