Two Reasons You're Waking Up With Neck Pain

If you're waking up from a restful slumber with a sore neck, more than likely your pillow or sleeping position is to blame. Sleeping with a pillow that doesn't properly support your neck or sleeping in an awkward position can both increase the likelihood of neck discomfort. It's important to address these concerns to minimize pain and the risk of a neck strain.


If your pillow is too full or too flat, your neck will be bent in an awkward position. The pillow you use should keep your neck in a neutral position to prevent neck discomfort. A neutral position is achieved when you can create an imaginary line between your nose and the center of your body, or if your spine is straight.

If your existing pillow is failing in this area, consider upgrading to a memory foam or feather- based option. Each of these materials are designed to contour to your body, which can help ensure your neck remains in a neutral position all night.

Sleeping Position

As comforting as it might be, sleeping on your stomach is a sure-fire way to wake up with a sore neck. When you sleep on your stomach, you are forced to turn your neck to the side so that you can breathe. Over the course of the night, this puts extra pressure on the nerves in your neck, which can lead to discomfort.

The ideal sleeping position is on your back with your neck straight. If this style of sleeping is too uncomfortable, you can try sleeping on your side, but only if you have the right type of pillow to properly support your neck.

Neck Strain

Poor pillow support or a bad sleeping position can cause more than just temporary discomfort. You can also strain your neck. Neck strains are the result of poor posture that is caused by trauma or awkward positioning of the neck. This condition isn't just painful, but it can also make it hard to rotate or move both your neck and head. In more severe cases, it can also cause discomfort in the arm and shoulder areas. Adapting to better sleeping habits will typically relive the discomfort.

If your neck discomfort doesn't seem to be going away, chiropractors can help. A chiropractor can perform osteopathic manipulative therapy to relive the strain and pressure that is causing you discomfort, so that you can go back to leading a pain-free life.