Pillows are not just for your head and neck. Depending on your sleeping position, additional pillows can help keep your spine in the proper position. The pillow for your head should support the natural curve of your neck and be comfortable.
A pillow that’s too high can put your neck into a position that causes muscle strain on your back, neck, and shoulders. Choose a pillow that will keep the neck aligned with the chest and lower back. Your pillow should be adjustable to allow you to sleep in different positions. Replace your pillows every year or so.
Anything that will make you more comfortable will improve the likelihood of getting a good night’s sleep. But the benefits of pillows don’t go much further than comfort and positioning. Sometimes pillows even hurt your health.
My Medical Mantra spoke with a few health experts to know whether sleeping with a pillow can cause any harm to your body.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shreerang Limaye, an orthopaedic surgeon from Devayani Hospital, Pune, said, “Whether a person wants to sleep with a pillow underneath his head or leg, depends on what problem the person is facing. If a person has neck problems, then he/she should ensure that there are no gaps between the neck and the pillow. If a person is suffering from varicose veins or swelling of the leg, then it is beneficial for them to sleep with a pillow below their leg.”
In large part, your sleep position dictates what kind of pillow you should use, and whether sleeping without a pillow will help or hurt you.
While Dr Mugdha Kolhatkar, a Physiotherapist from Sunshine physiotherapy clinic in Baner, Pune said, “If a person has having neck and shoulder problems, then they should use pillows which support them properly. People who have waist problems should use a pillow below the knee. A person should use a pillow as per the health problems that they are facing.”
Losing sleep from being uncomfortable at night has consequences. Your body has less time for muscle growth, tissue repair, and other important functions that occur during sleep.
Dr Rahul Bane, an orthopaedic doctor working at Sparsh Hospital, said, “Using large and thick pillows can lead to back pain and neck pain. Your neck is prone to bend more due to a thick pillow. It will be beneficial to use a soft and thin pillow.”
Also Read :- Tips to eliminate neck pain