Anyone who keeps waking up in the morning with a headache or neck pain should take a look at their sleeping situation – and possibly think about an orthopedic pillow. We explain what you should pay attention to.
Of course, if you don’t sleep well, you’ll notice it throughout the day. Above all, anyone who wakes up with tense neck muscles or a severe headache should think about their sleeping situation: Is your sleeping position perhaps not ideal? Especially people who sleep sideways or on their stomach often use unsuitable pillows. The better choice is usually an orthopedic pillow that is adapted to the sleeping position and that relieves the back muscles during sleep.
What is an orthopedic pillow?
Wavy neck support pillows are usually referred to as orthopedic pillows. They are not made of down or feathers, but of special foams that are more stable than normal pillows, but also a little elastic. They usually have bulges at the top and bottom, while the middle of the pillow is a little flatter. The bulges are intended to fill the cavity between the head and shoulders, provide stability and thus ensure a healthy posture.
The bulges usually have different heights: the orthopedic pillow can be used in both the lateral and supine position. Depending on the sleeping position, the cavity between head and shoulder is larger or smaller. In the supine position, the lower bulge should be at the bottom, in the side position, the higher bulge.
Who is an orthopedic pillow suitable for?
Many side and stomach sleepers benefit from an orthopedic pillow. Because it is precisely in these sleeping positions that the neck is often bent – consequently the neck falls into an unhealthy posture, which also has a negative effect on the shoulder and back muscles. Head, neck and back pain and tension are often the result. Anyone who suffers from these problems and usually feels this pain after sleeping should consider whether an orthopedic pillow would be suitable for them. In any case, the pain should not be ignored and, if necessary, discussed with your family doctor or a physiotherapist.
What should you consider when buying?
Basically, if you want to buy an orthopedic pillow: the broader the shoulders and the stronger the overall stature, the higher the pillow should be. This gives the head optimal support, but the shoulders can sink into the mattress in a relaxed manner. In addition, the pillow should be big enough so that your head does not rest on the mattress when you turn over while you sleep. But it must not be too big either, because the shoulders must not rest on it, since then there is no longer an ergonomic sleeping position.
A higher pillow is suitable for side sleepers because the cavity between head and shoulder is particularly large in this sleeping position. For back sleepers, the pillow can be a little lower – or you can use an orthopedic pillow that is suitable for both sleeping positions. On the other hand, if you sleep on your stomach, a very flat pillow is suitable so as not to impair your breathing and to avoid overstretching your spine.
If you are not quite sure which height is best, you can buy an orthopedic pillow with an adjustable height. There are usually different insert plates or layers that can be added or removed as required. You should be able to relax and sink into the mattress with your shoulders and your head should be stable. There are also orthopedic pillows with different degrees of hardness, so that you can really lie on them comfortably.
In order to ensure the very best sleeping situation, you should also include your mattress in the purchase decision. If it is very hard, the shoulders cannot sink in too far – and the space between the head and shoulders is all the larger. So the sleeping pillow should be higher. With soft mattresses it is exactly the other way around: the shoulders sink deeper into the mattress, the space between the head and shoulders is smaller and in the end it should therefore be a lower pillow.
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