A good quality, comfortable mattress is a key component in getting good quality sleep. However, it is also essential to invest in the right pillow! A pillow that doesn’t suit your sleep position or is worn out could not only prevent you from sleeping, but it could also lead to you waking up feeling groggy and unrefreshed. Poor sleep over weeks, months, and even years, can trigger headaches, neck pain, arm numbness, and lack of focus throughout the day. The ideal pillow fit will depend on a number of factors, but one of the most important elements is matching the pillow with the type of sleeper that you are.
The general idea when matching your pillow with your sleep pattern is to keep the body in a neutral alignment. This means, keeping the neck from tilting backward, forward, or sideways.
Find your type here:
- Back sleeper: If you find that you mostly sleep and wake up on your back, then a thinner pillow may be beneficial. Be sure to look for pillows with extra loft at the base of the pillow – the loft just means the pillow has more lift, or thickness, in the area to occupy the space between the mattress and your neck. Memory foam will mold to the shape of your neck and head, as will a water pillow. For any other type of pillow, you can gather some of the material to the area of the pillow furthest from your headboard and this will also support the neck properly. Lastly, consider adding another pillow under your knees to take pressure off your lower back when sleeping.
- Stomach sleeper: A true stomach sleeper could use a very thin pillow, or no pillow at all. Sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of stress on your low back, so trying to shift into a side-sleeping position or hugging a body pillow is a good idea.
- Side sleeper: Aim for a firm pillow with a thick portion at its base that will take up the space between your ear and shoulder. Also, consider placing a pillow between your legs to better align your hips and spine.