If you have neck pain then you are not exceptional, many people suffering from neck pain now a days. It is one of the most disabling and common musculoskeletal condition all over the world, this makes your neck stiff, sore or painful. Neck pain in sitting , working, standing, driving and last, but not the least is sleeping. Your sleeping position could be a part of your neck problems and vise-versa. When there is pain in neck, it can affect your sleep and leads to less energy and more pain. 

Always prefer to sleep in the position which will put less pressure on neck or shoulders and reduce the neck pain and improve sleep. If the posture of neck is not correct during sleeping it will cause neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, stiffness, upper back pain, headache, etc. The basics of good sleep posture is alignment of all the structures of the body – keeping your ear, shoulders and hip. And your spine should be in a neutral position or similar to hoe it is in standing position. 

There will be gaps between spaces on your body and mattress. These gaps will put strain on neck and back  muscles, so can support or fill these gaps by using pillows to reduce the stress. 

The best position of sleeping when you have neck pain, is lying on your back or side lying position. 

But, sleeping on back is the best sleeping positions for people having neck pain, as it distributes the weight evenly and maintains normal curve of the neck. Make sure to use pillow that will support or maintain normal curvature of the neck and flatter pillow for head, keep both the hands by the sides or on the chest.

Sleeping on side is another good position for them who are suffering from neck pain.  In this position you will need a higher pillow to support the head in line with the spine and you will need a small pillow or a towel roll to keep under the neck so that it will also get support. This will relieve any type of stress on the neck and keep the spine straight. A person can also put a pillow in between their knees if they are sleeping in side lying or below the knees if they are sleeping on their back to reduce spinal strain or pressure. 

Sleeping on stomach considered as the worst position for neck pain, this will put prolonged stress on the neck in one direction because you have to twist your neck to keep the head on its side which put pressure on the nerves and can also obstruct the airways to the lungs.  Sleeping in wrong posture also can be a reason of neck pain. Sometimes people rise up with neck pain and stiffness. Sleeping at an inapropriate  angle , sudden head or neck movements during sleep or neck strain from injury can be the causes of neck pain.

Pillows And Mattresses For Neck Pain

For all the sleeping positions with neck pain one can use the support as cervical  pillow or towel roll . Using pillows and mattresses  specially designed for people with neck pain or discomfort can often help to reduce neck pain and make it easier to sleep.

While choosing a right pillow for neck pain it is very important that the pillow will provide full support to the neck. 

The cervical pillows are designed specifically to support the neck and helps to reduce the pain and stress. People with neck pain should prefer thin pillows that supports the neck and they do not raise or elevate the head too much as higher pillows put more pressure on cranio-cervical area (that area where head and neck join) and will increase the cervical angle, means your head and spine will not be in a straight line and this will result in neck pain and stiffness. 

People who prefer to sleep on their back should assure that their pillow does not lean their head forward but give relaxation.

People who sleep on their side can choose those cervical pillows which cradles the head and neck.

It is also important to choose a mattress that supports the entire spinal column without any sagging and pressure points. A firm mattress will be the best choice for those with neck pain.