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Man waking up with neck pain and woman waking up with back pain

How to Get Rid of Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong


Aoife O.
Apr 13, 2020

In This Article

In this article

If you’re managing shoulder pain right now we’re here to tell you that there is hope for improvement. There are some simple tricks you can implement tonight to find relief but let’s first talk about neck pain causes, how to fix a stiff neck, and how to find relief tonight.

Neck pain can be relieved with an ice or heat pack on the area for up to 20 minutes at a time. Gentle exercise and stretching, walking, and yoga can help too. Painkillers can help in the short term but only mask the issue. Ensure you’re sleeping on a quality pillow so as not to exacerbate symptoms further.

Why Does My Body Ache When I Wake Up in the Morning?

Waking up with aches and pains every morning can have a severe impact on your physical health and mental wellbeing. Your sleep health is also impacted because when you’re in pain, it’s almost impossible to find a comfortable sleep position, you don’t get adequate rest, which causes you to have a miserable day and increases inflammation in your neck and shoulders. Making you feel as if the cycle will never end.

  • Incorrect Sleeping Position: Waking up stiff and sore every morning can be caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable sleep position.

  • Unsupportive Pillow: Sleeping without a pillow or sleeping on an inadequate pillow can cause neck and shoulder pain after sleeping.

  • Sudden Movements During Sleep: Lifting your head suddenly or sudden movements while dreaming can strain your neck muscles.

  • Poor Sitting and Standing Posture During the Day: Sitting or standing in bad posture all day can put a strain on your neck muscles that you notice once you lay down to sleep.

  • Previous Injury: A previous injury that has long healed can be reignited by sleeping wrong, sudden movement, bad posture, or an inadequate pillow.

If you’ve woken up with sudden neck pain you may have slept in an uncomfortable position. Try changing sleep positions and avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts a strain on your neck. Do some gentle stretches, have a hot bath, and use ice or heat packs to relieve tension and inflammation.

How to Get Rid of Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong: Practical Tips

Change Your Sleeping Position

If you experience shoulder pain from sleeping on side, try sleeping on your other side or your back. A quality pillow is essential no matter what your sleep position. Stomach sleepers can be more prone to neck and shoulder pain from sleeping because of sleeping without a pillow. If you’re a stomach sleeper, try sleeping on your side or your back to ease neck pain.

Avoid Pillows Which That Are Too High or Too Stiff

If your pillow is too high or stiff, this can put a strain on your muscles as you sleep. A quality supportive pillow can bring much comfort to those with neck or shoulder pain. An adjustable pillow could be beneficial for short term use but invest in a quality pillow for lasting comfort.

Stretch Properly Every Morning

Gentle exercise is wonderful for your sleep health, physical health, and overall well being. You don’t need any fancy equipment either, simple stretching every morning can work wonders on neck and shoulder pain and also prevent it. Check out these simple stretches you can do today.

Ice or Heat Therapy

If you’re suffering badly, you could try an icepack on your neck for up to 20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation. Alternatively, a hot water bottle on the affected area could relax the muscles and bring some comfort. A hot bath before bed could also help to relax your body and mind.


If you’ve ever slept on neck wrong, waking up stiff and sore every morning, or experiencing shoulder pain after sleeping, you are only too aware of the negative impact it has on your day and sleep comfort.

In many cases, it’s sleeping without a pillow that is the cause but an old uncomfortable pillow is just as bad as sleeping without one. Upgrading to a pillow that has been designed with your sleep comfort in mind, could be more beneficial to your sleep health and comfort.

A human adult head can weigh between 10-11 pounds, therefore, you need a sturdy pillow that’s comfortable and built to last. Also, sleeping on a pressure relieving mattress could align your spine better, thus, limiting neck and shoulder pain from sleeping.

There are many holistic remedies to neck pain so there is no need to suffer, sleep comfort is available to everyone, especially those who are experiencing neck and shoulder pain from sleeping.

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.


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