Is Your Pillow Too Hard, Too Soft?

If you get the proper amount of sleep, you’re in bed approximately eight hours each night. How do you support your head and neck while you’re sleeping? Did you know that you can significantly reduce back and neck pain by choosing the right pillow?
The cervical (neck) spine has a natural forward curve that supports your head when you are in an upright position. So, it is very important to support this curve when you are sleeping. Depending on how you sleep, if the height of your pillow is too high or too low, it can put pressure on your neck muscles.
The right pillow for you depends on your regular sleep position, the amount of support you need to be comfortable, and the material used to construct the pillow.
If you sleep on your back, you should sleep on a medium sized pillow that’s medium firm, to keep your head from tilting too far backward or forward. If you’re a side-sleeper, you need a larger, firm to medium-firm pillow that supports your head and neck and keeps them aligned (in a straight line) with your spine. And if you prefer sleeping on your stomach (which ideally you should try to avoid), your pillow should be soft and flat to keep your head from turning unnaturally to either side.
If you wake up in the morning with neck pain, it may be a sign that you need to re-evaluate your pillow based on how you sleep. Dr. Masterman would be happy to offer suggestions on the best type of pillow for you.