Maintaining good posture is not only important when sitting or standing; it is equally important when sleeping. Having a correct spinal alignment at night makes you feel better and helps heal whatever pain you may be experiencing during the day.
One thing to help you attain this goal is your trusty, fluffy pillow. It can help keep your head and neck aligned. There are a lot of pillow styles with varying materials used to keep your neck in its normal alignment. There are soft pillows, while others are kind of hard.
Also, some pillows have headrests and some are filled with water, grains, air, gels or contoured sponge rubber. There is also the moldable down or memory-foam pillow, which is usually referred to as the neck pillow.
A neck pillow is usually a horseshoe-shaped cushion that supports your neck and head while you sleep in a sitting position. It works great when you want to rest in a place where you can’t actually lie down, for example during a plane, train, bus or car trip.
Myth or Fact: Do Neck Support Pillows Work?
Some professionals also recommend the use of a neck pillow to maintain the proper alignment of your head and neck in order to prevent or lessen neck pain.
You might ask: “Do neck support pillows work?” Well, since most people find they are comfortable to use, it can be assumed that yes they do work. No single pillow is right for everyone though.
For every sleep position, a certain kind of pillow is recommended. The three common types of sleep positions are supine (back), prone (tummy) and side.
The neck pillow works best for supine sleepers since it lets your head fall slightly backward. This allows the weight of your head to be supported by your neck.
For side sleepers, a ground foam pillow is probably the most practical option as it provides maximal support. For prone sleepers, chest support is what you need, which can come in the form of a thin pillow to keep your head from bending too far sideward or backward.
The key is to hold your head and neck in alignment with the rest of your spine to avoid any pain. A neck support pillow helps you achieve this.
Any pillow could work for you, but at times, you just really need to find that certain pillow that makes you feel the most comfortable.
Here are some tips for choosing a neck support pillow:
Pillows that adapt to your position are the best options.
A cervical contour pillow and foam contour pillow are some examples. They let your head rest in a depression in the middle of the cushion.
Your neck rests on a more elevated side if you sleep on your side, while it rests on a less elevated side if you sleep on your back.
Feather pillows can cause the most neck pain.
Since this kind of pillow does not give much stability to your neck, with the feathers moving when you do, it causes you pain.
The best material for a neck pillow is latex foam.
It provides support without heating up, unlike memory foam. Heating at night can cause restless sleep, which is not good. A cooler pillow helps you get deeper and better sleep.
Buckwheat pillows can be noisy.
Yes, they offer cool sleep since a lot of air circulates between the hulls. Also, they have renewable filler, are cost-effective and can support your neck well, even when you sleep on your side.
However, the hulls tend to make noises once they move, which can greatly affect the quality of your sleep.
Take into consideration your mattress and whether it is soft or firm.
A firm mattress needs a thicker pillow so that your shoulders will not sink into the mattress too much. Additionally, a thick pillow can fill a bigger gap between your head and the mattress.
A pillow-top or memory foam mattress topper, on the other, requires a thinner pillow in order for your shoulders to sink into the bed. Such pillows only need to fill a small space between your head and shoulders.
These tips will help you in your quest to find the right neck support pillow. If you are lucky enough, you might get lucky with the first pillow you buy.
More realistically, it might take you a while to find the perfect fit. You might have to test a few pillows first before you find what works best for you.