3 Bedtime Tips When You Have Neck Arthritis

When you have arthritis affecting your neck, a peaceful night's sleep can seem impossible. Fortunately, there are ways to make you more comfortable and possibly wake up with less pain and stiffness.

Consider Your Sleeping Position

If you wake up with burning or stiffness in your neck, it may be time to reconsider how you sleep and the amount of support you have. Start by lying in your normal sleeping position, then determine if your neck is at an awkward angle. For example, if you are a side sleeper, you may not have enough pillows for your head to rest comfortably without bending your neck. Your goal is to keep your head, neck, and shoulders in a neutral position, similar to the way they would be positioned while sitting or standing. Consider purchasing pillows that are large enough to support your shoulders, in addition to your head and neck. Add a pillow that is created with foam that follows the contours of the neck, no matter whether you sleep on your side or back. These pillows cradle your head and neck, giving your more support as you sleep.

Elevate Your Head And Neck

Neck stiffness from some forms of arthritis is not only about inactivity, but where fluid pools when you are at rest. For example, one of the hallmark symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is prolonged morning stiffness or stiffness after periods of inactivity. Since the underlying disease process is caused by inflammation, lymph tends to pool at the sites of inflammation while at rest, contributing to stiffness. If you often lie flat, this can make neck stiffness worse after resting. Try to sleep or rest with your head, neck, and shoulders at a slight incline. Wedge pillows are ideal because you do not have to worry about stacking pillows that may move through the night.

Choose Bedding Based On Your Needs

Try different pillows and bedding materials that can keep your neck warmer or cooler, depending on the type of pain you experience. In general, if you often wake up with your neck burning, you might find pillows and other bedding that keeps your neck cool might be more comfortable. Conversely, when stiffness and/or aching are the major problems, materials that keep your neck warmer might help. Pillows made with special cooling gel can reduce some of the burning pain. Your pillow cases should be made from cotton or jersey knit, since these fabrics do not retain body heat as much. For more warmth, fleece, wool, and heated neck pillows should provide more comfort.

Resting or sleeping should not be another source of pain when you have arthritis. Adjusting the way you sleep can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and minimize the pain you experience when you wake up. If you're still suffering from neck pain, reach out to a professional like Isaacson Wayne MD