No one can deny the importance of pillows to getting a good night rest. Not only will the right pillow support the neck and head without exerting force, it also takes the shape of the bed so that the weight of your head and neck are evenly spread. Some people can no longer stand using pillows to sleep because they have gotten shoulder discomfort and neck pains from using them.
This could be as a result of using the wrong pillow or placing the shoulder at 90 degrees to the mattress. This sleeping position can cause spasms in the trapezius muscles which need to relax when you are sleeping. When you position your shoulder slightly forward in front of the bed on the mattress, you stand the risk of putting pressure on these muscles and forcing the shoulder blade (scapula) to be put in a bad position.
Placing pressure on the neck especially, the C2 and C3 vertebrae while sleeping is quite dangerous. This pressure can affect the sensitive muscles, the nerve sheath, and the neck joints. Recovering from this can be difficult.
Oftentimes, shoulder problems stem from neck pain. This is why you need to choose a good pillow to get a good night sleep and avoid shoulder and neck pain.
Here are 4 criteria to check out for before buying a pillow:
A good pillow should have a natural alignment
The fact that the neck curves slightly when you sleep so as to sustain the weight of the head, it is important that your pillow is able to align naturally to take the curve of the neck. When the pillow is too high, this could obstruct breathing, hinder sleep or lead to snoring. If, on the other hand, the pillow is too low, it can affect the neck. Look for a pillow with 4 to 6 inch in height.
A good pillow should be comfortable
If a pillow is comfortable, there is no doubt that you will sleep well at night. Make sure the material the pillow is made with is such that you are comfortable with.
A good pillow should be adjustable. It should fit your sleeping position and the unique shape of your head and neck without placing pressure.
A good pillow should suit every sleeping position. Just like we briefly pointed above, a good pillow is such that can adapt to any sleeping pattern the user chooses. It should also provide the user with good support while in use.
While sleeping on your back with a pillow, make sure it supports the natural curve of the cervical spine. It should also provide support for the neck, head, and shoulders. Make sure the pillow is placed lower than when you are sleeping sideways.
When sleeping on your side with a pillow, the weight should be distributed evenly.
When sleeping on your stomach, the pillow should be flat with the head resting on the mattress.
A new pillow may give you pain for the first few days but will stop once your neck adjusts appropriately.
You can find some great value pillows and ofter soft furnishings, as well as bargainmattresses at www.mattress time.co.uk.