How to Sleep With Neck Pain After an Injury

how to sleep with neck pain

Do you struggle with neck pain from a car accident?

You probably know that sleep is an important part of the healing process.

The problem is, sometimes that neck pain can keep you awake. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to sleep with neck pain.

We’ll give you the low-down on the best way to still catch those important Zs.

Before You Go to Bed

Try placing an ice pack or heat compress on your neck to help cut the tension and pain. Keep it on for no more than 20 minutes though.

Then there are a couple of other things to consider before your head hits the pillow.

1. Stretching Your Neck

You may find it helpful to stretch your neck. One method is to roll your neck out with a foam roller. This will release tension that’s built up during the day.

Another simple stretch you can do is as follows:

  1. Sit up straight and place both hands at your sides.
  2. Raise your right arm straight forward, then reach over the back and grasp your right shoulder blade.
  3. Gently apply downward pressure to the shoulder blade.
  4. Keep everything else still and rotate the head to the left about halfway to the shoulder (around 45 degrees).
  5. Then tilt the chin down until you feel a nice stretch on the back right side of the neck.
  6. As long as there is no pain, hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  7. Slowly raise the head back to neutral.
  8. Repeat on the other side.

You can also ask your doctor for other gentle range-of-motion stretches to help reduce neck stiffness.

2. Put Your Phone away

At least 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed, ditch your phone.

For starters, staring at your phone can be a major contributor to your neck pain. When you bend your head down and forward to look at your phone, you put up to 60 pounds of force on your cervical spine (neck).

Furthermore, the blue light from the phone delays your body’s release of melatonin and may inhibit your ability to sleep. And as we already mentioned, sleep is crucial to your recovery.

How to Sleep with Neck Pain Once in Bed 

After sustaining a neck injury from a car accident, it’s important to have a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck.

If you like to sleep on your back, you’ll need a thin pillow.

Side sleepers require something thicker to ensure the neck and head are positioned in the middle of the shoulders. Placing a pillow between the legs and knees can also keep the spine in alignment with the neck.

Sleeping on your stomach puts the most strain on your cervical spine, so it’s best to avoid it. But if it’s the only way you can sleep, then go with an ultra-thin pillow. Or no pillow at all.

Get the Sleep You Need to Help You Recover

We hope these tips on how to sleep with neck pain are useful in your journey toward healing.

If your pain continues and you’re still unable to sleep, then connect with us to find an experienced doctor in New York who specializes in dealing with neck injuries and accepts no-fault insurance.

Call 1-800-897-8400 today and rest easy again.

Request Your Appointment​