Does Sleeping With A Fan Cause Neck Pain?
If you’re a sufferer of chronic muscle soreness in your neck, you’ve probably tried every manner of pillow or mattress supplement to combat it, right? And if the stiffness is still persisting, despite your best efforts, it might be time to look into the possibility of an answer a little less obvious. Does sleeping with a fan cause neck pain? Sleeping with a fan on at night might just be the cause of your discomfort.
Why Does Sleeping With A Fan Cause Neck Pain?
Many people will blame neck pain in the morning on a bad angle of sleeping, or maybe even carrying some residual stress from the day before. Many will strive to find the best pillow for neck pain. But there is an underlying cause to a lot of neck pain sufferers often have no knowledge of to fight; and that is the temperature drop in their room at night.
Though it is more often caused by those who sleep with their windows open, a fan on all night can also cause a noticeable drop in temperature. According to Phyllis of the Massage Therapy and Wellness Center, getting neck pain from sleeping with an open window is very common.
So what exactly is going on here that causes this strange phenomenon? Most neck pain comes from the levator scapula muscle, which runs along either side of the neck and down into the back and shoulder. Stiffness and pain here often causes limited mobility for sufferers and causes the pain to radiate out, beyond the area of the neck.
Now, a lot of neck pain in this area is related to posture. Whether you’re sleeping wrong, spending too much time at the computer with improper head placement, or carrying stress in your muscles. But this muscle, like all of them, also has a negative reaction when exposed for long periods of time to cold weather.
You may have often heard the phrase “warm up” in gym or other sports. That is meant literally. Muscles need to warm up to become more elastic and easier to move. A “cold” muscle is more susceptible to tearing or strain if it’s put under use without creating enough friction to get it a bit more flexible. And the levator scapula muscles in the neck are no different.
The temperature drop in a room caused by use of a fan or, worse, an open window, will result in the muscle getting cold as well. While you may not be overly chilly from the light breeze, your muscles will feel it and contract accordingly. The result will be stiffness as the muscle has spent a good deal of time contracted and is resistant to any form of stretching. It’s very uncomfortable.
Obviously, the biggest suggestion to prevent this kind of unforeseen strain is to sleep without a fan on in the room. But for some people in humid regions or anyone sweltering away in the heat of summer, that may not be the most viable option. Luckily, there are several ways to treat pain that may come with slumbering with the fan on at night.
A first line of defense is always an anti-inflammatory, especially since the muscle could cause inflammation or irritation to adjoining muscle groups. And while many people want to ice an injured neck, the experts at necksolutions.com suggest against treating it like a traumatic injury. Especially if cool air caused the stiffness in the first place, putting something cold on the muscle will only exacerbate the problem.
Instead, they suggest a heating pad. They especially suggest the use of heat in conjunction with a massage to help loosen and relax the muscles as they work into a stretch. There are also several topical treatments that can be utilized. Hot patches, designed for muscle pain relief, are an option. However, those with sensitive skin should be wary of their use due to the strong adhesion and intense heat.
There is also, of course, ensuring your neck posture isn’t going to cause your symptoms to come back. During the day you’ll want to exercise proper neck alignment, especially if you spend a good portion of your day at a desk, facing a computer. Aspects of this also include proper breathing technique and back alignment.
Breathing exercises are also helpful, in general, to creating openness and relaxation with your muscles that will help combat stiffness in the chilly night air.
The Options Are Yours
Neck pain can be debilitating for even the most mundane tasks throughout the day. And if you don’t want to give up sleeping with your fan on, you can find ways to make sure your neck is taken care of throughout the day. Does sleeping with a fan cause neck pain? It can, but there’s plenty you can do to remedy it.