Sleep is essential to all individuals, and without proper rest, the body stops functioning well. To maintain your body health, ensure you have an adequate sleep. The time you spend sleeping relaxes your body and prepares it for tomorrow’s daily activities. Despite trying to have a sufficient sleep, some conditions may hinder proper rest, such as injuries like whiplash, illness and stress.
Whiplash usually occurs when you suddenly move your head in either direction. Mainly it occurs during car accidents causing pain in your neck area. Therefore, you must try to treat your neck safely to ease the pain. Try supporting your neck and not lifting heavy luggage to avoid striping your neck too much. You can take care of yourself while at home, or you can visit a licensed doctor for treatment.
Symptoms of whiplash
The following symptoms will help you know if you have whiplash.
- Stiff neck with a lot of pain. Once you feel some pain in the neck and some stiffness and hardness
- Stiffness when moving your head from one direction to another, especially when trying to look over your shoulders.
- Headaches, especially near the forehead.
- Neck tenderness makes your neck to be stiff to move around.
How to sleep with whiplash injury
Trying to sleep with a neck injury can be tricky since there is too much pain in the neck. Therefore, you will be required to follow simple steps when sleeping to prevent increasing neck pain. Even though the neck pain goes away quickly, try maintaining neck safety to quicken the healing process.
Two positions are recommended when sleeping while experiencing whiplash. Firstly, try lying on your back gently. Sleeping on the back reduces neck-straining, therefore, making your neck a little comfortable. Sleeping on your back helps in supporting your neck hence decreasing your neck pain.
Secondly, you can gently sleep on your side with the unique pillow underneath. Lying on the side provides more comfort to your neck, reducing neck strains. Once your neck has healed, remember to stretch it a bit to strengthen the neck muscles.
Sleeping with a whiplash requires some treatments before sleeping. Use the method that works for you.
Methods of treating whiplash to sleep
Treating whiplash can be done at home by following simple methods such as:
1. Try taking prescribed pain killers
If your doctor has given you some prescribed medicine, grab them while following the appropriate time described by the doctor. Ensure you take the correct medicine quantity as assigned by the doctor. Take more painkillers if your doctor has instructed you.
Too much painkillers intake poses a danger to your health. For instance, they can poison your body, resulting in death. After taking the prescribed medicine, try getting some sleep while lying on the recommended side.
2. Support your neck using a soft cotton collar
Once you have developed a whiplash, try supporting your neck correctly and ensuring you don’t use rigid materials to increase the pain. If you don’t have any, visit a nearby chemist and buy one. Ensure you use the collar at most two days and change it regularly. Before sleeping, remove the cotton collar and sleep on the back with the special pillow underneath.
3. Try cold and hot compresses
Heat your pad for around 15 to 20 minutes on low or medium heat. Massage the injured area for some minutes and ensure you repeat the process after every three hours. Moreover, attempt using warm water while showering if you don’t have a heating pad. Lastly, try using a packet of ice on your injured area for around 15 minutes.
In addition to that, try using the ice pack at least after every 3 hours before sleeping, easing your neck pain and cuts down neck tension making your neck more comfortable
4. Avoid carrying heavy luggage or doing any activity that may strain your neck
After the injury, avoid heavy duties that will strain your neck. Straining your neck increases pain and it will make the whiplash take more time to heal. Carrying heavy loads strains your neck more and the increased pain makes you have difficulties sleeping.
5.Use a special soft neck pillow when sleeping
A cotton pillow is mainly preferred for the victim suffering from whiplash. Place the pillow under your neck and lay your neck slowly on the pillow. A stiff pillow will increase your neck pain. The neck pillows keep your neck in stable condition and prevent your neck from misaligning throughout the night.
Read also: Best Plush Pillow Top Mattress
6. Use foam rollers when sleeping
Before sleeping, ensure you roll your neck gently to release any tension in your neck, enabling you to have a good sleep and eases neck pain. Rolling also reduces stiffness on the neck.
Once the pain has d, try stretching your neck gently forward, back and sideways to strengthen your neck. Carry out the exercise once approved by the doctor to avoid bringing back the neck pain. Neck exercises prevent stiffness and also reduce neck pain.
7. Try drinking tea before sleeping especially, chamomile
The tea will help you relax your body muscles, including neck muscles and it triggers sleep. Drink the tea and wait for almost around 30 minutes before sleeping.
8. Use a mattress that is in a good position
If your mattress is too old, you can prefer to change it at that moment.
9. Try using a breathing technique
Breathing helps your body to relax and all your body muscles, including the neck muscles. It also enables you to sleep well during the night, even if you have whiplash. Ensure before sleeping to breathe for around 5 to ten minutes. It is a simple method but most effective.
10. Try massaging the neck area
If you have a whiplash, try massaging the neck area slowly and gently to prevent increasing pain. Massaging relaxes the neck muscles and reducing neck stiffness.
Frequently asked questions:
- What are the effects of whiplash?
Shoulder and neck stiffness are long-term effects of sleeping with whiplash. Chronic pains and dizziness can also result from using whiplashes.
- Can sleeping with a whiplash affect one’s brain?
Recent research has shown that any mild TBI can damage the brain’s functionality, lower memory scores, and think skills.
- What happens if you leave a whiplash untreated?
Whiplash can cause serious health problems over a given period when left untreated. Loss of motion and stiffness can be experienced due to untreated whiplashes. Vertebrae misalignment, degenerative disc disease, and chronic neck pains are popular health conditions that occur if whiplashes are left untreated.
- How to recover from whiplash?
Recovering from whiplash within a short time would require the application of over-the-counter pain medications every three hours, which act as pain relievers. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can moderate whiplash pain by controlling the mild.
- How to sleep with a whiplash?
A unique neck pillow can be used by someone with a whiplash to sleep. This place is placed under the neck, not the head. If you have a whiplash, do not use your regular pillow when using a unique pillow to sleep.
Dealing with whiplash requires carefulness, especially when suddenly moving the head backward and forward. In the case of whiplash, know how to treat it and sleep well at night with the whiplash. Finally, ensure that you exercise your neck frequently.