Sudden movements, like sitting up quickly or flinging your limbs around in a dream, can strain your neck muscles. Tossing and turning while you’re sleeping, or trying to sleep, can also create tension and stress in your neck.
Why does my neck hurt after a nap?
How Neck Stiffness Develops During Sleep. Awkward angle. The head or neck might settle at an awkward angle for an extended period of time while sleeping, which can stretch and stress muscles, ligaments, and joints beyond their normal limits.
What to do when you wake up with a strained neck?
#1: Use Ice or Heat
The hot water helps to loosen and relax your neck muscles, which can also reduce your pain and improve your range of motion. You might also want to try reducing inflammation by applying an ice pack to your neck for 20 minutes at a time.
Can sleeping incorrectly cause neck pain?
Irritated ligaments—tissue that connects bones to other bones—in the neck are one common culprit, and spasms of neck muscles are another. Either of these can be caused by sleeping “wrong,” especially since your neck muscles will be exhausted from holding up your head all day.
How do I stop my neck from hurting when I sleep?
If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. When you are riding in a plane, train, or car, or even just reclining to watch TV, a horseshoe-shaped pillow can support your neck and prevent your head from dropping to one side if you doze.
How should I sleep to relieve neck pain?
The best sleeping positions for the neck are on your back or your side. The back in particular is recommended; just make sure to use a pillow that supports the curvature of your neck and a flatter pillow to cushion your head.
How long does a neck strain last?
Recovery from a neck sprain or strain
With proper treatment and rest, most patients will recover from a neck strain or sprain within four to six weeks. If the strain or sprain is severe, it can take three months or more to fully recover.
How long does neck pain last?
Acute neck pain usually goes away within about one to two weeks. In some people it comes back again in certain situations, such as after work or intensive sports. If the symptoms last longer than three months, it’s considered to be chronic neck pain.
Is it better for your neck to sleep without a pillow?
While research is limited, anecdotal reports show that sleeping without a pillow can help reduce neck and back pain for some sleepers. Stomach sleepers are generally best suited for going pillowless, because the lower angle of the neck encourages better spinal alignment in this position.
What are symptoms of pinched nerve in neck?
Symptoms of pinched nerve in the neck include:
- A sharp pain in the arm.
- Pain in the shoulder.
- A feeling of numbness or pins and needles in the arm.
- Weakness of the arm.
- Worsening pain when you move your neck or turn your head.
Why does my pillow hurt my neck?
A pillow that’s too high or too low can force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, causing strain and discomfort over time. That’s why sleep experts recommend choosing a pillow loft that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine.