Sleep Positions To Relieve Neck Pain
Your sleep position impacts your sleep quality, and sleeping a certain way could help ease or make your neck pain worse. Changing your sleep position can be difficult as most people have had their preferred sleeping positions since childhood. However, changing it could not only help reduce neck pain but also prevent aches and pains in other parts of your body too.
So How Do You Find A Pillow That Works For You
After trying these pillows for a few weeks Ive figured out some things. Number 1: It pays to invest in a good pillow. In the past Ive tended to purchase the cheapest one on the shelf, telling myself I didnt need anything luxurious. Theres a difference between luxurious and supportive, and my neck deserves to be supported.
The second thing I learned is that finding the right pillow isnt a straightforward process. Theres going to be a little bit of trial and error. Keep monitoring your sleep quality during the night, as well as your waking symptoms, suggests Kennedy. Im not sure Ive found the best pillow for me yet, although Im definitely better off than I was with my old pillow. My neck pain and stiffness hasnt gone away entirelyafter all, the pillow wasnt the only reason for my discomfort. But now my pillow isnt working against me, and thats enough to make me sleep better.
This story was originally published in 2021 updated in 2022.
How To Choose The Best Sleep Number Pillow For You
Like their other product choices, Sleep Number offers enough of a variety to allow you to find the perfect fit for your needs. Differing fills, shapes, and fabrics are used to create unique sleep experiences, and taking the time to review each set of models is worth the time it takes to find your best choice.
You will want to consider your preferences and needs first and foremost to help narrow down your choices. Each series has various pillows made for differing sleep positions, so if you are looking for a cooling pillow, foam pillow, or down like feel- you can look to those choices first and then narrow them down by the support they provide to your sleep position.
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Pillows And Sleep Health
Using an uncomfortable pillow can affect sleep quality. A 2011 study of 106 people found that half reported reduced sleep quality. All participants experiencing poor sleep quality stated that their pillow was a factor.
Researchers have not identified a specific pillow structure or type that works for all sleepers or even one that works best for certain sleep issues or sleep positions.
A doctor cannot usually help with finding a pillow, but they can assist with sleep problems. See a healthcare professional if a person:
- suddenly develops nighttime pain with a pillow that once worked well for their needs
- has chronic neck or head pain
- regularly struggles to fall asleep at night
- frequently wakes during the night and has trouble falling back asleep
- has other nighttime health symptoms, such as reflux or pain
Two Pillows For Side Sleepers
Dont get too excited. The rule still applies for beneath your head. However, it is best to put that second pillow between your knees. According to the University of Rochester, putting a cushion between your knees at night helps to prevent the leg on top from pulling your spine out of alignment. This will ultimately relieve any stress on your lower back and your hips. You can check our side sleeper pillows if this is your preferred position, although the one for your knees doesn’t have to be so high quality.
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Will A Wedge Pillow Help With Snoring
A wedge pillow may help reduce snoring for some sleepers. They lift the upper part of the body so that the soft tissues are less likely to block passages due to posture, thereby limiting vibrations. While wedge pillows may not be effective for all individuals depending on the cause of their snoring, many sleepers find them helpful.
If You Sleep On Your Side
Pillow one: Tuck this pillow between your head and shoulder so that your head and neck are resting comfortably.
Pillow two: Tuck the second pillow between your knees. This will safeguard you from rolling onto your stomach, and prevent your legs from tugging on your lower back.
Pillow three: This pillow is meant for cuddling. Not only is this pillow comforting on a cold and lonely night, but it also prevents you from rolling onto your shoulder.
Pillow four: This pillow should be placed behind you to prevent you from rolling onto your back and keep you in your comfortable side-sleeping position.
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True Temp Pillow Loft
Pillow loft refers to the pillows height. Pillows typically come in three lofts: low, medium, and high. Low loft pillows are best for stomach sleepers, medium loft are the best pillows for back sleepers, and high loft are ideal for side sleepers.
Side I felt pretty comfortable on my side on this pillow. I got the support I needed to keep my head and shoulders aligned. However, if youre a side sleeper with neck pain, Id go for the contour or ultimate version of this pillow, which is going to offer just a bit more support.
Back I felt really comfortable sleeping on my back on this pillow. I got just enough support to feel my neck aligning perfectly with the rest of my spine.
Stomach This position wasnt very comfortable. I found that my head was propped up too high, which over time would result in neck pain.
Under the Arm I thought this pillow had a nice under-the-arm feel. However, if you like to really squeeze your under arm pillow, Id recommend going for something softer.
