Do you ever wonder which is the best pillow to buy? Down, synthetic down, foam, memory foam, latex, contoured …There are so many options. “Which is the most comfortable?“ clients often ask. “Which will eliminate my neck pain?”
The answer lies in the animal world. Did you ever see a leopard—or any animal for that matter– sleep with a pillow? Sleeping without a pillow promotes frequent head turning and neck movement during sleep, which in turn prevents stiffness. If you don’t have neck pain, try it for a short nap for starters and see how you feel. If you do have neck pain or you’re not yet ready for radical changes, then keep on reading.
Pillows are really a matter of personal preference. The main feature to look for is adequate support that keeps your neck straight and in proper alignment. Side sleepers need a thicker version than people who spend most of the night on their backs. Stomach sleepers require the thinnest support under their heads. Caution: Stomach sleeping may cause stiffness and neck pain because you’re spending excessive time with your head turned to one side.
Contour pillows have bumps and depressions, which assist in keeping the head and neck in an aligned position. Some people find them beneficial, but others don’t like the feeling of excessive stability.
A recent study found that latex pillows reduced the incidence of neck pain and referred pain to the shoulder and arm originating from the neck. This could be a good option, particularly if you have these symptoms.
Leopards and other animals are in the know about neck pain prevention and proper neck positions during rest. If you have no pain, try the no pillow life, or test out some comfortable pillows at your local pillow boutique.
If neck pain persists, seek help from a qualified physiotherapist.