A Good Pillow: How to Know When You've Found a Keeper
Sleep Position and Ideal Pillow Choices
The type of sleeper you are will also determine the right pillow for you.
If you are a side sleeper, a pillow that is too soft or too thin will end up twisting your neck and head out of an ideal position and will lead to restless sleep. Subsequently, if the pillow is too hard and thick, it will strain your posture. Ultimately, the head and neck need to align with the rest of the spine; it will exert the least stress on the ligament’s joints, discs, and muscles. When these structures are stressed, the result is stiffness, pain, and often headaches.
If you sleep on your back, the pillow you choose should support the natural curve of your neck and cradle your head in a neutral alignment. Adequate support under your head, neck, and shoulders is essential. The pillow’s height needs to be lower than those who sleep in the sideways position.
Stomach sleepers have different needs from those who sleep on their sides or back. The pillow needed for stomach sleepers should be relatively flat or no pillow. Placing your head directly on the mattress could be the answer to a restful night’s sleep. Your head and neck should not be turned unnaturally to either side, which will cause discomfort. Instead, try a flat pillow under the stomach to help keep the spine in neutral alignment.