Eliminate Neck Pain in 7 Simple Steps by Choosing the Right Pillow
If you’re one of the millions of people that spend much of your day looking down at a computer or cell phone, your neck has most likely caused you some pain at some point. And if you’re not putting any thought into what type of pillow you lay your head down on at night, that pain is just going to get worse – doctors have shown a direct link between chronic or recurring neck pain and sleep positioning.
To avoid a painful neck, your head should be kept parallel with the mattress, instead of being bent at odd angles. The best way to have pain-free days is by making sure that you’re being supported while you sleep.
The bad news is that your pillow is most likely causing your neck pain. The good news is that these 7 tips will show you the easiest way to choose the right pillow for you.
1. Assume the Position
Cervical contour pillows tend to work best when it comes to aligning your neck and spine properly while you sleep. If you wake up with pain every morning, look for these types of pillows – the depression at their center offer your neck support in every sleeping position.
2. Keep a Cool Head
Pillows made from latex or gel materials can help you keep cool at night, which allows you to achieve a deeper state of sleep. If you find yourself sweating in bed or waking up feeling as if you’ve run a marathon, a cooling pillow may be just the ticket to more restful nights.
3. Ditch the Down
Although synonymous with luxury and comfort, feather pillows are actually the worst choice when it comes to supportive sleep. The feathers move with your body, allowing your neck and spine to bend and contort into unnatural positions, which causes aches and pains the next morning.
4. Silence is Golden
Buckwheat pillows are known for keeping sleepers cool during the night, and they also offer the benefits of being cost-effective and a renewable resource. Where they don’t make the cut is with quiet sleep, as they tend to rustle and crunch when you move around, and support – pillows made from buckwheat tend to bunch up and move around during the night, much like a beanbag. Poor support and unwanted noises makes for a night of tossing, turning, and discomfort.
5. Don’t Go for a Mixed Bag
Pillows made from mixed fillers made up of shredded memory foam (usually with a gel insert in the center) can also be great for keeping your cool, but the extra fluffiness of these types of pillows can lead to awkward sleep positions and neck pain. And they also tend to lose what little support they do offer after time – especially for side sleepers.
6. Go for a Full-Body Experience
Chiropractors and sleep experts have found that sleeping on your stomach can be harmful to your neck and back, but what do you do if you’ve come to love sleeping that way? Bring in a body pillow! These extra-long pillows give you the comforting pressure on your stomach that you’ve come to enjoy, while also keeping you in a side sleeping position that will better support your spine and neck, and allow you to wake up pain-free and feeling refreshed.
7. Think About the Thickness
When it comes time to pick your new pillow, be sure to take your mattress into account. Memory foam mattresses already offer you a good amount of support and proper spinal alignment while you’re sleeping, so you should probably go with a thinner pillow. If you have a traditional innerspring mattress, you will most likely need a thicker pillow to help keep your neck supported while you sleep.
Picking the Winner
It might take you a couple of go-arounds to find the right pillow for you, but these 7 simple guidelines for choosing the right pillow should help you get what you want and need – a good night’s sleep and pain-free days!