Annex Family Chiropractic

738 Spadina Ave, Ste. 206
Toronto, On, M5S 2J8

416.967.4466

It’s no fun to wake up with neck pain in the morning. After a restful night of sleep, it’s important to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Pain of any kind can ruin that feeling before you’ve even had a chance to start a morning workout. If you’re waking up with neck pain in the morning, you are likely sleeping in a way that is unhealthy for your body.

Whether it’s your sleep position, your pillow choice, or something else, it’s time to solve this problem and get you waking up feeling great again. Take a look at a few reasons that your neck might hurt when you wake up and see how you can correct this issue tonight.

How pillows affect your sleep

It may sound strange but choosing the right pillow is very important for your nightly slumber. Choosing a pillow that is too full and causes your head to rest too high compared to the rest of your body is going to cause some problems. You also should watch out for old foam pillows, feather pillows that bunch up in the wrong ways, or a pillow that’s gone too flat. One of the main causes of your neck pain is likely twisting it or bending it too far in a direction for a long period of time, a common problem with a poor pillow selection.

Choose a pillow that works for you individually. Everyone has their own preferences of comfort but pillows should properly support your head and neck in the right position. The goal is to avoid losing the slight curve of your neck when you are lying on the pillow. Choose a pillow that prevents neck pain and choose one based on your sleeping position of your back, your side, or your stomach.

Types of pillows and how they work for or against you

How do you determine the right type of pillow that will work well for a good night’s rest? There are many options to choose from that will offer a variety of levels of support on your neck. You want a pillow that will keep your neck in that neutral, natural position because otherwise, your neck will be at risk for bending or twisting for a long period of time.

Common options for pillows include your standard feather pillows that will mold nicely to the shape of your head with little resistance, orthopedic pillows for a more modern option that maintains the natural curve of your neck, and cervical pillows that offer a roll-shaped design to encourage the relief of neck pain. You can also try a water-filled pillow which will help absorb and redistribute your head’s weight to allow for the perfect amount of support. You can alter the amount of support in a water pillow by adding or removing water.

Make sure to choose a pillow that best supports your favorite sleep position, with your back and side being optimal choices for proper sleep.

Sleeping positions and neck pain

The way you sleep is often another reason that you end up with neck pain in the morning. It also coincides with the type of pillow you’re choosing. It’s common that people will choose the right pillow but when their sleep position changes it no longer is the optimal pillow to be using. Back sleepers will find that sleeping on a neck roll that supports the neck but also allows the head to drop back works best. Side sleepers wouldn’t do well with this option though as they need a thicker pillow with a high density foam to allow for enough thickness to cover the distance for the side of the head and the outside edge of the shoulder.

If you do happen to sleep on your stomach, your neck is more likely to hurt and no pillow is going to be able to correct this issue. Lying on your front side with your head rotated for a long period of time is really hard on your neck and could start to cause imbalances in your neck. Try to sleep on your back with a neck roll to support the curve or on your side with a thicker pillow. Sometimes having multiple pillows for these different sleeping positions is the best solution.

Support your head is the most important thing you can do at night and if you are choosing the wrong pillow or sleeping in a funny position, you are bound to wake up with neck pain. Start waking up refreshed by talking to your chiropractor about the best pillow options for your body.