Pillows can be helpful as well as harmful and it entirely depends on the type, the loft, the shape, comfort factor and breathability. All these factors should match with your sleeping style, which you cannot change after all. Therefore, the best you can do is to choose the right type of pillow.
Well, you will come across several people and even some of your friends might corroborate as well with them when they say that sleeping without a pillow is best for any person because it betters the sleeping posture. No matter how skeptical you may be to this thought but there is some truth in such claims. According to scientific researches it is found that:
However, this is the case if you sleep regularly on your back.
It is also found from a report of Sleep Mentor that:
Ideally, a pillow supports your neck and head preventing the muscles from straining. Most importantly, people sleeping with a pillow are found to fall asleep faster than those who do not because they are more comforted due to the extra cushioning.
Do not rush into any decision when you chose a pillow. Do enough research and go through several reviews and comments such as Ross reviews Mypillow and other similar ones to make an informed and educated decision.
To start with and assuming that you know about all the different types of pillows available in the market, it is important for you now to know about the high and low pillow loft for the particular type you have chosen.
When you choose the right pillow stick to the ones you prefer because the ideal height for the neck, head, and spine can be a little difficult to decipher. It will also largely depend on the different sleep positions.
You must therefore choose a comparatively tall pillow height so that your spine, neck and shoulders remain firm. This will create a horizontal spinal curve and will reduce turning and tossing. Ideally, it will create the perfect postural alignment.
Jumping to any extremes without proper research can cause a lot of harm to the muscles around the neck region. There are several studies conducted on different pillow heights and it has been found that mostly a medium lift pillow can provide the perfect height that will improve and retain both the sleep quality as well as the cervical health.
When choosing the right pillow you must also consider your sleeping style as this plays a significant role in the natural movements of your body when you are asleep.
If you are a side sleeper you will need a pillow that will support your head and neck equally and at the same time help the spine to maintain an ideal horizontal curvature. This will prevent awkward bending. Therefore for side sleepers these following things are must-haves in a pillow:
You can choose traditional latex, contoured or memory foam pillows as that will support the head better without the pillow flattening out quickly.
If you are a back sleeperchoose a high loft plush or a medium or lowlofted firm pillow for optimal head elevation, natural position of the neck, relaxed muscles. You can choose from the memory foam, latex, shredded memory, or polyester type.
Lastly, if you are a stomach sleeper a flat pillow will reduce the pressure on the back and neck as it will not strain the head and neck but if you are a mixed sleeper and keep changing positions choose a synthetic or a down pillow with high-fill capacity.
There is science behind using a pillow and both positives and negatives to it. Whether you decide to sleep with or without a pillow is entirely a personal preference provided you do not have any medical condition. Ultimately, it boils down to what suites you the best.