Sleep Comfortably is a website devoted to reviewing the products and covering the topics that we believe will help you to sleep better. From giving you the low down on what’s the best pillow to buy if you have a bad neck, to recommending the best pillows for people who sleep on their sides, we want to make sure you get a peaceful and pain free nights sleep. Here are a few of the things we’ve been looking at recently.
The Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
If you try to picture how your body looks when you lie down on a bed, you’ll see that the slope of your neck, between your shoulders and head, creates a significant hollow space if you’re lying flat. That hollow space equals strain and pain for your neck muscles, since they’re not being supported from underneath.
The solution, obviously, is a pillow, but it’s important to choose the right pillow. Ideally, side sleepers should aim for a pillow that is dense, firm, and correctly sized and firm enough to support the neck so that it lies in a straight line with the rest of the body. A soft down pillow or something similar that doesn’t hold its shape won’t eliminate the hollow space problem, and a pillow that’s firm but not the correct size may cause the opposite problem by pushing your neck up so that it’s higher than your shoulders and head.
Many doctors also say that keeping a smaller, firm pillow between your knees is an excellent idea for side sleepers.
The good news is that side sleeping is the most common position, and so there are plenty of pillow options available.
To learn more about what’s available and how to choose the right pillows for your needs, click here for the full article and buyers’ guide.
Memory Foam Pillows
The best pillow for every sleeper is one that’s firm enough to provide good support, yet still flexible enough to mold specifically to each individual’s body. With that in mind, the popularity of memory foam pillows makes a lot of sense.
Memory foam is the name given to a specific type of polyurethane first created by NASA, most commonly known by consumers in the form of both pillows and mattresses. While it’s firm and dense, what makes it unique is the fact that it responds to the warmth of body heat by becoming softer. This allows it to mold to your body, creating what amounts to a custom fit. The foam also regains its original shape after weight and heat are removed, meaning the pillow adjusts to various sleepers–and sleeping positions–night after night.
Memory foam pillows are favorites among doctors and chiropractors for plenty of reasons. Along with the individualized support they provide, they also help the body by redistributing weight evenly, reducing pressure on specific points. What’s more, since pain points of the body tend to run warmer due to increased blood flow, the pillows become even more mold-able and responsive on areas that need it most.
Choosing a memory foam pillow is a great investment in your future sleep. For more information, click here for the full article and our buyers’ guide.
The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
If you’re a side sleeper, you’re in good company. Studies show that sleeping on one’s side is the most common position. But when it comes to choosing the right mattress to support your body, how should a side sleeper proceed? What elements are most important?
The truth is that the answer to that question is the same regardless of your specific sleeping position. The most important consideration when choosing a mattress is support–the right kind and in the right places.
For side sleepers, the best mattresses are those that reduce pressure on the shoulders and hips, while providing firm support to those critical areas. Sleeping on your side puts your shoulder and hip on that particular side into direct contact with the mattress, which creates pressure points. Therefore, your mattress should be soft enough to respond to that pressure with a little bit of give, but not so much that your body is thrown out of alignment.
While traditional spring mattresses can certainly do the trick, many side sleepers also find themselves dreaming sweetly on latex and foam mattresses, which have that important combination of mold-ability and firmness. Mattresses that are slightly soft and cushioned, and that respond to the natural curve of the body, are ideal.
If you’d like to learn more about how to select the right mattress for your sleeping needs, check out our full article and buyers’ guide.
Sleep Apnea Pillows
Anyone who suffers from sleep apnea will tell you that getting quality sleep is both a necessity and a challenge. Choosing the right pillow to help with your apnea symptoms is crucial if you’re going to get the rest you need.
The term “sleep apnea” refers to a sleep disorder that manifests itself in breathing difficulties during sleep. These difficulties can manifest themselves in several ways, including snoring; however, sleep apnea itself is a more specific (and often more dangerous) condition than snoring alone. A sleep apnea sufferer often takes breaths that are too shallow while sleeping; they often also pause between breaths. This pause, known as an apnea, can last from a matter of seconds to a matter of minutes, and, even at its most benign, severely affects sleep quality.
Fortunately, there are things that can help ease the symptoms. While anyone suffering from sleep apnea should speak to a qualified professional for recommendations, one of the most common forms of symptom treatment is ensuring the proper support during the night. Pillows specifically designed for apnea sufferers are available and can provide lots of relief when used properly.
Cervical pillows, designed specifically for sleep apnea, are contoured cylindrical pillows that are designed to hold the head and neck in specific positions that keep the airway open while strengthening muscles in the area. The strong support of a cervical pillow provides comfort by supporting the neck and aligning the spine, too.
For more information on cervical pillows and sleep apnea, why not click here to read our full article and buyer’s guide.
The Best Pillows for Neck Pain
Finding the best pillow for neck pain can be a challenge. There are a lot of options available, each designed to meet specific needs. Understanding how a pillow can help ease neck discomfort is key to finding the right one for your needs.
Whether you sleep on your back, your side, or your stomach, your neck and head combine to create an angle that isn’t in line with the rest of your upper body and your shoulders. Thus, pillows meant to help with neck pain are all designed with the same concept in mind: they provide extra support where your neck angles up away from the bed, and they typically have a deep depressed area where your head angles back down again.
Within the broad category of this type of orthopedic pillow, of course, there are lots of options meant to help with neck pain caused by unhealthy sleeping positions. From mold-able memory foam or roll-shaped cervical pillows, to water-filled pillows that shift with your movement to give extra support, there’s sure to be a pillow that’ll ease your particular neck problems.
To learn more about the best pillows for your neck pain, click here to read our full article and buyers’ guide.