Do you experience neck and/or back pain? Perhaps you should examine your sleep positions and habits. Once you fix a few small things the pain can go away – and you can experience more restful sleep. Here are some tips to help you catch more ZZZ’s.

Head Position 

Is your head too high or too low? This can seem simple and perhaps obvious – but have you thought about it? When you are laying down, on your side your head and neck should run parallel to your bed. If you are propped too high, your head and neck will run in an upward position, and vice versa for too low. If you are a larger person you might need 2 pillows if your weight presses the pillow too low. Invest in a moderately firm pillow – and remember to replace these periodically as their firmness can deteriorate.

Additional Support 

When settling in for sleep, add another pillow and keep it folded up against your side, and allow your top arm to set on top of the pillow. With a pillow underneath your arm, you will reduce the strain on your trapezius muscle. The upper trapezius runs from the base of your head to the top of your shoulder. When strained it can actually be the source of back in your shoulder and your neck. By adding support and reducing the strain you can reduce the pain and tension in that part of your body.

Take a Quick Stretch 

Did you know taking the time to stretch before bed can set your body up for deeper rest. If stretching causes more pain, then skip this step.

  1. Sitting in a chair, rotate your head down and towards your elbow or armpit. You will feel the stretch between your shoulder blade and your neck. Hold for thirty seconds and then switch to the other side. Repeat 3 times per side.

2. While you are sitting in a chair you will bring your right shoulder and your right ear together. If you don’t automatically feel a stretch on your left side, reach your left hand down and take hold of your seat. Do this 3 times as well.

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