When I check into a hotel room, one of the things I must inspect is the pillows. More often than not the pillows do not match my expectation, even in high class hotels. This usually results in a restless night and waking up ‘on the wrong side of the bed”. On some occasions I will experience stiff neck and a headache.
What is a good pillow?
In simple terms, a good pillow must provide optimal support for your head and neck so that your spine also gets the right support and alignment to relax. This will alleviate the pressure from your neck and shoulders, preventing neck and back pains. If you are suffering from spinal disc degeneration or spinal stenosis, choosing a firmer pillow will offer better support.
In addition to support a good pillow should be comfortable to sleep on and allows you to rest well. Some people prefer the surface of the pillow to be cool and smooth while others prefer a feeling of warmth. This is a personal preference and you should shop for a pillowcase that suit your liking.
Height of the pillow
The height of the pillow determines whether you can achieve the right alignment and typically it should be in the range of 4 to 6 inches. Our neck has a natural curve and we should keep it this way when we sleep. If the pillow is too high or too low, our neck will not maintain the same curve, regardless of whether we sleep on the sides or the back. Resting on a misaligned position will result in muscle strain on our neck and shoulders. This can cause the air pipe to narrow and hinder our breathing and may even lead to snoring.
The ideal pillow is one which is adjustable to conform to the shape and curve of our neck and our sleeping positions.
What is the best pillow?
There is a dazzling variety of pillows in various designs, materials, shapes and sizes in the market, each one claiming to possess recuperative and other amazing properties.
Brand names such as Neck Roll, Chiropractic, Buckwheat, Memory Foam, Water-Filled, Inflatable, Therapeutic, Posture Med are some of the more popular ones.
Posture Med pillow is contoured with soft memory foam with just the right compression and density. If you are suffering from acute neck pain, this will be suitable. If you like a firm pillow, then the full size Memory Foam Pillow is a better choice. It can help with posture and neck curve problems but not as comfortable or effective for relieving neck pain.
The Water Filled Pillow provides good support for your head and neck and adapts to changing sleeping positions. By adjusting the amount of water in the pillow, you can achieve the desired firmness and comfort levels.
To keep your head and neck cool, especially during summer or in warm environment, the Buckwheat Pillow is a great option.
Pillow, like many things you wear, is a personal thing and a lot depends on your likes and dislikes, sleeping habits and your medical condition. What is suitable for you may not be so for others.
Neck Pillows. Many studies have indicated that people suffering from neck pain experienced significant pain relief after using a neck pillow. This type of pillow, also known as orthopaedic or cervical pillows, has contours that provide good support for the head and neck. It keeps the neck in alignment with the spine, allowing the body to rest and relax and the injured areas to heal.
When you sleep on a new pillow, you may feel some discomfort as you are adapting to its contour. You will probably know whether it will be suitable for you after one to two weeks. It is advisable to purchase your pillow from reputable and established manufacturers. As a precaution, look for certification from authoritative medical associations. Choosing the best pillow for your neck pain will provide you with a good night’s sleep and waking up without the pain in your neck.