Do you experience an interrupted sleep and feel tired and miserable in the morning? Or do you experience severe pain in your neck and shoulders when you wake up in the morning? If the answer to either of the questions is yes, there are chances that the pillow that you are using while sleeping is at fault.
It has been seen that sleeping on a wrong or spoilt pillow can cause insomnia, pain in the neck and shoulders that may even stretch to your arms and hands. It’s important to have a right pillow to sleep comfortably to be refreshed the next day morning.
Each individual has a different choice of a pillow. Some individuals prefer to sleep without a pillow, some like soft pillows, some like them hard, while there are others who can sleep with their head on a block of wood.
How to choose the right pillow?
It is important to remember that there is no rule of thumb while using a pillow. Each individual may require a different type of pillow depending upon how he sleeps.
Do you prefer to sleep on your back? Or do you feel comfortable sleeping on your stomach or on your side?
Every person feels comfortable sleeping in a particular position and the position in which he sleeps helps to determine the type of pillow that would be most comfortable to him, since each position needs a different level of neck and head support.
Choosing a pillow if you sleep on your side
If you sleep on either of your sides, you should use a pillow that supports your head in line with the neck and keeps your spine in a natural position. If your head or neck is tilted it may cause shoulder or neck pain. The pillow should fill the space between mattress and the ear in a position where the neck is not bent.
Choosing a pillow if you sleep on your stomach
If you sleep on your stomach your ideal pillow should be relatively flat which keeps the head and neck aligned with the spine. It is suggested that you do not follow this sleeping position as it is not good for your spine. Well Known Physiotherapist, Dr Kavita Tiwari explains, “Sleeping on your stomach is always accompanied with rotation of the neck to either side. This causes one side of your neck muscles to relax whereas the other side is exposed to prolonged contraction, leading to straining of these muscles, further causing a muscle spasm. It is common for such a person to wake up in the morning with severe pain and stiffness in the neck. At times, certain movements of the neck are also restricted.”
Choosing a pillow if you sleep on your back
Those who tend to sleep on their backs need a pillow that completely supports the neck, head, shoulders and spine. The part of the spine between your head and shoulders which is also known as cervical spine curves naturally so the best pillow should conform to the curve for maximum support
It is important to remember that back or side sleepers need a firmer pillow while those who prefer sleeping on their stomach need a softer pillow. Dr Kavita Tiwari comments, “A firm pillow helps to maintain your natural cervical spine curvature (also known as cervical lordosis) when you are sleeping. Sleeping on the stomach is not advisable however, if you are so sleeping, a softer pillow is preferred as it supports the side of your face”