Sleeping Your Way to Relief: Causes and 8 Tips for Stiff and Painful Neck Remedy.

Sleeping on your back with both hands on your side or on your chest is the best way to sleep if you have neck aches. Also, Side sleeping will prevent nack aches.

In our daily routine, our neck undergoes different postural changes.

Postural changes are the root cause of neck pain.

Sleeping tips for stiff neck remedy
Sleeping tips for stiff neck remedy

At the end of the day, when the time comes for rest, it becomes very difficult to sleep with a stiff neck. Even improper sleeping positions can cause neck pain.

So, for a stiff neck remedy, you have to know the best sleeping position for neck pain.

What will you feel?

You will feel a stiff neck. You won’t be able to move your neck to talk to someone. This movement will give you pain.

Stiff Neck
Stiff Neck

Often people can also experience shoulder aches, headaches, and some tingling sensation in their back.

Overall it is not a good experience. It makes sleeping difficult. Sleeping with neck pain is difficult. We spent one-third of our day sleeping.

So while you take treatment for stiff neck remedies, you should also know which is the best sleeping position for neck pain.

Improper sleeping positions can also be the reason behind stiff necks.  If it occurs due to a bad sleeping position, then you can always change it.

Let us take a look at what can be the reason for a stiff neck. Depending on the reason we can find out your stiff neck remedy and also your best sleeping position for neck pain.

Reasons for a Stiff Neck.

If you are experiencing neck pain, then, first of all, it’s important to find out the root cause of the pain. Often, neck pain is caused due to excessive strain and muscle spasms.

You might not be able to take care of those reasons which are related to old age. But there are other reasons also like your day-to-day activities which lead to an improper posture of the neck.

You might have acquired neck pain from some of your daily activities due to the improper position of your neck.

The normal posture of our cervical spine is erect. But some of our daily activities are changing our posture.

Daily activity.

Working on Notebook.
Working on Notebook.

Forward head positioning is one of the most common postural changes that happen. Daily activities like watching TV, working on a smartphone, notebook, or desktop while driving, sleeping on a couch, and even reading are some of the reasons.

“Hyperflexion of your neck occurs in this activities.”

This practice, when done regularly, will lead to chronic neck pain. Medical research conducted also suggests that postural changes affect head and neck muscles and cause neck pain.

With an increase in the usage of smartphones and computers, neck pain is on the rise. Technology helps us in our day-to-day life.

But we also have to take care of our health. Thus stiff neck remedies and the best position for neck pain become very important.


While doing these activities try to keep your eyesight straight to the object. Take regular breaks.
Position your TV or desktop or laptop, on a table so that the screen and your heads are at the same level.
Also taking regular breaks will act as a stiff neck remedy and also help you with your eyesight.


Exercise with a trainer

Exercising daily is good for your health. You should do exercise. Even exercise can manage neck pain. But you also have to be careful, while doing heavy exercise.

Sometimes heavy work or exercise of the upper body, and arms can cause neck pain. Work or exercise that uses your upper body and arms.

Follow proper training and practice before a trainer. If not the chances of injury increase.


Traveling is good. I like to travel. I had experienced that sometimes when we travel, our neck positions are left vulnerable.

Traveling on an airplane.
Traveling on an airplane.

You can choose your travel location, equipment, and even mode of transport. But you cannot determine the conditions, environment, and infrastructure of your location.
Things become worse when your head stretches backward while you try to sleep.

Always carry a travel pillow when you travel. This travel pillow will take care of your condition even when the conditions are worse.

A travel pillow supporting your neck will be the best sleeping position for neck pain when you are in a car, bus, train, or airplane.

Effects of Sleeping Positions on your Neck and Spine.

Different sleeping positions will affect our neck and spine differently.  To know the mechanism we will take our ears and nose as markers.

This is because our nose is perpendicular and ears are horizontal to our spine. Examining what happens when we sleep, we can reach a conclusion regarding the best sleeping position for neck pain.

