How to sleep with whiplash: 6 tips for getting a good night's sleep

How to sleep with whiplash: 6 tips for getting a good night's sleep

Whiplash is no laughing matter. If you’ve ever had whiplash, then you know how painful and disruptive it can be to your daily life, let alone your sleep habits. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure you get a good night’s sleep after a whiplash injury that aren’t just keeping your mouth closed when you go to bed! Here are 6 tips for sleeping with whiplash that work wonders on their own or in conjunction with painkillers and other treatments your doctor may recommend.

Tuck your pillow between your knees

The tucking method is easy and can be used by anyone. It can also help you avoid neck pain. 

  1. Tuck your pillow between your knees, so that the knees are on either side of the pillow.
  2. Lie down and move your head onto the pillow, letting it support your neck comfortably. 
  3. Adjust the tucking method by moving the knee that is under the pillow to make it more comfortable and adjust the height of both pillows as needed for comfort and proper alignment of your spine during sleep (you want one shoulder higher than the other). 
  4. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and enjoy a peaceful slumber!

Use a memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses provide an optimal sleeping surface thanks to their ability to conform around the curves of your body, relieving pressure points and providing support all over. Sleeping on one will also help you avoid waking up in the morning feeling sore and achy. Memory foam is also hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, mold, bacteria, allergens, and other irritants that can cause allergies or respiratory problems. This makes it an ideal solution for people with asthma or allergies who are looking for better nighttime breathing.

Sleep on your back

  1. Sleep on your back. When you lie on your back, gravity can help reduce the pressure on your neck and spine. Sleeping in this position also decreases the likelihood of developing reflux or heartburn because it keeps stomach contents from moving upwards. 2. Do not sleep in an awkward position that causes you to bend your neck forward or backward, as this can worsen your pain. Try not to prop pillows under your head or behind your neck while lying down in bed 3. Use a pillow between your knees when lying on your side 4. A specially designed wedge pillow can give you extra support and relief by elevating one end of the body and easing pressure off of the spine 5.

Sleep on an incline

Find a bed, couch, or recliner that can be adjusted so that it is at an incline of 10-30 degrees. Sleeping in this position will help decrease the compression on your neck and prevent you from experiencing more pain in the morning. Use pillows to prop up your head and shoulders if necessary. If lying down is too painful, try sitting upright with your back supported by cushions or pillows and take off your shoes. Remember that these changes should be temporary and you should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your sleeping patterns.

Avoid sleeping too close to the edge of the bed

-Sleeping too close to the edge of the bed can aggravate your neck because your shoulders are pinched. Sleeping at the edge can also put too much pressure on your cervical vertebrae. 

-Make sure you have enough pillows and that they're not too high or low. You want them positioned so you feel comfortable when you lay down and there's no strain on your neck or back. 

-Try not to lay in one position for too long, as this can cause stiffness, headaches, and soreness. Change positions throughout the night by lying on either side or sitting up in bed if you need more room.

Get rid of your pets when you can't sleep

If you're struggling to get comfortable in bed, try finding a room in your house where you can be alone and as close to the ground as possible. Keep the temperature cool and use multiple pillows if necessary. 

If you have pets, when it is possible, try putting them into their own space so that they don't disturb your sleep. If this isn't an option because of their size or temperament, consider putting them outside of the bedroom and closing the door at bedtime.

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