A big factor in getting a good night’s sleep is using a good pillow. Whether you are on your bed or traveling somewhere, a good pillow is your best companion.
However, using an ordinary pillow when on the road might be a bit hard and uncomfortable, especially if you have chronic head and neck pain. This is where a neck pillow comes in and saves the day, as it is specifically designed to support your head and neck to keep them in a neutral and natural position.
Sleep Right: How to Sleep On a Neck Pillow
Using a good neck pillow can improve the quality of your sleep even when you are sitting in the car or plane.
Once you’ve chosen a good neck pillow you’re faced with the question: How do you sleep on a neck pillow? Well, sleeping with a bulge behind your head can feel uncomfortable.
You might also find your head falling forward at times. But the strategy here is to flip your neck pillow the opposite way in order to protect your head while maintaining the alignment of your neck.
You can also shift the pillow stuffing to make it more comfortable. A lot of neck pillows contain a type of stuffing like gel or beads.
What you must do is move the stuffing to the side of the neck pillow where you prefer to sleep. You can tie the end of this side off with a hair tie or elastic band to prevent the stuffing from moving.
Lying back on your neck pillow helps a lot too. When you are sitting in the car or plane, recline your seat, lie back and sleep on your pillow.
You can make adjustments to the neck pillow if you still feel uncomfortable. Or, you can wedge your pillow up against the window or in the small space between two seats.
If you are then on your bed, here are some tips on how to sleep on a neck pillow:
- Slide your neck onto the cushion. Do this on the part of your bed where you would like to sleep so that you do not have to move out. The more you stay put, the less risk you will have in experiencing neck pain.
- Check your head and the back of your shoulders if they are touching the mattress.
- Make sure you are properly aligned so your head does not tilt forward or backward (if you like sleeping on your back). If you are a side sleeper, make sure your nose is in line with the center of your body.
- If possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach since it causes neck pain as well as lower back strain. A neck pillow is designed for the side, back and combination of the two sleeping positions. Thus, you should avoid the stomach sleeping position.
- Allow yourself to settle. The neck takes around 10 to 15 minutes to get settled and feel relaxed into your neck pillow. Try to stay in one position first and test if it is the best one for you before you begin shifting around because you feel uncomfortable. If you do feel uncomfortable, change your position until you find the best one that makes your neck relaxed.
- Test the neck pillow for a week to see if it is the right one for you. You can get another neck pillow if you still feel uncomfortable after that period.
- Some neck pillows have lobes that maintain the proper alignment of your neck. These lobes can be uncomfortable, so try sleeping with the lobes facing downward. This can help your head and neck adapt until you can use the lobes the normal way.
- After a few weeks, sleep on the lobed side of your neck pillow. This helps it get back to its normal shape s so it can continue supporting your neck. Try interchanging the position of the lobes every few weeks.
A neck pillow may really feel weird at first since you are not used to it. But if it guarantees the support you need to get rid of your neck pain, then a little sacrifice can go a long way.
Just give yourself time to adjust and test what can work well for you. In the end, you will thank yourself for taking the time to get used to using a neck pillow. It is one of the best ways to get rid of neck pain.