Why Do Pillows Sometimes Cause Pain
Imagine trying to use a butcher’s knife to remove a splinter from your finger. Sure, it could work – but the chances of something going wrong are definitely going to be higher.
A butchers knife has a very specific purpose, which doesnt involve getting that blade close to our skin at all! Youd be better off using tweezers to remove the splinter. Not only is it far safer, but youll most likely get it done quicker too.
In the same way, a pillow is a tool that could help you get a better nights rest – if you use it properly, and when necessary.
Neck and back pain can be caused by pillows, but its usually not the fact that youre using a pillow thats the problem. The pillow is most likely the wrong thickness for the position youre lying in.
This forces your neck into an unnatural position, causing a kind of muscle strain. Your neck muscles will have to support your head the whole night.
Pillow For Neck Pain & Headaches
Having a variety of pillow choices is important. One pillow does not work for everyone. We can help you choose a good neck support pillow and provide information for making an informed decision. They are all designed for neck support and many people will naturally gravitate towards ones that appeal to them. Whichever pillow you get, better neck support means better sleep and relief from headaches and neck pain due to sleeping with the wrong pillows.
Best Way To Sleep With Neck Pain
Your spine naturally arches in three places. It curves forward at your neck and lower back. It curves the other way in your upper back. Setting up your bed to best maintain these natural curves can help you minimize neck or back pain.
Many people find that using a memory foam helps them manage their neck pain. A 2019 study found that combining a viscoelastic polyurethane memory foam pillow with chiropractic treatment was more effective than chiropractic treatment alone.
You can also try using a soft feather pillow that forms to your head or a pillow with cervical support.
If you sleep on your back:
- Use a thin pillow. A thin pillow lets you keep your upper spine in its natural position with a slight forward curve.
- Try a cervical pillow. A cervical pillow supports your neck and head to keep them in a neutral position.
- Use a supportive mattress. If your mattress is too soft, you may find that you sink into it and your back rounds.
When sleeping on your side:
- Avoid overly high pillows. Ideally, your pillow should be a height that keeps your ears stacked vertically over each other. If your pillow is too high or low, your neck will bend and you may develop pain over time.
- Keep chin neutral. Try to avoid tucking your chin if youre sleeping in the fetal position. Tucking your chin positions your head forward.
- Try putting a pillow between your knees. Putting a pillow between your knees helps keep your lower spine in alignment.
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You Will Feel Well Rested In The Morning
Not using any neck and head support during sleep will allow your body to find an optimal position for rest. When we use pillows that do not provide proper support, our body has to compensate by engaging neck or back muscles. This leads to even more strain at a time when your body is supposed to recover from everyday stress. Muscles and tendons will work overtime, and the added pressure will accumulate and manifest as pain.
When they get excessive strain for long periods of time, the pain becomes chronic. To get rid of this persistent pain you must get professional help from your doctor and change your sleeping habits. Some of the symptoms include restless sleeping, frequent waking up during sleep, and often changing your position in bed. All of this leads to sleep deprivation and induces increased anxiety and stress. Make sure to gently stretch out in the morning as soon as you wake up. This will benefit you and your body.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position For Neck Pain
Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck: on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in. Here are some additional tips for side- and back-sleepers:
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Your Face Will Thank You For Getting Rid Of Pillows
Besides curing aches and pains, your skin can also benefit from not using a pillow. Pressing your face on a pillow for hours every night isnt exactly the best for your skinit prevents the pores on your face from being able to breathe. This can result in increased perspiration and a buildup of grease and oil.
Acne can form because of added dust and impurities on the pillows surface come into contact with your face. And, if you dont clean your pillow often enough, dirt and grime can attack your skin throughout the night.
Negative Effects On Neck And Back Pain
Without a pillow to support the head, side and back sleepers may experience stiffness or soreness in the lumbar or cervical spine. Referred neck pain from not using a pillow may also contribute to tension headaches.
Even when stomach sleepers dont use a pillow, neck pain isnt necessarily unavoidable. Turning your head to the side can create muscle stiffness with or without a pillow.
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Keep Your Skin Clear And Prevent Aging
Sleeping on a pillow has been shown to cause acne breakouts and wrinkles. This is because your skins natural oils, sebum, and dirt and dust particles all mix together on your pillow cover, creating a very pleasant environment for bacteria to thrive in. This is all transferred to your face and neck, resulting in pimples. One solution is washing and changing your pillowcases more frequently, to remove all dirt and grease, which may not be visible but creates a very visible problem.
Additionally, if youre a side or stomach sleeper, your skin will more often than not be crumpled by the weight of your head against the pillow sometimes, you might even wake up with tell-tale red marks and lines on your face.
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The Best Sleeping Positions For Your Neck And Spine
- The Best Sleeping Positions for Your Neck and Spine
Your body doesnt shut down when you sleep. The night is a regenerative time. Our bodies are mending and rejuvenating so that when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Thats not always automatic, though. When it comes to back and neck pain, your body needs a little help from you to get things right.
The position in which you sleep has a direct impact on your spine health. Most of us will wake up at some point in our lives with neck or back pain and oftentimes our sleeping position is the culprit. What can we do to fix it? In short, the way to ensure a happy spine is to keep it neutral. Neutral means that your spine is straight. This starts with your head and neck and goes all the way down. Even things like having your hips/pelvis tilted one way can in turn twist your spine.
Below is a breakdown of the four most basic sleeping positions.
The Overall Best: On your back. Sleeping on your back evenly distributes weight throughout your body and avoids unnatural or unnecessary curves in the spine. Use a small pillow underneath the head and neck to keep everything in alignment. Even better, a small cylindrical pillow in the crook of your neck supports your neck and keeps your head neutral on the mattress. Do note, though, that this sleeping position can cause some people to snore.
