If you’re anything like me then you probably always want to sleep off a headache as soon as you get one.
With a pill or two and a glass of water, you wish a headache would just disappear with that “ aha!” feeling you get when you feel your soft pillow.
But sometimes the dreaded opposite happens. You get up in the morning and have a neck pain! Neck pain is not a disease (at least not for the average person ).
If you have not heard of such issues in the family then your probably just not sleeping correctly. Sleeping appropriately should be enough to get rid of both neck pains and headaches.
Even the monstrous migraine is easily solved by the right posture while sleeping. It is understandable that after a long day’s work adopting the correct sleeping posture is the last thing on your mind, but you should consider it if you aren’t only to prevent (heal) headaches and neck pain but also joint aches, muscle pain and even back ached here’s what to do.
For neck pain.
For neck pain emphasis on the right pillow choice. Follow these simple steps to ensure your posture at rest is appropriate for your neck.
- Sleeping on one side is generally an appropriate sleeping posture for neck pains. You can also relax on your back if you don’t suffer from sleep Apnoea and snoring isn’t a concern for you. Sleeping on your stomach is NOT a good posture to adopt for neck pain. This is because when you sleep on your stomach extra pressure is exerted to the ligaments and tendons in your neck causing strain.
- Go for pillows that ideally same length as your sleeping position. Too low a pillow will cause muscle strain to your neck resulting in neck pain when you get up in the morning. Similarly, avoid higher and stiffer pillows the point here is to keep the neck flexed throughout the night.
- You should also buy a pillow according to how you sleep. For instance, side-sleepers should put preference to thicker pillows than back-sleepers while those who prefer sleeping on their bellies should avoid pillows altogether.
- Experiment on feather pillows which conform to the shape of your neck. Feather pillows have a negative side to them. You will be forced to Change them because they easily collapse regularly. A suitable replacement for them is the traditional pillow with a memory contour to snuggly tuck your neck, pillows with a memory foam aid in proper spinal alignment which is what you want.
- When you’re about to embark on a long journey, make sure you find a horseshoe pillow to support your neck. This particular pillow will ensure that your head does not drop to either side in case you fall asleep.
For headaches and migraines.
Let’s go right to the do’s and don’ts for a proper night rest free from migraines.
- Again as with neck pain, sleeping on your stomach is a no-no to prevent or curing severe headaches. The geeky explanation for this is that the is that the glymphatic pathway of the brain removes harmful metabolic waste products from the brain during sleep. Now, this process is at it’s peeking when you lie down on your side as opposed to on your stomach or back. This metabolic waste material is what is responsible for most headaches. Allowing as much as possible is desirable to adopt a side posture next time you feel a migraine coming along or to prevent it before it happens.
- Another cause of migraines and severe headaches is lack of enough sleep. A recent study shows that people who had less than 6 hours of sleep experience far more aggressive headaches than subjects who had 8 hours of rest. If your posture is appropriate for peaceful night sleep, then the migraine you experience might be from lacking enough sleep after all. 8-9 is enough rest for proper functioning the next day. Along this going to sleep and waking up at a regular time is vital to preventing migraines.
- Another aspect of migraines is that non-sleep related causes such as food might also trigger them. Notorious trigger foods are junk, I can tell you don’t want me to go on about eating healthy but you should if you’re going to prevent future headaches.
- The last is not as easy to monitor like the rest but equally important. Positions arrived at after tossing and turning in bed can make you wake up with a gruesome headache. For instance, curling your hands around the head cuts off blood supply to this area. While you can’t prevent tossing and turn in bed, you can minimize it by ensuring other factors such as temperature and lighting are okay.
To ensure you don’t wake up with neck or headaches avoid activities such as using your phone, reading a book or answering a crossword puzzle while in bed.
Such activities alter your head angle and cause strain on your neck tendons and muscles.
You should avoid positioning your neck and head in an unusual position for too long, applying sudden pressure to them or repeated strain to them because these are all that cause neck pain and headaches.