How to Choose the Right Pillow for Sleep: Which One is Better to Sleep On, and Which Ones Can Be Dangerous

In order to have a good and healthy sleep and to be able to rest after a hard day, it is important to choose the right accessories for sleep, among which are pillows. The improperly chosen pillow can become a source of discomfort and cause neck pain.

What pillow is better to sleep on

It’s better to choose a pillow depending on the sleeping position that a person prefers. A high pillow is suitable for those who sleep on their side. A low pillow is preferable for those who sleep mostly on the back or stomach. But for people that constantly change position, it is better to choose two pillows at the same time – low and medium – and to change them.

It is important to remember the main thing correctly sleeping on a pillow – the neck and spine should be straight with a natural curve.

What pillow is dangerous to sleep on

One of the biggest dangers in pillows as their filler. It can cause allergies, so allergy sufferers should not choose pillows that are filled with down, feather, or wool. In addition, pillows with this composition are loved by dust mites, and in the case of wool – and moths. And too dirty pillow is a great medium for the spread of various microorganisms.

But pillows can also be dangerous if they have the wrong shape or are too soft because then neck and back muscles are too tense, and this can be very bad for the health of the spine. The pillow can also lose its shape due to age, so it is recommended to change them every one and a half to three years, depending on the filler.

What happens if you sleep on a high pillow on your back? The forced tilt of the head in this case squeezes the vertebral artery, and the neck muscles are constantly strained, which causes pain in both the neck and head. Also, too high a pillow can cause snoring and impaired circulation of the brain. Therefore, answering the question of whether it is harmful to sleep on a high pillow – yes unless it is a pose on the side, and the height of the pillow corresponds to the width of the shoulder.

Can you sleep without a pillow on your back?

But not all people sleep on pillows – some people prefer to do without them. What happens to the body if you sleep without a pillow? Experts do not recommend that an adult person sleeps without a pillow.

If a person sleeps on his side without a pillow, his neck excessively bends, blood vessels are squeezed, and the blood does not flow to the head evenly. This causes headaches and may have more serious consequences in the future. Sleeping without a pillow on the back, the muscles of the back and neck are also not relaxed enough, and this can theoretically cause curvature of the spine and osteochondrosis.

Hence the answer to another question – is it useful to sleep without a pillow for cervical osteochondrosis? No, it is harmful to sleep without a pillow for this disease, as well as on hard surfaces. It is worth giving preference to pillows of medium hardness.

Is it possible to sleep without a pillow on your stomach?

Those who like to sleep on their stomach choose thin, almost flat pillows so that the head is not thrown back and the neck is not strained.

To summarize, do not take the choice of pillow lightly. After all, quality sleep is one of the foundations of human health.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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