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    How to Find the Best Pillow

    The position you sleep in will determine the perfect pillow to help you get a great nights sleep. 

    It is pretty common knowledge, not to mention medically proven, that sleep is absolutely critical to our health and well-being. In fact many medical professionals are now stating that sleep may be more important to our overall health than even our diets or exercise!  And the two best positions recommended by most sleep professionals is lateral (side) and back sleeping.  

    This article will help you to select the perfect pillow for you, for your partner and even for your children.

    Pillows for side sleepers

    The most common sleeping position recommended is the side position.  

    So how do you work out the perfect pillow if you are a side sleeper?

    First you will need to lie on your side on your own mattress. This is important as different beds will have different levels of support –  a softer bed your shoulders will sink in further than they would on a firmer mattress which will very much affect the height of your head and hence the height of the pillow needed to keep the spine perfectly aligned in a ‘neutral’ or straight position. In order to avoid neck problems the pillow should not cause the neck to bend or twist in an upward (pillow too high) or downward (pillow too low) direction.  

    The goal is to keep the neck straight and aligned so that the muscles that hold your neck and spine in position can relax and allow you to fall into a much deeper and nourishing sleep. Another inportant factor that should be taken into consideration apart from the softness of the bed is the size/weight of the individual. A firm bed will require a taller pillow and a softer bed will require a lower pillow to give proper neck support and better sleep throughout the night. A contour shape pillow (see below image) is also a great way to add even more support and comfort for your your head and neck.

    Pillows for back sleepers

    The second sleeping position that is typically recommended is the ‘supine’ or ‘back sleeping’ position. A lower pillow is recommended for individuals who sleep on their back but it is still crucial that the pillow supports the natural curvature of the neck in order to avoid neck problems (not to mention snoring) and to assure a great night’s sleep. Note in the image below how the spine forms a natural curve and how the pillow helps support this perfect shape. For individuals that sleep on their back, the softness or firmness of the bed plays a lesser role when choosing the perfect pillow.

    If you are not sure whether you are a ‘side” or ‘back’ sleeper ask your partner to take notice of your sleeping positions when you go to bed and during the night. Most studies show that most people will usually start off in bed on our backs but then roll onto our sides when we are asleep, and in fact we can toss and turn up to 30 or 40 times during the night, and even more when we suffer from neck pain or discomfort.

    This is important to note as people that sleep on their side and their back should consider a pillow for when they are on their side, but the pillow should also be soft enough so when they roll on their back the pillow will not make their neck bend or twist, which is what causes pain and discomfort.  

    We recommend a memory foam contour pillow such as the Cr Sleep Memory Foam Contour Pillow as contour pillows typically have two separate heights to choose from and memory foam is soft enough to conform perfectly to the shape of your neck and your head.

    How Not to Sleep!

    Some people like to sleep in the prone position on their stomach. Whilst many people may find this position to be comfortable, sleeping on your stomach can actually cause quite a strain on your neck and on your back. It is usually not advised to sleep like that unless a healthcare professional has specifically recommended sleeping in that position. It is generally less stressful on the neck to sleep in a side or back lying position.

    When searching for the perfect pillow you should always take into consideration individual circumstances. For example if you have any medical conditions then that should be taken into consideration and of course seek professional medical advice if you are unsure. Some people may also need special pillows if they are in bed for extended periods of time or recovering from specific illnesses or injuries. Others may need pillows that prevent excessive heat if they are lying in bed for longer periods of time or living in warmer climates.

    The most important thing about a pillow is it should be able to maintain comfort for the whole time you are laying on it. It should not become flat, hard, or lose its elasticity through the night. Remember too that you should be spending 8 hours a night with your pillow which is a third of  your life!! So don’t be a cheapskate when you select your perfect pillow as it could literally be the most important investment in your healthy life.

    Take a look at our range of recommended pillows, and feel free to contact us info@mypillowzone.com if we can help in any way with your selection.

    Sweet dreams!