Waking up with neck pain isn’t the best way to start your day. A stiff neck and shoulders are common symptoms of modern living; with causes ranging from tech neck, slouching, sitting too much, excessive stress and anxiety, and more. Oftentimes, your chronic neck pain can be traced back to your sleep health.
According to The Sleep Research Society, sleep health “is a multidimensional pattern of sleep-wakefulness, adapted to individual, social, and environmental demands, that promotes physical and mental well-being.”
Think of sleep health like you would think of your health in general. There are a ton of factors that contribute to how good or bad your sleep health is, including things like sleep quality, duration, and efficiency. You can break it down further to certain measurable things, like how much time it takes you to fall asleep, whether or not you stay asleep all night, your sleep position, how easy it is for you to wake up, and whether or not you wake up with pain.
Now that we know a little bit about sleep health, let’s talk about neck pain in more detail!
What Causes Chronic Neck Pain?
Poor sleep health can lead to a host of issues, including chronic neck pain. But chronic neck pain, a stiff neck, and general discomfort in the neck and shoulders are symptomatic of how we live our lives, and how we sleep is just one element. Let’s look into some major factors that play a role in causing chronic neck pain.
Sitting Too Much
Sitting too much can cause poor spine alignment, creating a lot of strain on the neck, thus causing neck pain. “Oversitting and that, too, in a wrong posture, can cause the spinal ligaments to stretch beyond the limit and place a strain on the spinal column,” says orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Pallav Bhatia to The Times of India.
Stress and Anxiety
You have likely heard that we store stress and anxiety in our bodies, especially in our neck and shoulders. “Anxiety and muscle tension often go hand in hand,” according to Saratoga Spine. “Tense muscles in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders, and upper back are often found in people who are stressed or anxious. Tension in this area can lead to neck pain.”
Tech Neck is “the act of stressing muscles while using phones, tablets, and computers, resulting in neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, and soreness,” according to Health Matters. Tech neck (or text neck as it is also known) is becoming a bigger and bigger culprit of chronic neck pain, thanks to the fact that Americans can spend up to six or more hours on their phones every day… that’s a lot of strain!
Poor Support During Sleep
No matter what your sleep position, side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers can all experience severe and chronic neck pain due to a lack of proper neck support.
Most pillows on the market are designed for comfort, not support. Keeping your neck aligned is the key to proper spine alignment. If your pillow isn’t supportive enough — or if it lifts your head too high — your neck and spine become misaligned, causing strain on all your joints and muscles.
Why Is Proper Alignment so Crucial to Help Reduce Neck Pain?
Now that we’ve discussed why poor support is a no-go when it comes to sleep, let’s talk about proper alignment.
You’ve probably heard the word “alignment” a lot when researching sleep products, but what does it mean, and why is it so important?
“When your spine is aligned properly, your body maintains a relatively straight line from your head down to your shoulders and back, as well as your hips, knees, and feet,” according to Healthline. “Having proper alignment goes beyond maintaining a good posture — it can also help prevent long-term pain. Misalignment may impair your range of motion, and severe issues can affect your quality of life.”
How can you tell if your body is in misalignment? According to Healthline, these are the following symptoms:
- Chronic headaches
- Low back, neck, knee, and hip pain
- Frequent illnesses
- Excessive fatigue
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Walking abnormalities
By sleeping with a pillow that is designed to align your spine, like the Coop Sleep Goods Original Pillow or the Coop Sleep Goods Eden Pillow, you’re working to improve your posture and counter pain during sleep!
Does Sleep Position Matter When it Comes to Neck Pain?
Now we know proper alignment is the way to rid ourselves of neck pain. Ever wondered whether or not your sleep position influences your alignment?
The answer is twofold! Many doctors suggest that there’s no perfect or terrible sleep position when it comes to neck pain. “Keep in mind the bottom line: You should sleep in whatever position helps you to rest, but also allow for modifications,” says the Edison Spine Center.
“The key to good sleep posture is alignment — keeping your ears, shoulders and hips in a straight line (more or less). There will naturally be gaps between spaces on your body and the mattress. These spaces can strain your back or neck muscles, so you should use pillows to fill in these gaps and reduce the stress.”
Types Pillows for Neck Pain
You may have searched “pillows for neck pain” before and been overwhelmed by choices. There are a lot of pillows out there that are advertised for countering neck pain, such as:
- Standard memory foam pillows
- Cervical pillows
- Water pillows
- Shredded memory foam pillows
But what is the best pillow for neck pain? At Coop Home Goods, we’ve thought about this question a lot. Read on for the absolute best pillows offered for neck pain!
Coop Sleep Goods Adjustable Pillows
We started Coop Sleep Goods out of personal necessity. Our founder actually was experiencing a lot of neck and spine problems — so much so that he was seeking physical therapy for his orthopedic concerns. When he realized much of his problems were caused by his pillow, he designed our adjustable Original Pillow.
Coop Sleep Goods pillows are a result of five years of research and product testing! We looked at sleep and pillows from all angles before choosing our cross-cut memory foam and microfiber blend fill. We use all new memory foam in our pillows, and all our foams are GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.
We also wanted our pillow to be durable and last a long time, so the entire pillow is machine washable! As per our care instructions, we recommend routinely washing the outer cover, but only washing the inner pillow once a year. At Coop Sleep Goods, we believe in our pillows so much that we offer a full refund if you’re not getting the best night’s sleep of your life!
Coop Sleep Goods Pillows: Perfect for Every Sleep Position
Keeping in mind what the Edison Spine Center said about filling the gaps between your body and your mattress, it’s important to choose pillows that both conform and adjust to your body.
Coop Sleep Goods pillows are perfect for filling the gaps between your body and your mattress, no matter what your sleep position. We’ve designed all of our pillows to be adjustable, meaning you can add or remove foam to better support your head and neck while keeping your body in alignment!
- Side sleepers and shifters can use the Body Pillow, Knee Pillow, and our Original Pillow
- Back sleepers would do great with the Four Position Support Pillow and our Original Pillow
- Stomach sleepers would prefer our Eden Pillow
Ensuring You Have the Right Amount of Fill
If your neck is sloping downward, or you feel your neck stretching in any way, this is a sign that you should add filling to your pillow. If your head feels like it’s sinking too far into your pillow and not receiving any resistance or support, that also means you should add some fill.
Remember that if you’re waking up stiff or sore neck muscles to take note and adjust your pillow immediately. It can take a few nights to get the right foam proportions, but you’ll be so happy once you achieve that much-needed neck support!
Say Goodbye Neck Pain
Waking up with neck pain can ruin your day. At Coop Sleep Goods, we’ve engineered our pillows to stretch, mold, and adapt to your unique body shape and sleeping position, aiding in proper spinal alignment. By keeping you supported and aligned (as well as comfortable!), you’ll be saying goodbye to neck pain.
You deserve total and complete sleep comfort, and that starts with a supportive pillow. Not all pillows are created equal. You want to find a pillow that adjusts to your own comfort and support needs. That’s why at Coop Sleep Goods, we’ve taken everything into account to make adjustable pillows that are adored by people of all shapes and sizes.