Carpal tunnel syndrome and backaches, step aside – there’s a new epidemic taking over the world – neck pain. Our modern lifestyles are not very kind to our necks; long car rides, poor office desk posture, constantly looking down at our smartphones or other wireless devices – it all puts a lot of stress on our neck muscles. And as if that is not enough, the only recuperation time our necks get can be easily impaired by sleeping on a bad pillow.
If you spent all night sleeping with your neck bent in an unnatural position, it’s quite possible that you’ll feel it in the morning. Obviously, your pillow does not provide the proper support your neck muscles need, which results with you waking up with a stiff or sore neck. Fortunately, in most cases you won’t need to turn to costly physical therapy or pain relievers because the solution can be quite simple – get a good neck support pillow.
Sleeping on the wrong kind of pillow is even worse than sleeping on no pillow at all. Whether you’re sleeping on your back, your side, or your stomach – your neck and spine will always be twisted or tilted at odd angles. A neck support pillow has only one purpose – to keep your neck and spine parallel to the mattress. But how can you know which pillow can provide you that?
While you may think that the reason your neck is all stiff in the morning is because your pillow is too hard, it’s actually the opposite. Soft pillows filled with feathers, although very comfortable at first, offer zero support to your head and neck. Plus, with prolonged use, this could lead to neck pain and even headaches and migraines. A neck-friendly pillow will be somewhere in the middle: soft enough to adapt to your body and hard enough to support the key areas of your neck and head.
One such pillow is the cervical contour pillow. Like its name suggests, it’s a curved pillow designed to let your neck assume a natural position. While your head rests in the depression in the centre, the tension in your neck muscles and spine is reduced allowing them to relax and actually recuperate while sleeping. However, contour pillows can be made of various materials, they are all different in the quality and support that they provide.
Memory foam contour pillows are the most popular type of neck support pillows. Memory foam is a highly adaptable material that can mould around your body, allowing you to assume any sleeping position you like best – on your back, on the side, or on your stomach. But after you get out of bed, the pillow will return to its original shape again. The only downside to it is that memory foam can easily heat up. If you’re not allergic to latex, latex pillows can be a good alternative to memory foam because they feel a lot cooler.
Of course, there isn’t one ideal pillow that can satisfy everyone’s needs. These are simply some general guidelines that can help you discover a good neck support pillow that can help you sleep soundly and pain-free. Now get out there and start searching!