Guide to Neck Pillows by Wadav : Can They Reduce Pain & Improve Sleep?
Nothing like resting your head on a nice soft pillow at the end of the day. But is the one you are currently relying on the best for your body? It might not be if you have a sore neck or wake up with a stiff neck. You can be fitter and sleep better with a neck pillow. It is sometimes called a neck pillow because the top part of your spine where your neck is located is called the cervical spine.
The survey, conducted by the savings website Wadav.com, a pillow with good neck support can help relieve neck pain and improve rest.
Types of neck pillows
The best pillow for neck pain depends on a lot of things - including your sleeping position, the cause of your neck pain, and what feels comfortable to you. Common types include:
- Neck rollers
- D-Core, Pillow with a D-shaped indentation in the middle for your head
- Standard contour pillow - the wavy ones, with a longitudinal indentation for your head
- U-shaped or horseshoe
Neck pillows are available in a variety of materials including down, memory foam, cotton, and synthetics that can wick away heat and sweat. The material you choose matters, but only if it makes the pillow comfortable for you. Experts say that in general, comfort trumps everything - although a material that keeps you cool can help you sleep more soundly.
The way you sleep matters
The style of pillow you choose can improve your rest, but your sleeping position also plays a role. If you lie on your side or on your back, congratulations: these are the best positions for neck pain, while lying on your stomach is the worst.
Whichever position you prefer, be sure to choose a pillow that supports the natural shape of your cervical spine.
You want your neck to be supported, but you don't want it to be propped up. Consider a streamlined model designed for this position. You can also try using a wave-shaped one at your neck, with one side rounded and another flat to support your head.
To keep your spine straight, use a pillow that provides the right neck support - a pillow higher under your neck than under your head. It should be thick enough to hold your head up and firm enough that your head doesn't sink into it. Latex pillows give you support but don't overheat like memory foam. A contoured wave-shaped pillow is designed for work.
Use a thin one to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Sleep while traveling:
If you plan to doze off on an airplane, on a road trip - or even in a recliner - try a U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped pillow. These support your neck so that it does not sag and is supported.
What the research shows
If you rely on research to guide your choices, you won't find many studies on neck pillows. A review of five studies, published in 2006, concluded that there was not enough evidence to recommend them for neck pain.
A study, published earlier, compared the effects of water-filled pillows, contoured pillows and standard pillows on sleep quality. This research found that a water-filled version eased morning pain and provided better rest than a standard pillow or model.
Another study found that a contoured memory foam pillow significantly improved chronic neck pain.
Remember that no one - not the people in these studies, not your friends and family - can know what will work best for you. If your neck hurts in the middle of the night, or if you wake up with stiffness and pain, it may help to try different kinds of neck pillows.