How to Treat a Stiff Neck After Sleeping?

Your neck contains tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones that work together to support the head, allowing it to move in many directions. Sleeping can result in the overuse of the muscles, and they become strained or tensed, resulting in a stiff neck. Although a stiff neck might be unexpected, it can inconvenience your normal routine as it prevents the active movement of the head. You might feel pain when you try to move the head when you have a stiff neck, but this does not mean that you are seriously injured. Rarely do you need to visit a hospital when you have a stiff neck; you can use home remedies to ease your condition, but if the pain is persistent, it could be a sign of underlying issues that need medical attention.

Apply Ice and Use Heat Therapy

Take a warm bath or apply a warm pad on the swollen part when you wake up with a stiff neck, as this can help loosen and relax the muscles. You can also use ice to cool the swollen part, as ice helps in reducing pain and curbing inflammation of the injured part. You can find out more here on how heat therapy helps relax muscles and cure a stiff neck.

Gentle Stretching

Stretching can help loosen the muscles and the ligaments in the neck, reducing pain that results from a stiff neck. If you find it challenging to achieve full stretches, then opt for a massage that can help with muscle relaxation.

Use Over-The Counter-Medications and Conduct Pain Assessment

Use over-the-counter pain killers and incorporate the treatments with stretches for pain relief. Assess whether your condition is improving; neck pain should subdue with home remedies, but if the condition is not improving, you should seek further medical treatments. Do not neglect pain on the neck as this could be a sign of underlying issues that need immediate medical attention.


A stiff neck after sleeping is common, although it might not be anticipated, the pain associated with a stiff neck can limit head movements. A stiff neck can be cured with home remedies, as this is not an indication of a major injury. If the pain does not subdue after taking over-the-counter pain killers, then it is prudent to seek medical care as this could point to other underlying health complications.