Have you noticed lately that you are waking up stiff and sore in the morning? Do you sometimes wake up with neck pain? This can be caused by different things:
Your bed or pillow may be the issue
If your bed is over 10 years old or if it is sagging in the place you usually sleep, it is definitely time to replace it. Even if it is a fancy Select Comfort or Tempurpedic guaranteed to last 20-25 years. If your bed is fairly new then, what kind of pillow are you sleeping on? If you are sleeping on a flat pillow that is simply foam or feathers, you need a new one. Why? Flat foam pillows tend not to have the proper shape that supports your neck. Some foam pillows are molded, those are different. If your pillow has a neck roll that supports your neck and allows your head to drop back into extension, those are great if you are a back sleeper. If you are a side sleeper they can cause you issues. Feather pillows tend to bunch up in all the wrong places as you sleep and lose their support in all of the areas your neck and head need support.
The position you sleep in
If you are a stomach sleeper, no wonder why your neck hurts when you wake up. No pillow in the world is going to make it better. You need to learn new sleeping habits to help your neck. Lying on your belly with your head rotated to one side all night is going to cause imbalances in your neck with one side of your neck muscles growing really contracted and the other side too stretched out.
If you sleep on your side, you need a thicker pillow. A high density foam that is the same thickness as the distance between the side of your head and the outside edge of your shoulder will be the best choice. That will fully support your head so that it isn’t tilting to the side all night squeezing and pinching off your nerves.
If you are a back sleeper, you need a pillow with a neck roll built in to support the curve in your neck adequately. These pillows allow your head to remain in neutral which means your neck is a little extended. That will keep your nerves happy while you sleep and keep the tension off of them resulting in less tight muscles when you wake up.
Is this an underlying issue that is just becoming obvious when you don’t have anything to think of other than sleep? Is your neck or back hurting and are you simply ignoring it versus dealing with it? Your body may be taking an opportunity to wake you up and let you know that you need to get back to a regular schedule at the chiropractor. If you have never been, now may be a good time to start.
If the issue has been going on longer than a couple days, you may need more than a good pillow. Book an appointment at Synergy Health and Fitness and get evaluated by one of our chiropractors in Victoria BC.