Have you ever felt stiff in the morning, even after a long night’s sleep? Especially in the neck and shoulders zone. Your overall condition drops and you feel tired many times over, because of this stiffness in your body
If this happens every morning, it is likely that you are using the wrong pillow. Muscles should relax during sleep, but when the neck and shoulders are in an uncomfortable position, the tension in the whole body remains during the whole sleep. So what pillow should be used to reduce neck and shoulder pain and have a good night’s sleep?
The сenter for Korean medicine conducted a survey in which only 16% of 232 respondents choose and use pillows that fit their body. Conversely, 72% of people use the wrong pillow. And 74% of them reported feeling pain in their neck, shoulders, and back after waking up from sleep.
There are three types of pillows that increase tension in the body and add to the discomfort.
1. High head and neck pillow
A high pillow for the head and neck burdens the spine at the back of the neck and in the shoulder area.
Not only the pain but also the pressure exerted on the shoulder muscles interfere with normal blood circulation. Therefore, no matter how long a person sleeps, fatigue will not go away easily.
2. A high pillow for the head and a low pillow for the neck
When the head is high and the neck is low, thus the head is excessively bent. This can damage the natural C-curve of the neck, which can lead to cervical hernia or “straight neck” syndrome.
3. Low head pillow and high neck pillow
A pillow that is low for the head and high for the neck is called an “orthopedic pillow for neck pain.” Some people specifically use such a pillow to correct straight neck syndrome or to alleviate problems with cervical disc herniation.
But as a general rule, a pillow that is low for the head but high for the neck can cause excessive C-bend in the neck.
Since it is still cool in the morning and evening, many people crouch while sleeping.
This posture strains the neck and shoulders, and even after waking up, there is withdrawal and even pain in the neck or shoulder area.
It is possible to get a good night’s sleep and relieve pain simply by changing the external conditions, such as the temperature in the bedroom, the angle of the pillow, the position during sleep, etc.
- First, if you maintain the natural curvature of your neck and spine, it will help relieve muscle tension. This is what we use pillows for. To maintain the natural C-curve of the neck, it is necessary to use a pillow that will support the head and neck at a height of 6-8 cm when lying down.
- Secondly, the pillow should be at the same height as the forearm.
What is a good posture for sleeping on your side?
Surely many of you have a habit of sleeping on your side? In this case, it is very important that your cervical and dorsal vertebrae are straight.
When sleeping on your side, the head is even more tilted back because of the shoulders than when sleeping on the back. In this case, it would be better to use an orthopedic pillow 10 ~ 15 cm high, which is the height of another forearm. Also, if you put another orthopedic pillow on the legs, the sleeping position will be more stable. You can find any of them on the Nygex website.
- If you use a low pillow, while sleeping on your side, your shoulders and arms will cramp due to excessive weight pressing on your shoulders. In addition, there is increased pressure of the weight on the vertebrae, which can cause pain.
- Conversely, if you use a high neck pillow, the cervical vertebrae will flex excessively, straining the muscles around the neck.
- At times, some people do not use pillows. This causes the neck to bend excessively, lifting the chin, and the muscles around the neck to tighten, causing pain and making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
What should you do if every time you wake up, you feel neck pain?
If you’ve corrected your sleeping habits and are using the right height pillow, but your neck is still stiff and hard to lean back, you should see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Because it may not be a simple pain or muscle problem.