Finding the Perfect Pillow

Finding the right type of pillow for you is a vital key in achieving a great night of sleep. There is nothing worse than waking up stiff and sore after an uncomfortable night’s sleep. The rest we receive during the night allows our body to heal our postural, physical and mental state that has been worn out and damaged during the day. Below are a list of different types of pillows, some that will greatly improve your quality of sleep and minimise muscle tension and pain, allowing you to wake up fully refreshed and vitalised, ready to face the day. Other pillows will help to improve and maintain excellent posture during your day.

PillowsCredit: morguefile

Note: It is important to keep in mind that while some of the following pillows will help relieve muscle tension and pain in certain areas of the body for some people, it is not guaranteed to work for everyone. If you are trying a new pillow, you should trial it for around a week, which will be long enough to see if it is benefiting you and your sleep overall.

Different Types of Pillows

Knee Pillows

Knee pillows are important for alleviating tension and strain in your lower back while you sleep.

When you are sleeping on your side, place the knee pillow between your knees to stop them from coming together. This keeps the spine in a neutral position. Without the knee pillow, there is not support between your legs, and your upper leg falls forward, which pulls and rotates your pelvis forward. This distorts your natural line of the spine, causing muscle tension and strain in your lower back. By using a knee pillow you will prevent this pain and allow your spine and back muscles to properly rest and heal while you sleep.

If you are sleeping on your back, you can place the knee pillow underneath the back of the knees. This will help reduce the pressure on your lower back. With the knee pillow under your knees, there is less force being put on the joints in your spine and muscles in your back.

This sleeping position, accompanied by a knee pillow, is a popular position for people who suffer from acute back pain, or are recovering from spinal or back surgery.

Carex Knee Pillow
Amazon Price: $23.72 $15.10 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

Body Pillows

A body pillow is, as the name suggests, a pillow that is as long as the body and serves several functions while sleeping. For people who sleep on their side, the body pillow can be used with the top part of the pillow being used to support the head and neck, and the bottom part of the pillow being used to support the knees and legs.

The body pillow is also beneficial to pregnant women, as it can offer them added support underneath their expanding stomach.

If you are using a body pillow, don’t throw your top leg over the pillow while on your side, as this will twist your torso and spine, adding pressure and stain to your spinal joints and back muscles.

Beyond Down Gel Fiber Body Pillow
Amazon Price: $79.99 $72.49 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

Neck Pillows

A neck pillow is specially designed and contoured to fill the gaps under your head and neck, which is especially beneficial to people who suffer from neck and shoulder pain. These neck pillows are also called cervical pillows or orthopedic pillows, and because they have a deeper depression where the head lies and extra support under the neck, they alleviate neck pain. The neck pillow achieves this by filling out the hollow space created by the neck and helps keep the neck in alignment with the spine. This neutral position take pressure and strain off the neck, head, shoulders and back.

DogBones NeckBones Chiropractic Neck Pillow, Jester Red
Amazon Price: $9.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

Travel Pillows

A travel pillow is designed in a ‘U’ shape that curves to fit snuggly around the neck and head, allowing it to be used for sleeping or supporting the head while sitting. The travel pillow stops the head from bending too far to one side, which creates muscle strain and tension in your neck and shoulders. It also supports the weight of your head. The travel pillow is ideal for and plane, bus, train or car, or anywhere where you are sleeping in the sitting position.

Lower Back Support Pillows

A lower back support pillows are designed to help support the inward curve in the lower back and spine. If you work at a desk all day, then you will understand the pain associated with sitting in a chair all day, and the tension, stain and pressure it can put on your lower back. Sitting for extended periods of time without any lower back support can create large amounts of pain in your lower back that can spread to your legs. The lower back support pillow can be placed on the back of a chair or couch and will fill the natural gap that is created between the lower spine and the back of the chair. This will help you to maintain a healthy, neutral posture, relieving your spine and back of any tension or pressure. The lower back support pillow can also be used in the car while driving, which can be very helpful and beneficial in keeping your muscles and spine relaxed on long car trips.

Cozyrest Lower Back Support Pillow, Lumbar Cushion, Hunter Green
Amazon Price: $19.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

Donut Pillows

Donut pillows, as the name does suggest, are pillows that are donut-shaped that are used to sit on. The donut pillow is placed on a seat and it has either a hole or depression in the middle of the pillow on which you sit. This greatly reduces the pressure on your tailbone and lower spine.

People who have suffered from a broken or bruised tailbone or have coccygeal pain (such as coccydynia) may also need this type of pillow to sit down without causing them any pain.

Rose Donut Cushion, Large, 18" Diameter - Blue
Amazon Price: $16.10 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

Finding the Right Pillow is Important

Finding the right type of pillow can be greatly beneficial to your whole body. Different types of pillows can provide both comfort and support, and can make a huge difference in alleviating or avoiding back pain or neck pain. Overall, a good pillow can also allow you to get a good night’s sleep.

Getting a good night sleep is extremely important for your mental and physical well-being. Find out why.  A reason you might not be sleeping well is that you might be suffering from insomnia. Read about its main causes, symptoms and treatments available.