Composed of many different bones and muscles that all work together to support your head and spine, the neck is one of the most complicated parts of your body. When stress or pressure is placed on the area, you are also more likely to experience a tender ache in your neck. The intensity may vary and can last for the next few days. This could be a result of sleeping wrongly and looking down at your phone or laptop for long periods of time. If you have woken up with neck pain one too many times, it is important to be aware of what factors might be causing it and make the necessary adjustments to prevent it.

Why Does My Neck Hurt after Waking Up?

1. Sleeping at an awkward angle

Like many in Singapore, you probably have a favourite position to sleep in. However, there are some awkward angles that can hurt your neck without you even realising. A good example of such awkward positions is sleeping on your stomach. As comfortable as it feels, your neck is more likely to stay twisted to one side for hours when you don't move in your sleep. This may lead to soreness and stiffness when you wake up.

No matter how comfortable your body feels in a certain position, it may be wise to start adjusting to a different sleep position. Sleeping on the side or back - especially when you’re supported with ergonomic pillows and mattress - can enable your muscles to relax throughout the night. These positions also maintain your spinal alignment, reducing the chances of pain after a restful slumber.

2. Sudden neck movement

Besides awkward sleeping positions, another potential cause of your neck pain is sudden neck movements. This includes turning your body to another side while your neck remains stiff or quickly tossing your neck up or sideways after keeping it still for hours. These types of rapid movements may strain the neck muscles and cause pain for days.

3. Previous injury

Sleeping with a history of prior injuries such as whiplash or other sport-related neck injuries can increase the possibility of waking up with a sore neck or neck pain. If your neck is not fully recovered, lying down in certain positions that put any kind of tension on your neck may further aggravate the pain.

What to Do When You Wake Up with a Sore Neck?

The good news is, there are several things you can do to fix neck pain. Here are some steps to help ease your pain and get back to feeling great.

1. Gentle stretches

When you wake up with neck soreness, be sure to apply gentle stretches to your neck to relieve the tightness and increase the recovery process. For instance, start by keeping your head squarely over your shoulders and your back stationary and straight. Next, turn your head slowly to one side until you feel a stretch in your neck and shoulder. Keep the stretch for around 30 seconds and repeat on your other side.

2. Avoid sudden movement throughout the day

Now that you have applied some muscle relieving procedures to your neck, the next best thing to do is to keep it relaxed and loose, avoiding any sudden movements throughout the day. When speaking about sudden movements, this applies to your whole body as well. Moving your shoulders or spine may contract your neck muscles and impede the recovery process, so make sure to be as gentle as possible.

3. Choose the right ergonomic pillow to reduce neck pain

Finally, the key to preventing neck pain and getting the best night's sleep should start long before you actually hit the sack. The best kind of pillow is designed with various sleeping positions in mind. Ergonomic pillows are made to complement your normal position when resting, cutting down tension from the body even when you stay in the same position for hours. Starting with a small Tempur Symphony pillow, you can get that much-needed all-night support and wake up to go about the day’s planned activities at ease. These are also available in medium, large and extra-large so you can find one that best suits your sleeping needs.

For anyone who experiences neck pain or wants to prevent it, our range of ergonomic pillows that include brands like Tempur, Dual Plus and Motex are definitely worth considering. Make sure to get an ergonomic pillow with Ergoworks today.