Sleeping Position and Choosing a Pillow
September 20, 2012 • By
The position you sleep in has direct effects on your health. Sleeping position can affect your respiration, spinal alignment, and even wrinkling of the skin. There are proven ways to get a better nights sleep by using the right pillow, with the right amount of fill, and sleeping in the right positions.
Together, your sleeping position and pillow work to provide proper support for your head, neck and spine. You need a pillow that conforms to and supports the curve of your neck with enough firmess to support your head without collapsing. It is fine to sleep on your back or your side (or both) as long as your spine is kept in a neutral position and not bent out of alignment.
Side Sleeping Position
Sleeping on one’s side is the most common sleeping position – and one of the best positions for your back and neck. The ideal pillow for side sleepers is generally a higher loft (thicker) variety. This is simply because there is more space to fill between your head and the mattress while on your side vs. other sleep positions.
When you lie on your side, your pillow needs to be thick enough to keep your spine straight, but not so thick it bends your neck out of alignment.
Many soft traditional pillows slowly collapse under the weight of your head during the night, becoming too thin. Others aren’t thick enough in the first place. Using a thicker pillow or two pillows cannot compensate for most pillows’ lack of proper neck support. Many people even fold their pillow in half when attempting to make up for a pillow that is too soft.
When you lie down to go to bed tonight make sure there is adequate support under your neck. Try to position yourself so that your spine is straight. This should allow your back and neck muscles to completely relax.
Back Sleeping Position
Sleeping on one’s back is the second most common sleeping position after side sleepers. When on your back, many pillows cannot properly support the small space beneath your neck, potentially causing strains. Some pillow types are malleable and will allow you to mold a nice bulge beneath your neck, allowing your neck and back muscles to completely relax.
As with side sleeping, the thickness and firmness of your pillow is important in keeping your neck and back properly aligned.
Back sleepers are also associated with snoring; while pillows are certainly not a foolproof cure for snoring, proper support and alignment of your neck and airway can sometimes lead to reduced snoring.
Stomach Sleeping Position
If possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach as it’s difficult to maintain the proper spinal position. Sleeping on your stomach forces your head and spine into an unnatural upward bend. Staying in this position for hours on end is not good for your back or neck and can result is significant discomfort and restless sleep.
If you do sleep on your stomach, you will want to have less fill in your pillow than someone who sleeps on their side or back. If you sleep on your stomach with a pillow that’s too thick, your spine will bent at an angle which is more likely to cause aches, pains, or numbness. You may also want to place a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to alleviate strain on your neck and back. Even following this advice, it is still recommended that you do not sleep on your stomach.
Your sleeping position matters.
It may seem impossible to control the position you sleep in since you aren’t aware while sleeping. It is possible and it can make a considerable difference in the amount and quality of sleep you get. When going to sleep, or if you wake up in the night, make a conscious effort to follow these guidelines until it becomes a habit:
- Keep your body in a “mid-line” position, where both your head and neck are kept as straight as possible. The best sleeping positions to do this are sleeping on your side or sleeping on your back.
- Use pillows that are capable of conforming to your neck and spine as you change positions throughout the night.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, “The most common sleeping position is on your side, with your legs and hips aligned and flexed. Because this position leaves your upper leg unsupported, the top knee and thigh tend to slide forward and rest on the mattress, rotating the lower spine. This slight rotation may contribute to back or hip pain. To prevent that problem, place a pillow between your knees and thighs…If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back. You might try a small, rolled towel under the small of your back for additional support. Support your neck with a pillow.”
Have you ever tried a buckwheat pillow?
In case you haven’t guessed yet, we are huge fans of buckwheat pillows. Such huge fans that we started manufacturing and selling them! Their unique hull filling makes them supremely comfortable for all sleeping positions. The thousands of tiny hulls will perfectly conform to the space between your head and the mattress eliminating potentially pain-causing pressure points in your neck and back. Buckwheat pillows offer firm, consistent support that will keep your head and neck comfortably positioned all night long.
Buckwheat pillows are adjustable.
High-quality buckwheat pillows always have a zipper. A zipper enables adjustment of the amount of filling in the pillow. As a result, you’re able to dial-in the thickness of your pillow so that it’s just right for you. Simply add or remove the buckwheat hull filling.
Buckwheat pillows are breathable.
The irregular and hollow shape of buckwheat hulls creates airspace within your pillow. Its breathable nature results in a cool, dry pillow, that gives you the “cool side of the pillow”effect all night long.
Buckwheat pillows are made from natural renewable materials.
Many popular pillow types contain polyurethane or polyester foam that can emit toxins and carcinogens that aren’t good for you or our environment. There’s no sense in risking your health or filling our landfills with potentially toxic waste!
Moreover, buckwheat crops benefit little from chemical fertilizers. It is free of many of the contaminants that are present in other crop types and is safe for your family and the environment. The hulls are compostable, which helps to reduce unnecessary waste in our landfills. It also keeps our soil healthy and nutrient rich for future generations. Finally, buckwheat pillows contain no animal products for those interested in a vegan lifestyle.
Try a Hullo Buckwheat Pillow for 60 Nights.
Try a Hullo buckwheat pillow for 60 nights. If you don’t care for it, just ship it back to us and we’ll refund the purchase price. Don’t take my word for it, read the reviews our customers have posted.