Sleep studies suggest that insufficient sleep is associated with increased neck and back problems, impaired driving performance and thinking function, mood related problems in children, adolescents, and adults, impaired judgment in medical residents, depression, and earlier death due to cardiac-related problems. Insufficient sleep might also lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Left untreated it could lead to a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke,” and subsequently, stroke.
Neck stiffness and then pain is a result of the condition of the muscles, and the joints about the spine. Therefore people need to be thoughtful of and protect the muscles and joints about the spine.
- hydrate before and during sleeping
- stretch before sleeping
- take a long hot shower before sleeping
- dress for successful sleeping
- choose your pillow tools carefully
- leave on electronics
- sleep on an old worn out mattress
- go to bed angry or tense
- sleep in a cold room
- watch the news before sleeping
The body loves to be hydrated. Begin your day with 8 to 16 ounces of water and schedule a total of at least 64 ounces of fluid per day. This includes having water by the side of your bed and drinking water through the night.
Do range of motion exercises and stretch well before sleeping. This moves the joints of the spine and makes the muscles of the spine limber. Move the neck downwards, upwards, and to the side a few times before going to sleep.
A long hot shower acts as a stress reducer. Cleansing not only removes dirt and debris from the body, but it removes emotional burden as well. Wash with the intent to remove both physical and mental grime. Muscles start to relax and heal, enhancing a day’s work or a night’s sleep. In times of stress and pain, you should shower two times per day. In the deep winter, many people report that they empty the hot water tank.
Choose loose comfortable clothes for sleeping which allows motion, fluidity, and comfort.
Your pillows should be firm enough on the base to support your neck so that is not hanging on one side. Try using a firm base pillow and a softer top pillow. Also, use pillows liberally between your arms and legs, or perhaps, under your back.
I remember consulting on a Pepsi executive who was not sleeping well due to her husbands BlackBerry email and text functions that sounded throughout the night. Electronic notifications through the night disturb the sleeping human body and they serve to promote spasm and stiffness of the neck muscles and joints. Turn off electronics to help you stay asleep throughout the night.
Mattresses are a personal choice. Some people sleep well on firm surfaces, while others sleep better on soft surfaces. A firm mattress supports main body parts, however a softer layer better pads the joint areas. Experiment with the softness, material content and functionality of different mattresses.
Going to bed angry or tense leads to spasming muscles and stuck joints. This inevitably leads to pain. Get in the habit of meditating, journaling, and doing physical exercises to diminish your stresses before going to sleep.
Many people love sleep in a cold room. Be careful of the cold. Neck muscles and joints function better with warmth.
Many news reporters serve to collect the bad news for the day. Watching this collection of poor events lead people to become tense and not to relax along with not breathing well. This leads to muscle stiffness, joint stiffness and then pain.
Neck function and performance during sleeping is a great report card for the performance of our lives. To enhance our function and performance people should stretch, take long hot showers, dress for success, choose their mattresses and pillows carefully and hydrate at night and in the day. They should not embrace electronics or embrace a diet of unhealthy news, angriness, bitterness or coldness.