Sleeping Away Neck Pain

What is the best sleeping position for your neck pain?


Awareness of sleeping position is an important part in minimizing neck pain. There are two positions that are ideal for your neck:

  1. Sleeping on your side
  2. Sleeping on your back


Although it can be hard to maintain the same sleeping position throughout the night due to tossing and turning, being aware and starting off in these positions can help set yourself up for success during the night.


In both positions, tucking a small rolled up towel into the pillowcase can provide increased support where your neck bends while the flatter aspect of the pillow will hold the head.


Types of Pillows


If you’re looking to replace your pillow completely memory foam or feather pillows are ideal. Memory foam pillows will form to the contour of your neck and head, therefore they can maintain a proper position on the spine while sleeping. There are some memory foam pillows that are created specifically shaped to form to the neck.


Feather pillows will easily form to the shape of the neck and head as well, however overtime will collapse and lose it’s support so ideally you would want to replace the pillow yearly.


Things to avoid:

  1. Sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach places your neck in a rotated position for extended periods of time which may increase tension throughout the neck
  2. Using pillows that are too high or too stiff when on your back or side. Much like sleeping on your stomach, pillows that are too high or too stiff can place the neck in an over flexed position for increased amounts of time which can lead to increased neck pain and tension


A good way to think about the best position of your neck is aiming to keep your nose in line with the center of your body. If a pillow is too thick, your nose and head will be bent up and if a pillow is still flat, your nose and head will be angled down.


Main Takeaways:

  1. Ideal sleeping positions: on your back or side
  2. Ideal pillows: memory foam, feather, or a roll up towel in a regular pillow in the bend of your neck


For more information about sleeping position and everything related to the neck, we will be holding a workshop at Chandler Physical Therapy on February 23 from 9-10. Sign Up HERE.


Chandler Physical Therapy is a family owned and operated Physical Therapy clinic in Chandler, Arizona. We treat active adults who are looking to keep themselves pain free and active through exercise and healthy living.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below and ask or, we have a Free Discovery Visit (Half Hour) that allows you to sit down, one on one with a therapist to discuss what you have going on to find out if physical therapy is a good fit for you. Check it out below:

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