Break bad sleep habits mercilessly and without remorse. They won’t do anything but make your life worse.
It’s important to know that your head is heavy. Most people’s heads weigh around 10 pounds, but that weight can increase to about 60 pounds depending on your head’s angle.
Like working too hard at the gym, overworking your neck causes unnecessary pain and stress. So, care for your neck consciously. Your quality of life depends on it.
Here are five ways your sleep habits might be straining your neck.
1. Your Pillow Is Wrong
A hard pillow won’t hurt your neck. Even if you prefer softer pillows, you should consider buying a stiffer one to use every other day as you get used to it.
A hard pillow will keep your spine in alignment as you sleep. A soft pillow collapses under your head, training your neck muscles to work unevenly – leaving your spine’s bone structure unsupported.
So, if you’re experiencing neck pain, buy yourself a nice firm pillow.
2. Your Sleeping Position Might Be Wrong
If a firm pillow doesn’t solve your problem, you need to evaluate your sleeping position. After all, a firm pillow won’t do anything if you’re sleeping without your back in alignment in the first place.
Do you often sleep on your side? That’s most likely your problem. Try sleeping on your back; this is often the position that allows people to avoid back pain consistently.
You can’t sleep on your back? grab a second pillow to stop your head from drooping down too low.
3. You’re Not Stretching Your Neck After Waking Up
Do you think of your neck as a muscle? Most of us don’t.
However, your neck has some of the hardest working muscles on your entire body. It’s essential to keep those muscles exercised properly. If your neck gets too tight or too weak, then you can experience neck pain.
Here are five exercises you should start now and repeat each morning five to 10 times each.
- Gently rock your head side to side while trying to touch your ears to your shoulders—causing light pressure on the sides of your neck.
- Look up as far as you can and then down as far as you can several times in a row.
- Gently rotate your head like an owl, trying to look as far behind you as you can without straining.
- Make a circle with your nose in one direction and then again in the other direction.
- Draw shapes in the air with your chin—spelling the alphabet is a common practice.
4. You’re Not Controlling Existing Injuries
Neck pain often results from injuries that we let get out of control. If you have constant, recurring neck pain, try taking light anti-inflammatory medication before bed (think ibuprofen). Alternatively, try using a heat pack at night or a cold pack in the morning.
All of these solutions will allow blood to flow more freely, bringing vital nutrients that your neck needs to heal.
There’s no sense in trying to tough out neck pain that’s consistent enough to warrant these measures. You should also get help from professionals like the ones at this link to get a better idea of the steps you can take to heal.
5. You’re Not Sleeping in Your Bed
Sleeping on recliners or couches, then take steps to support your neck in those positions (keep stiff pillows and hot packs handy).
Alternatively, learn your habits and work against them. When you get tired, head to bed instead of staying on the couch to read or watch a movie.
You can take a phone or book with you to read or watch in bed while you drift off.
Don’t Sleep on Bad Sleep Habits: Take Control
For great results, you shouldn’t wait on any of these tidbits of wisdom. The sooner you take control of your sleep, the better.
Your bad sleep habits are solved, yay! We would love it if you read more on our blog. You’ll find many more helpful articles just like this one.