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Health & Wellness

How Does A Pillow Improves Your Sleeping Quality?

If you sleep about 7-8 hours a day, but still experiencing poor conditions during the daytime, for sure it’s because you lack deep sleep.  But how to improve? In this post, I shall discuss deeper about the effect of the pillow and how a pillow affects sleeping quality and what to know to pick a suitable pillow for you.

The Effect Of Pillow On Night

You may think a pillow is just a pillow but had ignored the effects of the pillow. However, the pillow plays an important role in human health. As we know, the human cervical spine has its own normal physiological curvature, as shown below. on the left is normal, the right is abnormal.

The cervical spine has a normal physiological curvature

You may ask what causes an abnormal cervical spine, the most common reason is incorrect sleeping posture. Meanwhile, I suggest you can read my other post What Is Correct Sleeping Posture?

So, in order to prevent an abnormal cervical spine, what should we do? Using a pillow correctly.

Many people put their pillows under their heads but not their necks. This is a totally wrong way. If people sleep like it every day, the cervical spine is not been supported for a long time. For the effects of gravity, the spine loses its own curvature, it will straighten or even worse, curve oppositely. The correct way using a pillow while sleeping is to put your pillow under the neck. It both supports the cervical spine and keeps the cervical curvature.

On the other hand, using a pillow correctly, it lifts up the head and the chest is also slightly raised so that the blood of the lower body can flow downstream. The advantage is reducing the burden on the heart. A stomach sleeper who uses the pillow, it is good for breathing while the lungs do not cling to the bed.

how pillow affects sleep quality

From the above figure, Another factor in how pillows affect sleep quality is height. Except you may get an incorrect cervical spine as mentioned above, you may also get other negative effects from hight or low pillow.

Why You Need A Pillow When Sleeping

If you sleep at night without a pillow or pillow too low, the position of the head is lower than the heart, the blood flow to the head increases, and the blood vessels in the head will be congested; for a long time, it will cause dizziness, swelling of the eyelids, and poor sleep;

If the pillows are too high, the muscles of the neck are stretched, it may get neck pain, headache, or even “stiff neck“. This is basically how pillows affect sleep quality and why you need a pillow.

How To Pick A Suitable Pillow?

Now, Let’s move to the next question: How to Choose a suitable Pillow? It depends, and it must take into account the individuals, but there are still some common concepts you can follow.

  • A pillow should be 2-3 inches height, or a fist stands upright after pressing the pillow hard.
  • The width of a suitable pillow should be two shoulders wide;
  • It should not be too hard or soft, and moderately elastic.

Now, you should know the effect of a pillow and why we should use it on sleep. I personally do not recommend people purchase pillows online. You are not able to touch it, then you are not able to know if it fits you. In addition, more importantly, put your pillow under your neck when you sleep. If you do not use a pillow for a long time or use an unsuitable pillow, probably your neck is deformed unwittingly.

By Connie

Connie is the Lead Massage Therapist and General Manager at Wonderland Spa.

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