Naturally, there will be gaps between the spaces of your body and the mattress. These spaces can strain your back or neck muscles, so you should use pillows to fill these gaps and reduce stress. Secondly, people often move when they sleep. One way to keep your neck aligned correctly is to sleep with a neck pillow.
A proper cervical pillow can help you maintain a normal cervical curve while sleeping on your back, allowing your muscles and ligaments to relax and regain their normal length. This specialized pillow can also help side sleepers by preventing the neck from bending unnaturally. It will offer support where your traditional pillow won’t. The pillow should always support the back of the neck and head.
Despite this potential benefit, research is lacking. Most studies on pillows and neck pain focus on the best type of pillow for pain. If your neck hurts after sleep, talk to a doctor before you run out of pillow. The right pillow is essential to keep the neck in a supportive position with neutral alignment during sleep.
Without proper pillow support, the intricate neck structures will become stressed, worsening any existing neck condition and causing neck pain or stiffness during the day. For many, the key to relieving neck pain is better support. The Tempur-Neck Pillow from Tempur-Pedic features a contoured shape that lifts the neck. The back of the pillow is recessed, creating a plush cushion for the head without interfering with the alignment of the spine.
This design is particularly useful for people who sleep on their side and on their backs, groups that often experience pain and pressure build-up in the neck due to lack of pillow support. While research is limited, anecdotal reports show that sleeping without a pillow can help reduce neck and back pain in some people who sleep. People who sleep on their stomach are best suited to go without a pillow, since the lower angle of the neck promotes better alignment of the spine in this position. Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions to relieve neck pain.
For those who sleep better in this position, a thin or cervical pillow are great options. A neck pillow is specially designed to support the neck and head. Provides correct spine alignment and relieves pressure better than a thin pillow. Alternatively, you can slide a small roll-up neck pillow (or a rolled towel) into the pillowcase of your thin pillow, as it helps to position the neck correctly.
Also, try placing a pillow under your knees to help reduce stress on your lower back. The adjustable height and the feeling of balance also make this pillow ideal for those who sleep and experience neck pain at night. The key is to find a pillow that is the right height and firmness for the person’s size, sleeping position and personal preferences. For some living with chronic neck pain, pillow firmness and volume preferences vary from night to night depending on their level of overall discomfort.
And while most of us do it (incorrectly), there is an ideal pillow and proper way to sleep that gives the neck and spine the right support for a much better night’s sleep. If you sleep on your stomach, you may have neck pain because your neck is turned to the side and your back is arched. Leaning one arm on a pillow and adding a pillow between the knees offers additional support for the spine. Maintaining your body’s natural alignment and position is key to staying free of neck and back pain.
People who sleep in combination can opt for a pillow that combines two styles in one, such as a contoured pillow with higher and lower areas for side and back sleeping. People who experience neck pain should avoid shoulder bags, slouch and spend long periods sitting at the computer. Sleeping on your stomach can reduce snoring and decrease sleep apnea, but it is also tiring for your back and neck. The plush padding and memory foam together offer an excellent contour for the head and neck, which greatly helps to relieve aches and pains.
In this case, a higher pillow is recommended, so that the neck and head are aligned straight on the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. At the same time, the pillow retains a medium feeling that prevents the head from sinking deep into the pillow. Pillows designed for both side and back sleepers feature a lower central area for sleeping on your back, with fuller areas at each end for sleeping on your side. Most people don’t think much about their pillow, other than choosing a pillow that is nice and fluffy for immediate comfort.
If you wake up stiff and sore and suspect that your pillow is to blame, the first step is to determine if you’re wearing the right model for your sleep style.