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Back Sleeping Eases Pressure
Sleeping on the back evenly distributes your weight and maintains the spines natural curve, so your neck and shoulders arent compressed. Tucking a pillow or rolled towel under your knees promotes a neutral spine alignment and additionally prevents lower back pain.
Try back sleeping with your arms under your head because it minimizes pressure on your shoulder muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Another way to reduce rotator cuff pain is by placing a small pillow or a rolled-up hand towel between your shoulder blades when sleeping.
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Sleeping Without A Pillow: Should You Really Do It
When someone tells us that sleeping without a pillow is a great way to stay healthy, we instantly feel like that person is crazy.
I mean, we are not cavemen, so why would we ditch our pillows when we have the chance to enjoy all the delights of modern civilization?
Well, lets not be skeptical, as sleeping without a pillow can actually be beneficial. After all, just like animals, our bodies are biologically wired to sleep like that. Want to know more? Keep reading, and perhaps you will spend the next night without a pillow too .
Benefits Of Sleeping Without A Pillow
It isnt a secret that a proper sleeping position is beneficial for your posture, spine health, sleep quality, mood, and overall well-being. Now, while this can be achieved using a proper pillow, there are situations when your pillow can become your enemy.
You see, to sleep in the right position , you need to get yourself the right pillow. You need to find something perfectly thick and high enough for your specific sleeping pose. And while this task might seem easy, it takes a lot of time, plus countless tries and errors.
Heres the thing, though:
You can avoid going through so much trouble by simply sleeping without a pillow.
And while this can save your time , it might also bring you some other benefits. They may include:
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How To Choose And Use The Best Pillow
The rule of thumb for a proper;pillow;is that it should keep your neck parallel to the;mattress, rather than bent down or up.;
The most common mistake people make is choosing a;pillow;that bends your neck forward or to one side, Dr. Bang;says. It can feel comfortable at first, but once you fall asleep for hours and your neck isnt being supported properly, all kinds of neck problems can happen as you sleep that you may only realize once its too late.;
Dr. Bang;says neck pain and a stiff neck are most common. Beyond that, you can experience problems with your whole spine twisting the wrong way which;over a long time;can create lasting damage,;he adds.
To avoid these issues here are seven tips he suggests for choosing the most neck-friendly;pillow:
1.;Pillows that adapt to your position are best
Cervical contour;pillows work best for most people, he says. Your head rests in a depression in the center. Your;neck;rests on either a less elevated side when youre lying on your back, or on a more elevated side when youre lying on your side.
Foam contour;pillows are next best at supporting your neck.
2. Latex foam is generally the best material
Natural latex offers support without heating you up like memory foam.
People may not realize that they become hot at night. This can make for;restless;sleep. By sleeping cooler, you sleep deeper, Dr. Bang says.
Of course, if youre allergic to;latex, youll want to use memory foam;pillows.
3. Feather;pillows cause the most neck pain
Is It Better For Your Neck To Sleep Without A Pillow
If you are suffering from neck pain or stiffness, possibly you have tried everything that could help you but if you still didnt felt enough relief, then using an orthopedic pillow or sleeping without a pillow might help you.
Its found that unsuitable pillow can make the condition worsen and more painful. In such a situation, you might want to know whether sleeping without a pillow can ease the pain or not. In fact, the sleep type determines the pillow choice and the advantages and disadvantages of not using pillow differ from person to person.
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What Is The Point Of A Pillow Anyway
Pillows arent just poofy mounds of fluff that make your bed look cozy. A pillow actually has a few very important jobs. The first? Keeping the spine alignment in different sleeping positions to prevent neck, shoulder or back pain, says Dr. Venkata Buddharaju, sleep specialist, board certified sleep physician and author of Better Sleep, Happier Life. When you are lying on a flat surface, a pillow can help support the natural curve of your neck and keep it supported. And as you move positions throughout the night, a pillow will help you stay comfortable and prevent you from waking up as you readjust.
Pillows make sense if you think about it: If you look at a person laying down, the shoulders are far wider than the head, says sleep medicine expert Dr. Alex Dimitriu. What this implies is that for anyone sleeping on their side, essentially, their shoulder gets in the way, and they need a place to rest their head so it doesn’t hang in the air.
Another benefit of sleeping with a pillow? It can help you breathe more easily. An advantage of pillows, besides comfort, is elevating the head above the body, so blood pools away from the head, and the airway can remain less congested, adds Dr. Dimitriu.
I Stopped Using A Pillow To Sleep This Is What Followed
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So many of us cant sleep without a pillow, and I happen to be one of them. In fact, I used to carry my pillow bag while traveling for my comfort sleep. However, a few months back, I developed neck pain and after that sleeping comfortably has become a distant dream.;
To manage the pain, I started taking medicine, but that is a temporary solution at best. Thankfully, I found a long term solution as my mother suggested that I stop using a pillow while sleeping as the same worked for her many years ago.;
I took her advice diligently and started sleeping without a pillow. While initially, it was an uncomfortable change for me, but eventually I realised its benefits and now there is no looking back.;
Heres what sleeping without a pillow did for me
1. Reduced neck and back pain
Do you ever wake up with a sore neck? Or perhaps with a terrible backache? If yes, then you should also stop using pillows while sleeping. It helped me reduce neck pain, back pain and maintain a better posture while sleeping.;
2. Eases headache
I used to get up in the morning with a dizzy spell or a mild headache. Sleeping without a pillow helped me wake up feeling fresh and my headaches also subsided significantly.;
3. Fight acne and wrinkles
Sleeping with a pillow can cause acne or wrinkles because the pillowcase accumulates dirt and oil over time that transfers to the skin. This can clog pores and cause blemishes.
4. Improved sleeping quality
5. Reduces stress and distraction
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