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Is Your Pillow Right for Your Sleeping Position?

right sleeping position

Have you ever suffered from back or neck pain due to sleeping in the wrong position? Only then you can understand the importance of choosing the proper way to sleep on pillow.

While you’re sleeping, the ligaments and muscles of your neck and back take rest. So don’t let it end up in causing pain to your body instead of healing because of your wrong sleeping posture.

You may sleep on your stomach or back or on your side. Or who knows, you may have your very own style of sleeping! Whichever the style you follow, if you choose a wrong pillow, it can ruin the night. Pillows work as the structural support of your body while you’re sleeping. It’ll also end up resulting in spinal, back and neck problems.

Here in this article, we’ll discuss both of the facts so that you get rid of this painful dilemma.

We have already mentioned above that the sleeping positions are of three categories. These are side, back and stomach sleeping.

Why Not a Traditional Pillow?

A lot of traditional pillows are available in the market. But it’s wise not to pick one as it disturbs the spinal alignment. It’s because it fails to contour the shape of your head.

So it causes an imbalance in pressure distribution on different parts of your spine. Your spine isn’t horizontally aligned then. But we must try to put less pressure on the spine as keeps us upright and straight. That’s why we prefer foam pillows over the traditional ones.

Suitable Pillow and Position for Side Sleepers

Pillow and Position for Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is one of the best sleeping positions. It’s also the most common style followed by people. It’s healthy, especially for pregnant women.

When you sleep on your side, right or left, bend your knees slightly to ensure a neutral back position. By doing so, the discomfort caused due to acid reflex will also diminish.

Now come to the pillow fact. The pillow you choose must fill the space between the mattress you’re lying and your neck. That's why you should prefer a thicker high-loft pillow. Thick pillow keeps the spine straight but if too thick, you have to crane your neck upward. This will again cause straining of nerves, muscles, and discs.

Again, your pillow slowly becomes thinner as the time elapses because of the weight of your head. So the support system gets disturbed and as a result, you have to bend the neck and head downward. This unnecessary strain leads to back pain. Using extra-firm pillows give solution to this problem. Also you can fold the pillow or use extra pillows that gives you proper support.

Suitable for Back and Neck Sleepers

Suitable for Back Sleepers

Image Credit: prima

Sleeping on back isn’t recommended if you have issues with sleep apnea or snoring problems. But if you’re used to this style, it’s difficult for you to change it quickly.

However, if you don’t have any problems with snoring issues, back sleeping is beneficial. It'll act against friction and wrinkles on your skin. It also maintains your spine in neutral position. Again, if you’re suffering from acid reflux, back sleeping is the best position for you.

Now the pillows for back sleepers, low loft thinner pillows are preferable instead of thicker pillows. So pick one that is just thick enough to fill the gap between your body and mattress. Also, it’ll elevate your head just enough to maintain the neutral position of your back.

Again, don't pick one that is too thin so that you have to uncomfortably bend your neck downward. So choosing a medium firm pillow is wise. Or you can prop a positioner like a small pillow under your knees. It’ll eliminate the misalignment.

As you sleep on your back, your head will come closer to your right or left shoulder due to gravity. This can lead to lateral twist of your neck and stain. A malleable pillow will keep your head in proper position.

Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy

Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy

Pregnant women often have problems with sleeping. Their body goes through a lot of changes then. So their usual slumber gets disturbed.

What do you think would be the best sleeping position among the three, described above? We may have already answered the question, it's the SOS-Sleeping on your Side. It’ll be even better if you sleep on your left side as increase the supply of nutrients and blood to the placenta. Now bend your knees and legs. Putting a pillow between your legs will be even more comfortable.

  • If you’re still having back pain, prop a pillow under the tummy also.
  • In case you’re having heartburn, prop your upper body using pillows.
  • If you're experiencing "shortness of breath" you must lie on side. 
  • Use pillow to support your body during pregnancy.

The problem is more serious when you are a back or stomach sleeper. In fact, stomach sleeping is completely prohibited.  Your tummy goes through the major physical change. So it's difficult for you to lie on your stomach.

Again, when you’re sleeping on your back, the stomach rests on your major vessels. That is the aorta and the vena cava and also rests on your intestines. As a result, it causes problems in breathing and digestion, and backaches. Low blood pressure is another result of back sleeping. Also, the blood circulation to both your heart and your baby decreases.

So, try SOS. Besides, no one stays in the same position the whole night. So rotation while sleeping is fine.

Importance of Sleeping Position

The sleeping position directly affects your health. From the discussion, it's evident that the spinal alignment, skin and many other facts are related. Proper Sleeping position affects the respiration system too. The pillow position while sleeping as well as the amount of fill of pillow also matters.

The sleeping position along with the pillow and mattress works as a support system. What is necessary is to keep them all in the right alignment and in a ‘neutral position’.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, it’s time you changed the habit. Probably you’re already going through back and neck pain. It’s because, when you’re sleeping on your stomach, your spinal position doesn’t remain neutral. Both your neck and spine are in an unnatural bending upward.

Sound sleeping hacks 

  • Keep your head and neck straight.
  • Maintain a mid-line position.
  • Avoid too thick or thin pillows.
  • Try to sleep on your side, keeping your hips and legs aligned.

Final Words

A sound sleep more or less affects the jolliness the next day. And a sound sleep is greatly dependent on the proper sleeping position. Again, we all are habituated to some particular sleeping styles. It varies from person to person. It’s not easy to change the style overnight and find the same comfort in another. So choosing the right type of pillow that gives you the maximum comfort is necessary. So the proper way to sleep on pillow is what we need to practice.

I hope this article will be quite helpful.

Mark Johan

Written by Mark Johan

Hi there! I am 'Mark' in Pillow Idea, I have the responsible one to give you guys a low-down on every product that we review. Long story short, I’m the person in charge of the ‘research and review’ department of the blog. Please check out to know more- About Us.

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