Between the Legs I liked this pillow between my legs. Personally, as a side sleeper, I always sleep with a pillow between my legs to prevent my knees from rubbing together. This pillow kept my knees separated and upper leg supported.
The Sleep Number True Temp Pillow is made with special cooling technology and has a medium-firm feel.
True Temp Pillow Vs Casper Pillow
- The Casper Original Pillow is a down alternative pillow made with a polyester microfiber fill.
- The Casper pillow comes in a mid loft and low loft. Stomach sleepers will get a better sleep on the low loft Casper than any of the True Temp models.
- The Casper pillow is cheaper than the True Temp pillow.
- Learn more in my full Casper pillow review.
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Which Sleep Number Pillow Is Best For You
Sleep Numbers PillowFit Quiz can help you determine which Sleep Number pillow is best for you.
Mainly, youll want to think about the position you tend to sleep in, if you like a soft or firm pillow, and which material type is most comfortable to you.
Each Sleep Number pillow comes in standard and king sizes as well as various types.
In general, choose the ultimate type if youre a stomach sleeper, since its the flattest option. Side and back sleepers can find comfort with any style.
If you tend to sleep in a variety of positions, you might want to try the AIRFIT Pillow, since its adjustable.
If possible, trying out the sample pillows available in a brick and mortar Sleep Number store may help you select the best pillow for your sleeping style.
Sleep Number pillows can only be purchased online or in a Sleep Number store. Because pillows cant be returned, you may prefer trying them at the store.
Pillows periodically go on sale for buy one, get one 50 percent off and other promotional offers.
Shipping is free in the contiguous United States. Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or Canada requires additional shipping costs.
Sleep Number doesnt ship to any additional locations.
How To Choose A Wedge Pillow
Each sleeper is unique, and shoppers will need to keep their preferences in mind when choosing a wedge pillow. All wedge pillows are designed to offer support and elevate the upper or lower body. They can be used to help alleviate a variety of ailments, but are also used to relax in bed while reading a book or watching a movie. Since there is an overwhelming number of wedge pillows on the market, shoppers should keep the following in mind to help them make a purchase.
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What Does The True Temp Pillow Feel Like
Now that you have an idea of whether or not the True Temp pillow could suit your sleep needs, Ill share my experience testing it. Id like to highlight that feel is subjective, and how this pillow felt to me might be a bit different to how it feels to you.
Right off the bat, this pillow had a very cool feel, which isnt surprising since the cover fabric was designed that way. I definitely felt that this pillow was made to keep me cool. As I pressed down on the pillow, I found that there was a bit of sink, but certainly nothing like a down pillow it had a decidedly solid feel, without much compression. Overall this pillow is going to feel quite supportive.
The Sleep Number True Temp Pillow is made with special cooling technology and has a medium-firm feel.
Year Warranty/30 Day Trail
Sleep Number warranties their pillow for 5 years from purchase date against material and construction defects. Since most pillows last only 18 months to 3 years with everyday use before losing loft, this provides you with the knowledge that the company stands behind their product.Plus, they offer a 30-day sleep trial through the company, which is pretty much almost unprecedented for pillows since they are such a personal product. Basically, if you dont like it, you can return it for a full refund.
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Best Adjustable: Coop Home Goods Original Body Pillow
Like the Snuggle-Pedic pick above, Coop’s body pillow is filled with supportive, shredded memory foam, but this pillow allows you to remove some of the fill in order to tailor the firmness of the pillow to your liking. This allows people of different body sizes and with different pain points to adjust the pillow to their preferred comfort level.
The pillow is also 54 inches long, to accommodate taller sleepers, but make sure you have Cthe mattress space to sleep with it comfortably.
The bamboo-blend cover is machine-washable, and the pillow is both GreenGuard Gold and Certi-PUR US certified.
What Pillow Styles Are Best For Snoring
The best pillow style for snoring will depend on your sleep position and personal preferences, but wedge pillows, ergonomic models, adjustable options, and memory foam varieties often top the list.
Wedge: Wedge pillows get their name from their distinctive wedge-like shape. These models are typically constructed of foam and designed to elevate the upper body, which is thought to limit soft tissue compression that leads to snoring and relieve sinus pressure by allowing drainage.
Adjustable: Adjustable options allow users to modify the loft and/or firmness of their pillow based on their personal needs and preferences. These models may be beneficial for snorers since they provide the opportunity to experiment with different feels to see what works best. Additionally, if symptoms change over time, the owner can adjust their pillow accordingly.
