Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong? What You Can Do Right Now

neck pain from sleeping

“I slept wrong and my neck is killing me!” Jill fell for the BOGO offer from that MyPillow guy and boy does she regret it.

Have you woken with neck pain from sleeping in an awkward position? Often this ache is nothing more than an annoyance, but it can sometimes be extremely painful, preventing you from turning your head.

Mornings used to consistently greet me with neck pain. In my search for relief, I stumbled upon several remedies—quick fixes to ease the discomfort and finally a lasting solution that finally turned my mornings around.

Occasional neck pain from sleeping incorrectly is a common issue.

Deep in sleep, your head can fall into a position that puts unnecessary stress upon your neck muscles. After a bit, your neck may get agitated. Your sleeping brain might do you a solid and command your body to reposition itself so that your neck gets a little relief. Alternatively, you ignore the agitation, exacerbating the strain. As a result, you’ve got a pain in the neck the next morning. Damn you, sleeping brain!

There’s a lot of different things you can do to avoid this sort of neck pain after sleep in the future: change your sleeping position, try a new pillow or even, god-forbid… exercise!

But what can be done about the neck pain I’m feeling right now?

I’ll bet you’re not very interested in exercise at the moment. You need quick relief! Here’s how to get rid of neck pain from sleeping wrong right now.

1. Give your neck a rest.

Your giant head weighs around 11 lb. That’s a lot of weight that your neck needs to support. Give your muscles a break. If you’ve got some time to spare, lie down. Make sure your head is supported in a neutral position and that you’ve got a comfortable pillow. More rest is often the best remedy even if you just rolled out of bed.

2. Do your best to avoid stress.

Are you worried that the boss will find out you’ve been stealing from the business for years? Worried of an early death? Forget your problems and watch a movie or read a book! I recommend Ozark on Netflix.

3. Ice in short increments.

It can work well for some, but cooling can aggravate more serious issues, so If the pain worsens, remove the ice immediately.

4. Have a partner massage the affected area.

Who doesn’t appreciate a good massage? Neck pain or not, it generally makes life in the moment a little better.

5. Use a warm compress.

A warm damp towel (use a microwave to heat it) can help to increases circulation and is often effective in providing relief to stiff muscles. Beware, heat can make inflammation worse, so if your symptoms deteriorate, remove that heat immediately!

6. Pop a few of what modern medication has to offer.

Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can help a lot if the pain isn’t too ridiculous. It should go without saying, but please follow the directions on the packaging.

7. Stretch the muscles in your neck.

It’s always best to warm up muscles before stretching, so it’s advisable to take a hot shower or use a hot compress first. The key with stretching is to not overdo it! Here’s 4 of the simpler stretches recommended by WebMD:

  1. Slowly turn your head to the left. With your left hand, apply very light tension on your chin so that your head turns slightly more. Hold for 20 seconds and return your head slowly to center. Repeat on the right side.
  2. Tilt your head to the left and try to touch your left ear to your shoulder. With your left hand, apply light pressure on your temple. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the right side.
  3. Bend your head forward and try to touch your chin to your chest. Relax the shoulders as you do this. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.
  4. Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your head and neck for support. Nod your head forward gently, as though you were saying “yes.” Hold the position for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.

If your pillow doesn’t keep your head at the correct level, it is likely you will experience back and neck pain.

Consistent pain in the neck? Let’s dive a bit deeper and look at some long-term solutions…

Remember, these are just temporary fixes! If you had a bad night, try all of the above and hopefully you’ll get some relief.

However, if you’re experiencing neck pain from sleeping on a consistent basis, do something that addresses the root of the issue(s) rather than just treating the symptoms.

Experts suggest modifying your sleep environment.

It’s not just about having a bed that feels like a cloud. Your mattress should have your back (literally), supporting you just right so your spine stays straight and happy all night long. And your pillow? That’s your neck’s best buddy. You want something that keeps your neck in line, like it’s doing a perfect yoga pose while you snooze. There’s a world of pillows and mattresses out there –  and no single type is right for everyone. Make sure you try several until you find one that works. Many companies (ours included) have generous return policies that allow you to test drive them in your own home.

Try a new pillow first.

The wrong pillow can exacerbate or even be the cause of your neck pain. Often the solution is simple: replace your pillow with a more suitable one. A good pillow will keep your spine from bending unnaturally upwards or downwards and provide comfortable, even support for your entire head and neck. An ill-suited mattress can also cause neck pain, although that is less commonly the culprit. A new mattress is also an expensive solution, so try some different pillow options first!

An unzipped Hullo buckwheat pillow

Beautiful buckwheat hulls: Hullo Pillow’s contents are revealed.

Have you ever tried a buckwheat pillow?

Before I discovered buckwheat pillows, my mornings were a literal pain in the neck. I tried everything—memory foam, down, synthetic—you name it, all to no avail. Then, a friend mentioned he’d switched to a buckwheat pillow and was sleeping like a baby, neck pain-free. Skeptical but desperate, I decided to give it a shot.

The first night was a bit of an adjustment; the rustling sound of buckwheat hulls and the firmness were new to me. However, I woke up the next morning without the usual stiffness in my neck. It felt like a small miracle. Days turned into weeks, and my neck pain, a faithful companion for so long, simply vanished.

The more I used it, the more I loved it. Not only did it alleviate my neck pain, but it also stayed cool throughout the night and easily adapted to my preferred sleeping position. It’s been a game-changer for my sleep quality and my life. I’ve never looked back since that switch.

In fact, I like these unique pillows so much that I decided to manufacture and sell them. Don’t take my word for it! Our customer’s reviews speak for themselves.

“For a few years, I have been searching for a pillow that allows me to wake up without neck pain. I have literally spent nearly $1,000 on pillows. Soft, firm, memory foam, contour, gel, designed by sleep specialists, etc… I have tried them all with no relief. I got my Hullo pillow yesterday and this morning is the first morning in years I have awoken with no neck pain. Love my Hullo!” -Valerie, verified Hullo customer

Sleep on Hullo buckwheat pillow for 60 nights. If it doesn’t work for you, just ship it back to us and we’ll refund the purchase price.

Additional Sources: Effects of Acute and Chronic Stretching on Pain Control