You’ve decided it’s time to replace your old, worn out, pancake-thin pillows. That’s great! But where do you begin? This is where I come in – I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to help you find your perfect pillow.
Have you ever heard the saying, “there’s a lid for every pot?” Well, now there’s a pillow for every sleeping position. The most important factor to consider when picking out a pillow is ensuring that your neck and spine stay in their natural alignment while you sleep. This means that each sleeping position requires a different type of pillow.
If you’re a side sleeper, then you’re not alone. 57% of people fall asleep on their side according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. While on your side, the fetal position tends to be the most comfortable because it allows your spine to curve naturally. You’ll need a pillow that supports your neck and spine, while also distributing the weight of your head evenly, like the Bedgear pillow specifically designed for side sleepers. For extra comfort, Dr. John Schubbe suggests using a rolled-up towel or smaller pillow under your waist to raise it slightly, making your spine into a straight line.
For back sleepers, extra support under your shoulders is necessary to alleviate pressure on your back and neck. Using the right pillow is especially important in this position because it can help reduce snoring. Pillows shaped like a wedge, such as the No-Snore Deluxe Pillow, are ideal for back sleepers because they align your neck and spine, opening up your airways and dissipating any snoring. Dr. Schubbe also suggests placing a small pillow under your knees for added comfort. Lifting your knees will mimic the natural C-curve of the spine, similar to the side sleeping fetal position.
Stomach-sleepers tend to have the most difficulty finding a pillow that’s right for them. You need a pillow that’s thinner so it won’t arch or turn your neck. The Bedgear pillow designed for stomach sleepers is ideal because it conforms to your facial features and helps to prevent airway constriction, all while still supporting your neck. For extra relief from back pressure Dr. Schubbe says, “place another relatively flat pillow under the stomach to help the spine keep its natural alignment”.
So how many pillows should you use? The number of pillows you sleep on depends entirely on your own personal preference. Personally, I like two pillows under my head, while my fiancé is comfortable sleeping with only one. No matter what your number is, just make sure that your neck and spine stay in line and adjust the thickness of your pillows accordingly.
When choosing your new pillow, remember that comfort is the key. Make sure that you’ll love your pillow for at least a year or two (that’s about how long a pillow will last before you’ll need to replace it). For a more in-depth explanation of how to determine when it’s time to replace your pillow, check back here for my first Snooze News video, coming soon!
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Contributor: Elizabeth Murphy