Is your pillow hurting your neck and consequently, your sleep?
The kind of pillow you select and the way you sleep makes a giant difference in how rested you’ll feel after you wake up after sleep in the morning. All the ways you twist and bend during your day leading up to bedtime play into the neck pain problems too. Waking up with a stiff neck is unexpected and inconvenient. Despite a stiff neck’s potential for severe, sharp pain and reduced range of motion, some people might feel pressure to keep up the day’s planned activities, like going for work or class.
What causes neck pain at night?
We have numerous bad habits during the day that cause neck, back, and spine pain. Slouching while working, walking, or eating is one. Not to mention, constantly looking down at your smartphone or computer can really make your neck ache- a controversy that’s been dubbed text neck or tech neck. Sleeping on your back with the back of your head on your pillow and your head bent forward will only make the matter worse. Sleeping along with your chin to the chest can overstretch your neck as most of our daily activities are done that way. Sleeping on your side with your head bent drastically isn’t ideal either. And worse still? Sleeping on your stomach on your head twisted and tilted at odd angles.
If any of these sounds similar to your situation, you’re under no circumstances alone. They are the most common sleeping positions. And although most people do them incorrectly, there is a perfect pillow for your kind of sleeping position out there.
How to choose and use the most effective pillow
The rule of thumb for a correct pillow is that it should keep your neck parallel to the mattress, instead of bent down or up. The most typical mistake people make is selecting a pillow that bends your neck forward or to at least one side. It can feel comfortable initially, but once you go to sleep for hours and your neck isn’t being supported properly, every kind of neck problem can happen as you sleep and you won’t realize it till it worsens. Neck pain and a stiff neck are most typical. Beyond that, you’ll be able to experience problems along with your whole spine twisting the incorrect way which over an extended time can create lasting damage.
To avoid these issues here are tips he suggests for selecting a neck-friendly pillow.
Pillows that adapt to your position are best
Cervical pillows work best for many people. Your head rests in a depression in the center. Your neck rests on either a less elevated side when you’re lying on your back, or on a more elevated side when you are lying on your side. Foam contour pillows are the next best at supporting your neck.
Latex foam and memory foam is the best material
Natural latex offers support without heating you up. People might not realize that they become hot at midnight. this may create restless sleep. By sleeping cooler, you sleep deeper. Of course, if you’re allergic to latex, you’ll want to use memory foam pillows. Livpure Sleep’s cooling gel memory foam pillow is the way to go. It keeps you cool in the summer nights while providing comfort to your neck and shoulders, letting you sleep deeply.
Feather pillows cause the foremost neck pain
They may be affordable, but feather pillows don’t provide much neck stability. These feel super comfy after you first settle in. But the feathers move once you do, so you finally end up with no support, causing you pain. Down pillows are somewhat more supportive but still require fluffing up. However, if you’re allergic to animal dander, neither of those fillers will work for you.
The advantages of mixed fillers are unclear
There isn’t much research that will give you an automatic recommendation for pillows with mixed fillers like memory foam or latex with shredded foam and a gel insert. Pillows with an excessive amount of material jammed in or that remain too fluffy can hold your neck in a clumsy position. Shredded foam can cool you but loses its stability over time if you sleep on your side.
And although shredded memory foam bends to your curves, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the precise support you really need.
Body pillows and side pillows are useful
If you are in the habit of sleeping on your stomach, which is not exactly ideal, body and side pillows can improve your sleep posture. They provide the pressure on the stomach you want to have, while keeping you in a side-lying position. These pillows can help keep your spine aligned and support your growing belly during pregnancy or if you happen to have large hips.
Consider your mattress’ firmness or softness
If you’ve got a firmer mattress, you’ll need a thicker pillow because your shoulder would not sink into the mattress significantly. The pillow will fill a bigger gap between your head and your mattress. If you have got a memory foam mattress topper or a pillow-top mattress, you’ll need a thinner pillow because your shoulder will sink into the bed. The pillow will fill a smaller space between your shoulder and your head.
If you are having a tough time choosing mattresses and pillows to suit all your needs, Livpure’s website will just help you out. Not only it has a wide range of mattresses- memory foam, latex, ayurvedic foam etc., it also has the same wide variety of pillows to go along with them. Check out the combo offers to get the best of both as well.
Remedies for a Stiff Neck after Waking Up
Some remedies for a stiff neck, because you are still using your old, unsuitable pillow.
Ice or heat therapy
Applying ice shortly after a neck strain may help limit the swelling. Ice applications tend to be best for ten to twenty minutes at a time. Heat therapy, like taking a warm shower or getting a warmer, helps loosen and relax the muscles, which can also reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Over-the-counter pain medication
If the pain and stiffness are bad enough to significantly limit movement in one or more directions, taking an over-the-counter medication is also advised.
Gentle stretching or self-massage
After finding some initial pain relief, further loosening of the muscles and ligaments is also achieved with some stretching and/or massage. Some stretches cannot fully be completed because of the neck’s pain and stiffness, which is alright. The goal is to gradually increase the flexibility without causing more pain.
The bottom line
Pillows are one of the main causes of stiff neck, along with many other factors. But to take a step towards a finer neck and shoulder health, start by changing your pillows today, and buy something that suits you. You might be casual about it today, but as you age, you will start feeling the troubles of having a bad neck. If nothing is curing it, consult a doctor for more.