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Are you sleeping on the right pillow?

Posted by Dr.Himanshu Arora | On September 07, 2016

Do you usually toss and turn while sleeping ? In spite of getting enough sleep do you feel your body has not rested? There are chances that you are not sleeping on the right pillow.
We spend one-third of our lives with our head on a pillow. But we rarely pay any attention on what we sleep on. If your pillow is not right it may turn your sleep into a nightmare.

What happens if the pillow is not right?
As you know that our cervical region is curved in nature, which has to bear the weight of head & neck. If your pillow is not right, you may have uneasiness, neck pain, stiffness, torticollis (one side tilting of neck) & also a non-refreshed sleep.
On the other hand if the height of the pillow is too high or too low (while sleeping on side or on back), the neck is bent abnormally forward, backwards or to the side, causing muscular strain on the back of the neck and shoulders. Thus your sleep may be disturbed.

So what is an ideal pillow?
Having a right pillow is not only comfortable but also supports your head, neck & shoulders in the neutral alignment. As it serves the function to fill up the gap between the head & neck. It adjusts to the cervical curve, alleviating the pressure points & making you sleep comfortably.

Based on the body’s measurements and personal preference, the pillow should maintain an average height of 4 to 6 inches, properly supporting the head, neck and shoulders (when lying on back)*.

Types of pillow?
There are many different types of pillows available in the market. According to the material used pillows are generally of two types like fibre pillows & flexi-PUF pillows. According to the usage, there are bed pillows, orthopedic pillows or neck care pillows & decorative pillows or cushions. They may also vary based on softness or firmness.

Now the question is how to choose the best pillow ?
Everyone has their own sleeping style weather it is sleeping on side, back, abdomen or even combination of sleep positions , which may determine the ideal height of your pillow.

  • If you are a side sleeper or have a bigger body frame, then it is usually seen that you require a firm pillow that help you sleep better.
  • If you sleep on your back then generally a medium to firm pillow is seen to suit you.
  • If you sleep on your stomach then a low, relatively flat, soft pillow is seen to suit you, so that the head and neck are not turned unnaturally to either side.

 

But before choosing your pillow keep in mind your previous pillow usage and try different pillows. Only then choose the best suited pillow for yourself & Sleepwell...!

*Gordon SJ, Grimmer-Somers KA, and Trott, PH. Pillow use: the behavior of cervical stiffness, headache and scapular/arm pain. J Pain Res. 2010; 3: 137–145. Published online 2010 Aug 11.