Did you know that neck pain is a common problem that affects about two-thirds of all Australian adults at some point in their lives?
If you are a stranger to quality sleep, then you probably suffer from neck pain and know the feeling of waking up with a stiff neck as well as a morning headache. Although there are many factors that can contribute to neck pain, such as poor posture, tension and muscle strain, the main cause is poor neck support while sleeping.
For thousands of years, people have been using pillows for neck support. Some of the earliest pillows were made out of completely solid materials like wood or stone (though I can’t imagine not waking up in pains with these options), but today you can find a range of pillows for neck made of a variety of materials and designed to meet people’s different needs. Sleeping without adequate support can not only cause stiffness in your neck and back but negatively affect your whole quality of sleep and lead to serious health issues .
Having the right pillow for neck is not only comforting, but it also helps support the complex structures of the neck. A good pillow can maintain your upper body in alignment during sleep while alleviating pressure by counterbalancing the pressure points of the body.
To be considered ideal, a pillow should fit your neck and head shape, as well as curves and sleeping position. If your pillow is feeling lumpy or is giving you more restless nights with a lot of tossing and turning, it may be time to get yourself a new one. Here are the basic things you should look for when buying a new pillow.
What is inside?
Common fills found in pillows are foam, down feathers, and synthetic/polyester fibres. Down feathers are a durable option and provide a great level of comfort, which makes them a great choice to consider even though they can be a bit pricey. Synthetic/polyester fibres pillows are a more cost-friendly option that is often hypoallergenic, feels like down and is easier to maintain (is machine washable), whereas foam pillows, as are the latest memory foam ones, offer a firmer support and are known to retain heat. This means, if you sweat easily, a foam pillow may be your best bet.
Sleeping position matters
The position you usually sleep in also has a big impact on your pillow choice. For example, if you sleep on your back, you should consider a flat, thin pillow that offers support for the head and spine. If you sleep on your sides, be it left or right, you will need a contoured pillow that allows your spine to stay in alignment while leaving your back with less strain. If you sleep on your stomach, you won’t need that much support for your head. In this case, go for a thin pillow to prevent your head from rising too much and putting strain on your neck.
Sleeping on the right pillow would contribute to waking up feeling more refreshed in the morning and ready to take on the day no matter what it brings!