Thursday, August 4, 2011

Selecting the Right Pillow for Better Sleep

To follow up on a recent blog post about sleeping tips, I wanted to bring to light the fact that choosing the right pillow can go a long way in increasing or decreasing your alignment and overall sleep hygiene. This was something I was not aware of until just recently. The positions that we sleep in and the way our body is aligned coupled with our sensitivity to fabrics in pillows are all considerations that can improve or hamper our sleep, depending on what pillow we select relative to our sleep position and/or allergies. Below are some considerations for choosing the ideal pillow and therefore, enhance your sleep.

• If you suffer from allergies, choose a pillow that uses memory foam, silk or lambswool as these are known dust repellants and the feathers in down pillows can aggravate allergies. You can also use an anti-allergy pillow case to put under your regular pillowcase; this can ward off dust as well and reduce morning hayfever symptoms and face swelling.

• Select a pillow with medium thickness and one that is not too firm. This ensures that your head and neck stay in proper alignment and you won’t wake up with head and neck stiffness.

• Sleeping on your stomach can decrease your breathing and cause head and neck aches. It is recommended that you sleep on your side and use a body pillow. This pillow is triple the size of a king size pillow and supports the front of your body while sleeping in this position.

• If you suffer from neck pain, memory foam and water-based pillows go a long way in supporting your back, and reduce headache frequency.

• If you sleep on your side, use a leg spacer to keep your hips aligned and take strain off of your knees, ankles and joints. It is a good idea to use a pillow with memory foam as using a feather pillow lacks sufficient support for the spine and can put extra pressure on your back. Waking up with tingling and numbness in your hands is a sign of too much strain on your body from too much back pressure.

• Back sleepers benefit from using a pillow with memory foam which provides contour to your neck’s natural curvature. Water pillows also provide extra support and are interspersed with a polyester filling. Each of these types provide support when altering your sleep position throughout the night.

• Most importantly, maintain regular sleep habits such as going to bed at the same time regularly, sticking to a consistent routine prior to going to sleep and exercising on a regular basis.

For more information on this topic, visit this link.


  1. Another thing to point out is the height of a pillow can correspond to a sleeping type. A taller memory foam pillow is better for side sleepers, and pillows with minimal loft are good for stomach sleepers. Back sleepers usually fall right in between.

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