We have three basic sleeping position

Sleeping on back.
• Sleeping on the stomach.
• Side sleeping position.

Check out our up-to-date article on: The Best Sleeping Positions for Stiff and Painful Neck remedies.

When we sleep we choose one of these or a combination of these sleeping positions. These positions affect our bodies differently.

This also depends on the condition of our body and age. When we are young and healthy, we won’t be experiencing the side effects.

But with age, we will start feeling some. Let us see how these positions affect our neck joints adversely.

Stomach Sleepers.

Sleeping on the stomach is not a healthy position. The stomach sleeping position is not the best sleeping position for neck pain.

Stomach sleeping position.
Stomach sleeping position.

Now we often don’t wake up in the position in which we slept. This is true for most of us. But in case the stomach sleeping position is one of them then you can injure your neck.

While sleeping on your stomach, your nose and shoulders are at the same plane and your ears are perpendicular to your spine. This is causing the twist. Over a period of time, it will create stiffness, and neck pain will start.

Even while changing positions if you accidentally slept in the wrong position, then you will experience neck pain or a stiff neck.

Thus, the stomach sleeping position commonly results in neck pain, neck stiffness, and neck headaches. It is not the best position for neck pain.


Generally, Stomach sleepers use a flat pillow. If suddenly you start using a thicker pillow then your entire posture will get disturbed and this will cause your neck pain.


In this case, it is recommended to change your sleeping position. Side sleeping or back sleeping positions are recommended.

But if you don’t want to change your position, then you should change your pillows. For sleeping on your stomach you will need thin pillows. Thin pillows can be your stiff neck remedy.

But in general,

Stomach sleeping position is not the Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain.”

So, let us see other ways of stiff neck remedies.

Best sleeping position for Neck pain.

Those who sleep on their stomach and experience neck pain are often recommended to sleep on their side or back.

But not all the combinations in the back sleeping position will not be helpful. Many articles say all back sleeping positions are the best sleeping position for neck pain. But is it true?

Let’s see which position among back sleeping positions will be the best sleeping position for neck pain.

The back Sleeping position is the best sleeping position for Neck Pain relief

Sleeping on the back is considered the healthiest position to sleep in. In case of neck pain also it is recommended to sleep on your back.

sleeping on back.
sleeping on the back.

If you are sleeping on your back, then your nose will be perpendicular to your shoulders. This way your neck and spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) are all aligned.

This will be the neutral position which won’t create stress and, it won’t cause neck pain.

“But there are some other details which we often overlook.”

Let us concentrate on the upper part of our body, while we sleep on our back.
To be exact, I am talking about the positioning of hands. You can place both your hands on your side, on your chest or you can put them on your forehead.

Yes, there can be other positions. But you would get the idea with these three positions.

Most of our muscles of the neck and upper back region are attached to the cervical spine, and thoracic spine and extends towards the shoulder region. So the position in which we keep our hand becomes important.

Research Studied.

Best Sleeping position for neck Pain.
Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain.

Medical research has shown that, if you keep your hand on your forehead then your neck will tilt laterally due to the effects of the muscle. This will create stress in already stressed muscles. Thus you will not receive proper relief.


“The best position for neck pain remedy is to sleep on your back with both hands on your side or on your chest.”

You would also need to get a perfect pillow.

If the pillow is too high and forces the head forward, then this position hyperflexes the neck. This will disrupt the normal curve and stretch the muscles and ligaments in the back of the neck.

The longer you sleep like this, the more damage can be caused, furthering neck pain & sleeping problems.

Side Sleeping Position.

The side sleeping position is the most common sleep position.

Sleeping on right side
Sleeping on a side.

When you sleep on your side your nose is perpendicular to your ears and shoulders at the same plane.  Your spine will be properly aligned.

So, “Side sleeping will give relief to your neck pain and also if you sleep on your side you will not have neck pain.”

Which side to choose, Right or Left?

Neck pain is always generalized. But it is often accompanied by shoulder pain. Choose the side in which you don’t have shoulder pain.

