Benefit Chiropractic Langley

Chiropractic Care Blog

How Head Position During Sleep Can Affect Neck Health

November 30th, 2019


a doctor showing the spine to a patient

Your head weighs about 10 pounds, and your neck has to hold that thing up all day, every day.

So, it’s a good idea to have a good position at night to rest your weary neck muscles—and everything else. Your neck muscles have enough work to do during the day; there’s no reason to further tire them at night.

Good head positions for sleeping

Basically, what you want to avoid is arching your back and neck by leaning the head too far back, and also bending the head too far forward, which will stretch the muscles in the back of the neck and can also make it harder to breathe.

It goes without saying that you also don’t want to have your head bent in an exaggerated way to one side or the other. You want your head and neck muscles to be in a neutral position.

The easiest way to achieve this is either sleeping on your back with a small pillow to support your neck, or to sleep on your side, with a pillow to support the neck and head.

These two positions keep the head and neck straight, and none of the neck muscles are strained.

Benefits of a good head and neck position for sleeping

If you keep your head and neck in a straight but relaxed and neutral position you’re less likely to get muscle cramps, which can affect your neck just like they can affect your back or your calves.

Muscle strain or cramps in the neck can affect your back, your hips, and suddenly everything hurts. Discomfort in your head and neck can easily lead to problems in other parts of the body. So, it’s worth it to try to sleep in a good position.

When you’re more relaxed and without any pain or strain, you will also sleep better, although the reverse also appears to be true. Getting a good night’s sleep also affects your ability to relax your muscles, so, good sleep hygiene, and getting enough sleep will also affect how your muscles react during the day (and night).

It’s worth noting that many people with back or hip problems may feel and sleep better if they have a pillow under their knees (if you’re lying on your back) or between your knees (if you’re lying on your side).

Also, all of the positions mentioned above may be affected or may need to be slightly modified depending on whether you sleep on a hard or soft surface.

We want you to get some great sleep at night. If you’re having neck pain, contact us, make an appointment, and let us help you. We also have chiropractic pillows available to help you achieve a good neck position during sleep.

Benefit Chiropractic & Wellness offers chiropractic health care, acupuncture, and massage therapy in order to enable patients to live a healthy and happy lifestyle that is both pain and symptom free.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to make an appointment with one of the medical professionals at Benefit Chiropractic & Wellness, please call (604) 534-7451 or email