Published On: Sun, May 27th, 2018

Proper Pillow Positions for a Good Night’s Rest

How you place your pillow has a big influence on how your sleep is going to be. Many people experience a stiff neck and even light headaches due to using their pillows the wrong way. However, fear not as you will soon be well-informed on how your pillow should be placed tonight.

The positions of the pillow are unique to each person and also to the type of pillow they use. The position of your sleep has to complement the type of pillow you use. It is also important to bear in mind that the position of the pillow has to support the necessary parts of the body to keep a healthy posture during sleep.

And remember! The role of a pillow can go beyond just acting as your headrest. There are various parts of the body that also require proper support to keep your body’s posture right throughout the night. Our back is naturally curved like an “S”. It’s important that we maintain that posture throughout our life if we want to avoid lifetime suffering from back pain.

Supine/Back Sleepers

For this group, the pillow has to be positioned around the upper back, neck and finally at the highest spot of the head. This will push the pillow to the lower part of the neck and fill in the gap behind your neck and the bed. You need this support to keep the curve healthy.

Using a small, flat pillow on your lower back is also used to support the curve and keep the posture healthy. This is going to play a big role in preventing lower back pain. But, you have to make sure you prop the pillow enough to fill in the gap.

The next pillow should be positioned under your knees. Instead of putting your knees straight, propping it up with pillows will relieve the strain cast on your back. Those who suffer from sciatica will find this very helpful for supine position. It prevents pain temporarily and allows you to sleep better.

If there’s no pillow that you can use, roll a small towel to place under your neck and knees. Flat, stacked clothes can be placed under your back. This won’t be necessary if your mattress is made of natural latex, like that of 2bear latex mattresses, as it’ll allow the body to print itself and maintain the posture throughout the night. It won’t sink too deep even after long years of usage.

Just remember to fill in these gaps as they are the main spots that will affect your spine’s health. These gaps are what causes our back and spine to hurt when we wake if not supported correctly.

Lateral/Side Sleepers

For the side sleepers, the rule for the headrest is pretty similar. It has to be able to support the neck and also allow a little height for the shoulder. If it’s too low, you’ll be putting pressure on your neck and shoulder. If it’s too high, though, it’ll cause your upper back to be curved a little sideways against your spine. It’ll cause pain and even encourage scoliosis.

Do you use a bolster? If you do, good news for you because you might’ve been doing it right for a long time. Hugging a bolster encourages your legs to be separated at the right space and protects your pelvis from a lot of pressure. Hugging a bolster also relieves the pressure on your arms and shoulder.

If you don’t have a bolster, slip in a flat pillow between your knees as you sleep. Failure to make use of a bolster or pillow will cause, your knees to touch each other thereby placing pressure on your pelvis. Remember to curve the knees upward towards your chest.

Although we can barely regulate how we move in our sleep, we can generally force ourselves into a good position before we sleep. Our body usually won’t move that much if we are in a position we deem comfortable.

Depending on the mattress you use, the gap between your torso may also need a pillow’s support. However, a natural latex mattress has the capability of letting your body sink just enough to imprint itself. There won’t be too much gap, yet it won’t be too soft that the whole body is sinking in, creating an unhealthy sleeping posture.

Stomach/Prone Sleepers

The prone sleepers’ choice of pillows has to be flat. The position of a prone sleeper tends to have the head facing a little sideways (to breathe) and the shape of the neck towards the spine is correct without any leverage. If you want to use a pillow, it cannot be too high as it will push the head back and strain the neck.

Prone sleepers will also need to support their stomach with a flat pillow. This is especially important if you are using a very soft mattress that sinks too deep. You can imagine that in that position, your spine is abnormally curved downward and very unnatural. It will eventually build up and cause you back pain.

For those who like to move their bodies sideways with their upper part facing down, use a pillow between your knees like how a lateral sleeper does. Keep remembering that supporting these important spots are the keys to keeping your spine healthy.

Do not Stack Pillows!

Don’t stack pillows too high or prop your head too high. This happens often when one tries to sleep on the sofa with multiple pillows and puts the head in a reclining position. It will strain your neck muscles and end up being the reason why you feel groggy or even have headaches after a nap.

More on Pillows and Positions

Despite the right positions, there are also chances that your pillow is actually not living up to the necessary standards! If this is the case with you after you’re sure that you did your position right, be sure to check out our posts on using the right pillow.

Don’t forget that your sleeping positions also matter a lot in improving your sleep quality. Care to know which position is best for you? Check out this post on the best sleeping positions, too!