The Best Position to Sleep When Dealing With Discomfort, Aches, and Neck Pain
Quality sleep is a precious commodity, especially if you find yourself suffering from a variety of aches and pains. Some can be helped, like neck pain and persistent coughs, while others such as pregnancy and period cramps can’t be as easily avoided. But no matter the cause, achieving a good night's sleep is imperative to your health and well being. Which leaves many wondering how to find the best position to sleep in with such a wide variety of discomforts.
While it’s important to remember that constant pain, discomfort, and even a continual inability to sleep should all be discussed with your doctor first, there are a few things you can do from home. In an effort to help you, we’ve detailed some of the most common ways to sleep with discomfort or pain, such as:
- The best position to sleep in when you have neck pain
- How best to sleep with a dry or wet cough
- How to sleep comfortably when pregnant
- The best position to sleep in when you’re on your period
The Best Position to Sleep in When You Have Neck Pain
When it comes to sleeping with neck pain, the two most important factors are that you sleep on either your back or your side, and you use the right pillow for your sleeping position. This is because sleeping on your stomach causes your neck and upper back to arch, rather than align naturally. Whereas sleeping on your side or your back allows your neck to receive the support it needs.
No matter the cause, neck pain is bound to keep you from receiving a good night’s sleep if you can’t manage to get comfortable – which only leads to more neck pain in addition to dealing with a rotten night’s sleep. And at cbdMD, we take sleep very seriously. First things first, it’s important to make sure your spine is remaining properly aligned throughout the night. So what can you do to achieve some additional neck support? We have a few ideas.
You May Need a New Pillow
Do you know how old your pillow is? If not, then there’s a good chance you may be due for a new one. Especially if your current pillow either provides next to no support or doesn’t allow your spine to smooth out. And unfortunately, an inappropriate pillow may even be worsening your neck pain by aggravating your spine’s alignment as you sleep.
Since the key to reducing the strain on your neck is adding additional support, you want to aim for either finding a pillow which conforms to your neck shape or rises to hold the curve of your neck. This can be done a few different ways depending on your preference, by either adding a small neck roll (or rolled towel) into the bottom of your pillowcase or buying a whole new pillow.
If you choose to buy a new pillow, we recommend trying out a conforming memory foam or feather pillow. Both should give your neck the support you need without being too stiff. Just make sure the pillow you choose doesn’t raise your head and neck too high. And remember that soft pillows that conform to your head and neck, like feather pillows, may need to be replaced after a year or so.
The Best Position to Sleep With a Cough
Waking up in the middle of the night coughing from a tickle in your throat might just be one of the most annoying things in the world. Especially if you were sound asleep right before you were ripped from your dreams. Of course, going to bed at night with a recurring or painful cough isn’t much fun either.
But before we get into the best position to sleep with a cough, you should first try to find the cause behind your cough, because if it’s medical then altering your sleep position may not do the trick. Needless to say, you should always talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing a persistent cough, particularly if it’s enough to keep you up during the night on more than one occasion.
However, if it’s just an occasional scratchy throat or random cough, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the coughing so you can get a quality night’s sleep.
Dry vs. Wet Coughs
When it comes to random bouts of coughing in the middle of the night, it’s likely a dry cough, which won’t produce any mucus despite the feeling of having something tickling your throat from the inside out. A wet cough is one that produces mucus and is often the result of a cold or a separate medical issue.
For a wet cough, you want to be sure to elevate your head so that the mucus and any post-nasal drip will drain rather than build up in your throat. While an elevated position may help with a dry cough as well, dry coughs are a little trickier and may be better helped by drinking some water or sucking on a lozenge until the itch goes away.
How to Sleep Comfortably When You’re Pregnant
Sleeping while pregnant can easily feel like an uphill battle thanks to the pressure on your organs, back, and spine. Which is why pillows, body pillows, and pregnancy pillows are about to become your best friends.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best position to sleep in while you’re pregnant is on your side, especially during the second and third trimester. Sleeping on your side creates less pressure on your organs and actually increases blood circulation for both you and the baby. Of course, it can still be a little tricky to get comfortable enough to sleep with the added stress on your back and spine.
Bending your knees and adding a pillow between your legs can help take some of that pressure off your back. If you struggle with having your center of gravity off kilter, sleeping with a pillow under your stomach can give you additional relief and help you relax enough to fall asleep. Propping your upper body up with a couple pillows can also help relieve the stress on your back as well as helping to avoid heartburn.
It’s important to avoid sleeping on your back as much as possible in order to prevent breathing problems, back pain, and reduced blood circulation to both your heart and your baby. Some additional tips for better sleep include:
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day
- Using a sound machine to help your mind relax
- Reducing or avoiding caffeine after 2 PM
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Doing something that relaxes you before bed, such as reading a book or meditation
The Best Position to Sleep When on Your Period
Anyone with a uterus will tell you that periods are exhausting. Your body is doing a lot of work, and nine times out of ten, you’re stuck dealing with intense discomfort or pain. Which means that trying to sleep during your period can be seriously frustrating, especially if you suffer from intense cramps that won’t let you get a moment of peace.
Unfortunately, the best position to sleep in on your period changes depending on your individual period symptoms. So you may need to go through some trial and error before you find what works best for you.
For bloating, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. For front or back cramps, you may find that sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees is most comfortable to help relieve some of the pressure. Of course, adding an electric (or better yet, microwaveable) heating pad can also help alleviate a lot of your pain.
If you’re able, sleeping in the fetal position is a great way to take some of the pressure off your abdominal muscles, allowing your body to relax enough to fall asleep. And if you naturally gravitate toward sleeping on your stomach, sleeping in a wide-legged version of child’s pose may actually be a great alternative for you, as it also helps your abdominals relax while helping you sleep in a more familiar position.
For more information on the best position to sleep in when you have aches, discomfort, and neck pain, or for information on how using CBD oil can help you sleep better, keep an eye on our frequently updated blog. Looking to stay up to date on the latest supplement news and cbdMD’s upcoming special offers? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or chat with someone live today!