In our daily cognition, a pillow, as the name implies, is a bedding placed under the head to make the head slightly higher when lying down. But, the pillow really means literally, is it just a pillow?
It’s not just the head
Actually, pillows are not just for pillows. If you just use pillows to sleep with your head on, then you are doing something wrong. Many people have poor sleep quality because of the wrong pillow posture during sleep. Simply cushioning the head with a pillow will cause the cervical spine between the shoulders and the pillow to hang in the air, making the neck muscles unable to relax and rest completely, causing soreness in the neck and straining the muscles during sleep, and it may even be difficult to sleep in severe cases.
One of the keys to maintaining a good quality of sleep is to use the right pillow to exert its proper function. When sleeping, put your head and neck on the pillow, let the pillow support your head and neck, and keep your neck in a normal neck curve position so that the pillow can work. If you just put your head on the pillow and the posture is wrong, no matter how expensive the pillow is, it won’t help.
You have to choose the right height to sleep well
In addition to the correct “pillow posture”, choosing a pillow with a suitable height is also the most important thing to ensure the quality of sleep. If the pillow is too high or too low, it will cause harm to the body. Studies have shown that a pillow that is too high will hinder the normal blood circulation of the head, easily lead to cerebral hypoxia, and cause problems such as snoring and stiff neck. Patients with high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis and spine disorders cannot use the high pillow; The pillow is easy to cause edema of the eyelids and face, and people with asthma, lung disease, and heart disease cannot use a low pillow.
Scientific and comfortable pillow height is determined according to the physiological curve of the human cervical spine. Only by maintaining its normal physiological curvature can the joints, muscles, ligaments, etc. of the shoulder and neck be in a relaxed state and get a better rest. Under normal circumstances, the pillow height should be slightly lower than the distance from the shoulder to the neck on the same side, about 8-15 cm, or calculated according to the formula: (shoulder width-head width) ÷ 2.
You need to consider sleeping position when choosing a pillow
Different sleeping positions require different pillow heights. When choosing a pillow, the difference in sleeping position needs to be considered. People who are accustomed to sleeping on their backs should have a pillow height of 8-13 cm (about the height of a fist). At the same time, a pillow can be placed under the knee to relieve spine pressure. For people who are accustomed to sleeping on their side, the height of the pillow should be the width of the individual’s shoulders, about 13-15 cm, so that the cervical spine and lumbar spine are almost kept on the same level. People who like to sleep on their stomachs can choose very thin pillows or not. At the same time, in order to avoid back pain, it is best to put a thin pillow on the abdomen, but it is usually not recommended to sleep on the stomach.
Soft, hard, elastic, etc. will also affect sleep quality
The material, pillow shape, and hardness of the pillow will also affect our sleep. The pillow core should be made of soft texture, and it is better to make a moderately hard, slightly elastic pillow. A pillow that is too hard will increase the pressure on the contact area between the head and neck and the pillow, causing head discomfort; if the pillow is too soft, it will be difficult to maintain a normal height, and the head and neck will not receive certain support and fatigue. In addition, the pillow should have proper elasticity. If the pillow is too elastic, the head will continue to be subjected to the applied elastic force, causing muscle fatigue and damage. For example, “spring pillow” and “air pillow”, etc., can not be regarded as beneficial to health .
Having said so much, the importance of pillows for sleep is self-evident. Choosing a suitable pillow can not only improve the discomfort symptoms such as shoulder and neck pain, but also improve the quality of sleep. There are various types of pillows on the market, and the prices are also very different. When choosing, you should consider your own situation and choose the most suitable one.