As working mums we are busy all day long, whether it is the static sitting in that long meeting or the constant work travels or just carrying your baby or toddler or driving to and from classes with the kids. All this takes a toll on our neck and back if we are not mindful of our posture during these everyday tasks. To add to it all we are sometimes so exhausted at the end of the day that a good sleeping posture is probably the last thing on our mind. If you have woken up to pain and/or numbness in the neck and arms, maybe even going up to your fingers you may have slept in a poor posture and a pinched nerve could be the reason for this discomfort. In this blog we will discuss how to sleep if you suffer from or want to avoid neck and shoulder nerve pain.
Firstly lets address the two postures to avoid if you want to avoid neck and shoulder nerve pain. This is sleeping on the stomach. Tummy sleepers have to turn their head and neck to either side the whole night. Second is sleeping with the arm under the head or pillow. Both of these postures lead to excessive strain on the neck muscle, spine and nerves; which can potentially lead to nerve pains.
You can watch this video for details on the two worst sleeping positions for neck pain and how to avoid them here:
The video also tells you how to transition from stomach sleeping to side lying or sleeping on your back and how to avoid putting the arm under the head or pillow when sleeping.
Secondly if you are a side sleeper then it is vital to have the correct type of pillow. When you are sleeping on the side the height of your pillow should be from your ear lobe to the tip of your shoulder. If the height Is less your neck will not be in the neutral position but it will be tilted towards the bed. This can lead to pinched nerves in the neck on that side, giving rise to nerve pain and neck and shoulder pain. The same is applicable is if the height of the pillow is more than needed.
Thirdly if you sleep on your back, the height of your pillow should be the distance between the back of your head and the back of your neck. This is small distance unlike the side sleepers. But if you don’t support the neck in a neutral position with a pillow of the correct height your head will roll backwards. This will lead to compression at the back of the head and potential narrowing of the area leading to pinched nerves. Same applies to higher pillow that can push your head forward again leading to nerve pains.
If you alternate between sleeping on your side and back then you can use a contour pillow. These pillows are thin on one side and thick on the other side. If you are not sure about which pillow is good for you, you can have a look at the ones that I am using by clicking here.
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