How To Properly Sleep On A Pillow
How To Properly Sleep On A Pillow
Do you suffer from aches and pains through your neck and back? Perhaps you struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position? We’ve explored how to sleep properly on a pillow to help alleviate those niggling pains as well as which is the best pillow to sleep on for neck and shoulder pain, and the importance of a proper pillow position while sleeping.
Is it better to sleep with a pillow or without?
Do you prefer sleeping with two big plumped up pillows, or sleeping flat without a pillow? Or, like most of us, do you fall somewhere in between the two?
There is a school of thought that sleeping without a pillow is better for the alignment of your neck and spine as it allows your body to find the optimal position for it to rest. If you choose a pillow that doesn’t provide adequate support, extra strain can be put on the muscles and tendons in your neck and shoulders which, if left unchecked, may lead to chronic pain.
However, many people find they can’t get used to sleeping flat without a pillow, either finding it uncomfortable, or they prefer not to sleep on their backs. It’s for this reason that it is so important to learn how to sleep properly on a pillow, and to also find the healthiest, most comfortable pillow depending on the position you prefer to sleep in.
How to sleep properly on a pillow, no matter what position you choose
Whether you choose to sleep on your side, your stomach or your back, it is crucial for those who suffer from neck pain to have a proper pillow that provides optimum support for your head, while ensuring your neck and spine are kept in alignment. Any additional pressure on your neck is likely to either interfere with your airways if your chin tilts towards your chest, or cause neck pain if your neck is in an unnatural position for an extended period of time.
What is the best pillow to sleep on for side sleepers?
If you choose to sleep on your side, the perfect pillow will be one that is the right thickness to fill the gap between your head and the bed, this proper pillow position should keep your head and neck straight in line with your spine. Good pillows for side sleepers are neither too thin nor too soft, to avoid your head leaning downwards and consequently putting strain on your neck. Equally, if you choose a pillow that is too plump, your neck will be forced to bend in the opposite direction.
A side-sleeping body pillow, or a pregnancy pillow, can work brilliantly for keeping your head, neck, spine and hips in-line, all while keeping your head at the right height. The correct way to sleep on pillows like this is to place the long side between your legs and lay your head on the top piece – effectively cuddling the pillow so your body is wrapped around it.
What is the best pillow to sleep on for back sleepers?
The best pillows for sleeping on your back are those that are firm around the edges, but soft in the middle. As the natural curve of your neck needs to be supported in order to avoid pain, the proper pillow for back sleepers should allow your head to sink into the pillow without tilting too far backwards.
You can buy specially moulded neck support pillows, however, the cost involved may outweigh the benefits. A wool pillow of the right thickness can be the perfect pillow for neck pain if you’re a back sleeper as they tend to cradle your head while providing the support your neck and spine need.
What is the best pillow to sleep on for stomach sleepers?
Sleeping on your stomach is a common cause of neck and back pain. So, why do so many of us do it? Because it is just so darn comfortable! But, lying on your front puts pressure on your lower back as it is almost impossible to keep your spine aligned because of the need to turn your head to place it on the pillow.
So, what can you do if you’re not willing to change your sleeping position? One of the best pillows for sleeping on your stomach will be one that has a low profile - it should be slim, but not too soft. Using a thick pillow will force your head backwards and create more pressure on the curve of the spine in your lower back. Instead, the proper pillow position for stomach sleepers is to keep your head as flat as possible.
Another approach is to place a pillow underneath your stomach or pelvis to better align them and put less stress on your spine.
When you’re looking for the best pillows for neck and back pain, remember it depends on which position you sleep in. It’s important to learn how to choose the correct pillow for back sleepers, stomach or side sleepers, and how to sleep properly on a pillow so that your spine is in alignment and your head is supported to give your neck the rest it deserves. Through careful choice of pillow and using the proper pillow position depending on your preferred sleep style, you should be able to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you’re interested in learning more about the correct way to sleep, or want to learn more about how to sleep properly in different circumstances, visit our blog.
If you are looking for the best pillows for neck and back pain, and one that will help you to sleep in peace, have a look at our wool pillows today.
by Ann Galloway
13 Nov 2020
03 Nov 2019
Hope this helps,