It could be the reason you're having that neck pain and you didn't even realise it. (Original image: www.unsplash.com)
True story: one of our colleagues woke up one morning and for some reason, her neck was hurting to the point where any small movements added to the pain. She's among the many people who have experienced this, and it could happen to you too.
There may be many factors to neck and backaches, but the pillow you're using might well be one of them.
Some signs that it could be time to change your pillow:
- If you're using a non-foam pillow, fold it in half. If the pillow doesn't spring back to its original form, change it.
- You wake up in the middle of the night or morning with a stiff neck, headache or neck pain.
- Your pillow needs to be punched or fluffed up for support.
- Restless and interrupted sleep.
- You sleep better at your friend's place or at a hotel.
What type of pillow should you get?
Those who sleep on their side
should get firm pillows that support their neck, head and shoulders, as they can provide an even sleeping surface that keeps their spine aligned horizontally with the bed and reduce pressure. A firm body or knee pillow will also help maintain their spine straight throughout the night, reduce any strain on their neck and prevent their knees from coming together.
Those who sleep on their stomach
should try a soft, plump pillow that cushions their head and neck. The pillow's fullness can prevent their neck from turning to an unnatural position while sleeping.
Those who sleep on their back
should consider getting a round pillow to cushion the neck and a flatter pillow for under the head. If you don't have one with a built-in rounded neck support, you can also opt to put a round pillow into the pillowcase with your flat pillow.
For those who change sleeping positions, you should try using medium support pillows instead.
Hopefully, once you've figured out the right pillow you need, you'll get better sleep and get rid of those terrible neck, head and shoulder pains!