Struggling with Neck Pain? It Might Be Time for a New Pillow.
Do you suffer from neck and back pain? Sadly, you’re in good company according to Huffpost. Studies show that up to 31% of Americans suffer from some sort of neck or back condition that causes them pain. Ouch. These aches seem to come out of nowhere and then are very difficult to relieve. Many people attempt to remedy the situation with over-the-counter medications, but that ends up being expensive and only provides a temporary fix. We’re interested in long-term solutions and pain-free sleep.
Here’s a tip: in order to improve your sleep quality, it could be helpful to take a closer look at your pillow and mattress. Believe it or not, you might find a lot of pain relief by making some simple adjustments to your current sleeping situation.
Signs that you’re pillow isn’t the best fit for you:
- It’s too firm and doesn’t cushion your head.
A firm pillow may offer the proper support, but without comfort you’ll spend the night tossing and turning. A firm pillow can be good, but if it’s too firm, then your body won’t be able to relax and recharge.
- It’s too soft, and your head isn’t supported.
Comfort is king. But if your neck and back are thrown out of alignment, your sleep could actually be damaging your body. Spending hours during the night in an improper position isn’t good for you–and you’ll be feeling it the next day.
- It’s old and lumpy.
Your pillow might be super comfy and molded to your head, but if you’ve had your pillow for too long, it’s possible that it’s a little too old and lumpy to offer good enough support. If you can see a clear indent where your head is supposed to rest, that’s a sign that it’s time for a new pillow. You want a pillow that continues to bounce back and offer great support, even after using it for years.
Signs that your pillow is perfectly suited to your needs:
When you lay your head on it, it stays supported.
The goal of your pillow is to hold up your head and keep it aligned with your back. You know you’re sleeping on a good pillow if it keeps its shape throughout the night and your neck isn’t cranked back when you rest your head.
It’s full, without indents and lumps.
Your pillow should be resilient enough to bounce back into shape when you lift up your head. Even after years of sleeping on it, a good pillow remains fluffed and full.
It’s catered to your individual sleep needs (Side sleeper? You need a pillow for side sleeping).
Make sure you have a pillow that is designed specifically for the way you sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, you shouldn’t be sleeping on a pillow engineered for back sleepers. Unfortunately, most pillows are mass-produced to accommodate back sleepers, even though over 60% of people sleep on their side. This could be one of the major reasons for waking up with pain.
It’s catered to your individual body type (Broad shoulders? You need a fuller, taller pillow).
If you’re a side sleeper, the distance between your head and mattress depends largely on the breadth of your shoulders and the firmness of your mattress. If you have broader shoulders, you may be suffering from neck pain because your pillow isn’t full and firm enough to support the space between your head and mattress. Plus, if you have a firm mattress, that space will be even larger than if you were sleeping on a soft mattress. The truth is, you need a pillow crafted to your body type, and the specific mattress you sleep on. This isn’t something that you’ll find at a big-box supermarket.
Okay, So What Should I Look For?
If you’re suffering from neck pain, take some advice from us and look for a pillow that’s designed to fit your specific needs. When purchasing your next pillow, make sure you are aware of your sleeping style, body type, and mattress type. Then find a pillow that offers both comfort and support. Keep these things in mind when buying a pillow, and you’ll soon be waking up pain-free.