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Why Does Your Neck Hurt After Sleeping?

So you are wondering how you woke up with a hurting neck from just laying down all night? Don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have injuries. Waking up with an aching neck can be because of various things. Neck pain happens when the muscles on the neck are stressed when sleeping due to the wrong alignment. So, if your neck is stiff or aching when you wake up, here are the reasons and what you need to do.

1.     Using the Wrong Pillow and Mattress

The mattress and pillow you use are the ultimate solutions to your sleeping problem. If you wake up with neck pain, it could be that your mattress or pillow is not the right one. Both of these have a high influence on your neck’s positioning and are the main reason you have a hurting neck in the morning. So, buy a comfy mattress and the right pillow to ensure your spine, including your neck, is aligned properly. You might need two pillows to align the neck with your spine. However, the choice of pillow and mattress you make will depend on your sleeping position. So, if you sleep on the back, choose the mattress and pillow meant for people who sleep on their back and so on.

2.     Low-Quality Sleep

If you have neck pain, it could be because of poor sleep. According to research, problems like difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early in the morning, and restlessness can cause a hurting neck. You are likely to have musculoskeletal pain if you have such sleeping issues. Remember, poor sleep impedes the muscles’ healing process. Therefore, you need to ensure you are getting quality sleep every night.

3.     Sleeping Position

A hurting neck could also be a result of your sleeping position. According to research, there is a strong relationship between sleeping postures and spinal symptoms. From this research, it was concluded that sleeping on the side is the most recommended position to avoid pain in the spine and the neck. Additionally, sleeping on the back is also the best position since it prevents neck ache.

4.     Sudden Movements

You may still wake up with a hurting neck even if you have a comfy mattress, the right pillow, and sleeping well. In some cases, a hurting neck could be because of making sudden movements when sleeping. Those sudden movements you make, like turning and tossing may sometimes twist the muscles, ligaments, and tendons on the neck, causing the pain. The sudden movement causes muscle strain and that might be the reason why you wake up with an aching neck. If you notice other symptoms apart from an aching neck, it is advisable to visit a doctor for further examination.


If you are waking up every day with an aching neck, the above are the reasons why you are experiencing that. Check if you have the right pillow and mattress to support your spine. If that’s a check, confirm if you are sleeping in the right position. Sudden movements and low quality sleep are also the reasons why you are having a hurting neck. If you address these issues and the pain persists, consider seeing a doctor.


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