Do you wake up with a nagging pain in your neck? Have a headache and just generally feel the aches and pains – and yet, all you’ve done is sleep!
The answer may be simpler than you think… take a look at your pillow!
Is it important? Yes and here’s why…
You spend, on average, ? of your life sleeping in bed and choosing the right pillow for you is an integral part of preventing neck pain, as well as aches and pains in the shoulders and back.
A common cause of neck pain is having you neck twisted or bent too far in one direction, for a long time. And so, if you wake in the morning with a sore, aching neck, the likelihood is your pillow is not offering you the support you need. The right position is often described as the ‘neutral position’ – our neck naturally curves and your pillow should support you neck in this neutral position, not push it too far forward or let it flop too far back.
But, the problem may start before your head hits the pillow…!
Think about your bed time or night time routine – what do you do? Watch television maybe, or even read. Think about your neck at this point in time – is it supported? It is common for people to read in bed but they make a fateful mistake; they push their necks forward, with piles of plump pillows behind their neck, shoulders and back.
This may ‘feel’ comfortable; there is nothing more inviting than a piles of gorgeous, squidgy pillows waiting to welcome your tired body into their warm fold but you need to make sure that the neutral position – that soft curve in your neck – is supported in a sitting up, reading position. The best way to so this is to make sure your arms are supported.
Your sleeping position – we all have a different sleeping position; for us, it is the natural position that we feel most comfortable in. Some sleep experts suggest on your back or your side is better, but some people are tummy sleeper but this can force your heard back out of the natural position – hence you will need to get the right pillow to make sure your neck is correctly supported.
And so, a crucial element in making sure you get a good night’s sleep without neck pain in the morning is your pillow – you need one that supports your head in the ‘neutral’ position. There are many options:
- Water-filled: there is some research that suggests a water-filled pillow can provide the mouldable platform some people may need to keep the neutral curve of their neck. However, it is not everyone’s cup of tea…
- Orthopaedic: these pillows have been specifically designed after many years research into holding the head in the right place to prevent neck pain.
- Shaped: there are also shaped pillows on the market that profess to help people with neck pain…
Which pillow suits you?
Pauline Beijen is the guest author of this article and loves to express her knowledge and advice through blogging. Pauline is a Director of Apillow Ltd and has spent many years woirking with bedding and improving sleep.