But for this, you will need some help.

You will need more than one pillow and a good mattress to support your natural curves. In this position, your spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) can be in alignment.

But for that, you have to sleep with a straight spine.

You can place a knee pillow, in between your legs to do that. While sleeping on your side you will need a lofty pillow with medium firmness.

Loft (thickness) will help you support the natural curvature of your neck. Medium firmness will give support to your head.

Get the best pillows for side sleepers, this will help you inside sleeping. If you are trying to sleep on your side, then our guide will help you.

Stiff Neck Remedy.

To get relief from a stiff neck two things are very important.
• Awareness of improper neck positions especially when you are at work and also when you sleep.
• Getting a proper pillow.

We have already talked about improper postures and remedies from them.
Now let us talk about other interesting and important stuff for your stiff neck remedy.

Choose the Best Pillow.

The best pillow is designed to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position to keep them free from stress.

The too-thick (lofty) pillow will bend your neck at an awkward angle. Instead of relaxing it will stress your neck. If your pillow is too flat, your neck will strain downwards. This will also cause strain.
Moreover, if your pillow is too warm then you may also have a headache in the morning.
No matter what position you chose to sleep in.

You would want that the curve of your lower neck and spine to be protected and properly supported. If your neck is awkwardly turned and twisted at an angle, this will cause stiffness and will cause neck pain.

Research suggests that different pillows affect differently. With a proper pillow, you can have relief from stiff neck or neck pain.

Thus while shopping for a pillow proper care should be taken.

Cold Air

The optimum temperature is always good to fall asleep. In order to get that temperature, we use a fan, air conditioner or even open our windows. But if your neck is already under stress then a little drop in temperature can affect the strain badly.

This drop in temperature has the potential to ruin your best sleeping position for neck pain.

If your window is open. Then you might want to consider changing the position of your bed.  If your window is open and a cold breeze is blowing, this can affect the muscles of your neck.

To overcome this, get blankets or bed sheets to cover your neck.  You may also want to check the weather before you decide to keep your window open.

Exercise and stretch your neck.

Stiff Neck Remedy: Neck Stretch Exercise.
Neck Stretch Exercise.

Exercise will help the strength of your neck muscles. You should do short sets of strengthening and stretching exercises throughout the day.
Research suggests that doing regular exercise will help strengthen your neck muscles.

Chin tuck exercises are one of the most effective postural exercises. It is mainly done for stiff neck remedies.

Proper Hydration.

Stay well hydrated throughout the day. Hydration is good for your sleep also.
Keep a water bottle with you. Take a sip at regular intervals. You can also take the help of some free Android apps. I found them very helpful.
You can also set up an alarm, which will remind you to take a glass of water.


If you are thinking of massage as a neck pain remedy, then be gentle. Don’t massage rigorously. It will damage your muscles. If you choose to go to some place for massage, then tell them to be gentle.

How long a stiff neck last?

How long your stiff and sore neck will last depends on what caused it and how you react to it.

If the stiff neck is caused by your posture like the sleeping position, then it can last for 2 days to 2 months.

The tenure will depend on how you treat it and your age, immunity status, and muscle strength.

At an Acute stage that is when you have pain then, you should take some painkillers, and muscle relaxants, Apply heat directly to the pain area. Then you can go for physiotherapy.

After these, you should do Neck exercises. Before doing all these things do contact and get consulted with a doctor. And change your sleeping position.

If the Neck Pain is caused by other diseases then please get in contact with a physician.


Quality sleep will help you lead a healthy life. Side sleeping and Sleeping on the back are both good sleeping positions. Both of them will prove to be good stiff neck remedies.

The position which makes you most comfortable will be your best sleeping position for neck pain. Select the best sleeping position for neck pain that suits you.

Get a comfortable pillow. Also, keep in mind the other factors like the occasional drop in temperature in the room.

Consult your doctor if the pain increases. Let us know how the stiff neck remedy helped you. Share with us your experience. I wish you get relief from the neck pain quickly.

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