Is It Important To Sleep on a Good Pillow? Find Out Why

A good pillow is a friend to your spine, neck, and upper back muscles. It gives comfort and support to your upper body and ensures a pleasant sleep. For an uninterrupted good night’s sleep, tucking your head to the right pillow is very important.  

A good pillow is a friend to your spine, neck, and upper back muscles. It gives comfort and support to your upper body and ensures a pleasant sleep. For an uninterrupted good night’s sleep, tucking your head to the right pillow is very important.  

But in terms of choosing the right pillow for you, there are different factors. Your pillow should be selected based on your sleeping position, health condition, and the size and curve of your body.

But first, let’s know why a pillow is important for sleeping.  

Why Pillow Is Important?

Our spine has a naturally curvy shape. When we sleep, it is important to maintain the spine in a neutral alignment. If it is not achieved or the spine gets pressurized the whole night, it may lead to neck and back pain. 

A pillow under our head helps to keep the spine aligned and supports our shoulder and neck muscles. Doing so, reduces the risk of head, neck, and back pain and loss of sleep. 

Based on your sleeping position, the shape and size of the perfect pillow may vary.

The Right Pillow for Back Sleepers

Back sleepers are those who prefer to sleep on their back most of the night. Generally, back sleepers need more neck, back, and shoulder support than to keep the spine aligned. So, the thinner pillows will be the best pillow for back sleepers. As a thinner pillow will not elevate the head too much, it will not create tension between the neck and the shoulders. 

If you are a back sleeper, you can also use those type of pillows which has thick edges but are thin in middle. Cervical pillow or the neck roll pillow might be the most suitable choice for you. 

Right Pillow for Side Sleepers

Most of the people, almost 74%, find it comfortable to sleep on their side. If you’re one of them, failing to choose the right pillow might take away your comfort. 

A side sleeper needs support on his head, and neck and also needs to align his body perfectly. The head should rest squarely on the shoulder. Considering these, a thicker pillow will be the perfect choice for a side sleeper. 

It will support the gap between the ear and the shoulder to give you comfort and keep your spine aligned. 

Having another firm pillow on between your knees will improve the support and offer you a pleasant good-night sleep. 

Right Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

As sleeping on your stomach keeps your spine aligned naturally, you may not have to use any pillow. But it is advisable to use a thin pillow under your head. 

You can rest your knees over a flat pillow for better comfort. 

But note that, sleeping on your stomach is not a good position. It may cause neck strain which will result in neck and shoulder pain in the morning.

But what if you are something of a mixed position sleeper? Habit of sleeping in different positions throughout the night makes it difficult to choose the right pillow. But here are some tips that will help you out.

Sleeping in Mixed Positions

As you sleep in different positions, there must be a single position in which you sleep most of the time. By finding that, you can choose your pillow accordingly.

Generally, you can use a bamboo pillow or shredded memory foam pillow. These pillows can be compressed into different shapes.

You can also use contour orthopedic sleeping pillows, which is filled with polypropylene capsules. 

By changing the shape and height of these pillows, you can use them accordingly to your sleeping positions. 

Size of the Pillow

Pillows can be of different sizes and shapes. Depending on your sleeping position, you should choose the right size of pillow.

  • If you are a back sleeper, your pillow should be of low or medium height. Its height of it may vary between 4-6 inches (0.16 to 15.24 centimeters).
  • For side sleepers, the height should be medium or high, preferably between 5-7 inches (12.7 to 17.78 centimeters).
  • Stomach sleepers need a pillow with low height, mostly 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) or less.

Filling of the Pillow

As there are different fillings available, it is hard to choose which one would be the best for you. This guideline might help you to understand the basic differences between the fillings and guide you to choose the right one.

  • Down: Down is mainly the feather or fiber that comes from goose or duck. These filings are very soft and light. But it’s not the best choice for comfortable sleep. 
  • Polyester: These are used as an alternative to down. They are soft and most likely to flatten over time. 
  • Wool: Wool fillings are firmer and long-lasting. The best part of this, it is resistant to mold, mites, and dust and avoids triggering allergic reactions.
  • Cotton: Cotton also serves the hypoallergenic advantage. These filings are mostly firm and flat.
  • Latex: These pillows provide a firm structure but also ensure enough comfort. 
  • Memory foam: Memory foam is the best choice for people suffering from headaches and neck pain. The main advantage of these fillings is, the pillow can soften and conform to the shape of one’s head, neck, and shoulder. 

If you’re having a special physical condition (e.g., being pregnant or having surgery) changing your pillow might give you more comfort than you thought. 

Pillow for Pregnant Women

During the first months, you can maintain your original sleeping position. But in later days, as a life form is growing inside you, it is not safe to sleep on your back or stomach. 

Sleeping on your side would be the most preferable position. A long and thick pillow would be the best choice for a pregnant woman. A long thicker and firmer pillow will help the mother to rest her shoulder and the arm. 

U-shaped body pillow will be another good option as it prevents from sleeping on the back while ensuring comfort.

Pillow for Newborns

As newborns are very soft and sensitive in nature, it is often suggested not to use any pillow for babies. Pillow can increase the risk of death for an infant.

It is safe not to introduce a pillow to babies until they are at least two years old.   

Pillow for a person with the hunchback

If you have kyphosis or a hunchback, it will be suitable for you to sleep on your back with a thin pillow under your neck. You can use memory foam pillows for better posture and spine alignment.

Post-Surgery Pillow

If you just had surgery, your main goal will be to keep the specific part in comfort. There are some specially designed pillows for post-surgery recovery. As they vary in different types, you should use the right one depending on your type of surgery and what part of your body is affected.

It would be better if you ask your doctor to suggest a post-surgery pillow. 

A good pillow not only ensures your comfort but also serves you many physical advantages. If you are a pillowless sleeper, it would be better for you to make the habit of using the right pillow. Sleeping on the right pillow will improve your quality of sleep and give you the freshness you need throughout the upcoming day.