Memory Foam: Solid memory foam pillows respond to the sleepers heat and weight to mold to their head and neck. This may help sleepers maintain the natural banana-like curvature of the neck, which could in turn reduce the likelihood of poor posture contributing to throat vibrations.
Shredded memory foam pillows are also available. These options tend to be more moldable than solid memory foam, but theyre less likely to retain their shape for consistent support throughout the night.
Get tested for sleep apnea from the convenience of your own bedroom!
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Create Your Perfect Pillow Service
Sleep Number offers the option of designing your own pillow with their Create Your Perfect Pillow service, should their provided options not meet your sleeping needs.
To do this, youll select your preferred filling for both the inner core and the outer shell. For the outer shell, your options are:
- down alternative
- memory fiber
- dual support
For the inner core, your options are:
- memory fiber
- foam contour
Reviewers say they love the ability to select specific qualities to create an ideal pillow for their sleeping needs.
What Else We Tested
We tested 16 pillows for this guide. These are the ones that didn’t make the cut.
What else we recommend and why:
Sleep Number PlushComfort Curved Pillow: This down-alternative pillow is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and made in the US. The curved design is similar to the Eli & Elm pillow, appealing to side and back sleepers. I found it was comfortable and liked that you could machine wash the entire pillow. However, it isn’t adjustable. Though it comes with a 100-night trial, the customer is responsible for return shipping.
Bear Pillow: Insider Reviews junior reporter Lily Alig and I had dramatically different experiences with the Bear Pillow. Alig, a petite side and back sleeper, experienced neck pain at first, but as she got used to the pillow, she grew to love it. I slept poorly while testing it, had neck aches, and never got used to it. It also lost points because it’s spot clean only, non-adjustable, and comes with a short 30-night trial.
Leesa Hybrid Pillow: The only reason we didn’t include the Leesa Hybrid in our guide is because it was out of stock. This dual-sided pillow has a soft polyester microfiber side and a gel side that helped me stay cool through the night. It has an insert that you can remove for a lower loft feel. The biggest negative is that the trial period is only 30 days, and you must return the pillow clean and undamaged.
What we don’t recommend and why:
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What Size Pillows Are Available
The most popular pillow sizes are standard, queen, and king. However, some manufacturers offer additional sizes to accommodate sleepers with different preferences. The following table lists facts and figures for the five most common pillow sizes. For the dimensions column, please note these are average measurements that will differ from brand to brand.
Who Makes Sleep Number Beds
Sleep Number beds are made by Select Comfort Corporation , which is a public company. They design, manufacture, market, and distribute beds, proprietary beds, and other sleep-related accessory products and are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Select Comfort was founded by Robert Walker and JoAnn Walker in 1987. Today, the company has around 3,700+ employees and was listed as the 87th best Small Company in America by Forbes.
Select Comfort has two manufacturing plants one in Irmo, South Carolina and the other in Salt Lake City, Utah which distribute products in the United States and Canada.
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How Should I Sleep To Avoid Neck Pain
Louw discourages people from sleeping on their stomach. “It puts you in a no-win situation,” she said. “You’re going to have to turn your head to the right or left, closing off one of those sides.” This leads to inflammation, stiffness, and pain of the synovial joints in the neck.
Louw says the key is to keep your spine aligned when you sleep, which is achievable when sleeping on your back or side with the right pillow.
What Were Looking For:
Loft: The loft, or height, of your pillow is a crucial factor for side sleepers to consider. Dr. Toussaint-Keshinro explains that keeping your head, neck, and shoulders in a neutral and even position is most important. If a pillow is too flat or too high, it can create an uneven muscle tone in the neck and shoulders, leading to spasms over time. While there isnt a formula to figure out the ideal loft of your pillow, Dr. Dennis Colonello, celebrity and professional-athlete chiropractor at Peak Wellness and all33 co-founder, suggests that your pillow be around four inches off of your mattress. But dont go breaking out your ruler just yet, as there is wiggle room with this number. For taller people with broader shoulders, a higher loft may be more comfortable, and conversely, a petite person with more narrow shoulders will likely rest comfortably with a lower loft.
Firmness: All of our experts agreed that medium-firm pillows tend to be the best option for people sleeping on their side. While there is room for personal preference here, a medium-firm pillow helps your head stay in the right position without sinking while you sleep. For people who like to dream on a bed that feels like fresh brioche buns instead of a firmer surface, gusseted-down and down-alternative pillows can be a plush compromise. Additionally, Cushner and Foley suggest memory foam pillows, as they sort of mimic the softness of down by contouring to your body, while still providing support.
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