Neck Pain
cervical pain

The way you sleep could be the cause to your neck pain!



Most experienced neck pain come from tension of muscles located in the back of your neck and/or your upper back. The contraction of these muscles is often caused by poor posture, which could also cause the formation of trigger points. Neck and shoulders pain can persist for a long time.

A Good Night’s Sleep!

A good night’s sleep is very important in resting your neck muscles. Since you spend on average between six to eight hours a day to sleep (between a quarter and a third of your life), it is important to pay attention to your posture while you sleep. It probably happened to you after a good night’s sleep, to wake up with a sore neck and/or shoulders pain and yet you did not do anything special the day before.

What happened between the time you went to bed and wake-up time?


There are chances that your posture while you slept had something to do with it. The importance of good posture and a good pillow is essential to relax the muscles of your neck. A pillow too thick and/or too soft is often the number one source of problems with your neck.

bad way to sleep


Raising the arms above the shoulders cause compression of nerves and/or vessels blood passing through the thoracic outlet.Several nerves of the brachial plexus go down along the arm.You will tend to have numbness in your arms.

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bad way to sleep


Sleeping on your stomach will cause a constant tension on your neck and shoulders muscles. What will cause you to wake up with a sore neck.

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bad way to sleep


In addition to sleeping on his stomach this man rests his head on his shoulder. He will wake up with a sore neck and numb left arm.

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What Position is Best For Sleeping?

The best position to sleep is on your back with a a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck or on your side with a pillow that supports the head and neck in a neutral position (Figures A and B).

best sleeping position

Figures C and D are to be avoided. Sleeping on your back with two pillows, puts your neck into flexion (what you want to avoid).


bad way to sleep

Figure C

A pillow too thick will place your neck in a forward position all night and your neck muscles won't be able to relax.

Figure D

The lateral inclination of my neck will never let the muscles to relax!

If you want to avoid problems with your neck in the future, never ever sleep on your stomach!

I know you might think « I have been sleeping on my stomach till now and do not have any problems!» Believe me you will have neck problems if you do not change the way you sleep. It is only a matter of time!

Why Is It So Bad To Sleep On Your Stomach?

Sleeping on your stomach keeps your head turned to one side all night, which will stretch(elongate) some muscles of your neck on one side, shorten (contract) other muscles on the other side and distort the alignment of the spine in your neck and might lead to Arthritis. It will also flattens the natural curve of your lower back. It will also be bad for your jaw since one side of your jaw will press against your pillow.

It puts pressure on all of your internal organs, especially your stomach and It can affect your breathing and your diaphragm (the muscle that makes you breath).

do you still want to sleep on your stomach?

So let’s summarize! The best positions for sleeping are as follow:

  • On your back
  • On your side

NEVER EVER SLEEP ON YOUR STOMACH

For a good night’s sleep, I recommend investing in a quality pillow. It can be a little expensive, but really worth it! It does not mean beacause it is an orthopedic pillow that it will be good for you. They have different sizes and you should always try it before buying!


In the meantime, it is still possible to make one with a towel.


How to make a cervical pillow with a towel!


neck myofascial release

Thanks for reading and wishing you a good night sleep!

I can help you with neck pain!

To book a session, Call me at: 213-631-8839

Legal Disclaimer: The information provided on EnergyKinesiologist.Com is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

By: Michel Bourgeois, Licensed Massage Therapist & Energy Kinesiology practionner in Mesa & Apache Junction, Az