Relaxing cat lies mulched in blanket on bed

Sleep better with the right pillow

How a pillow can help you sleep better: What matters when it comes to pillows

People often think that tension is caused by the wrong pillow. In fact, it is the wrong posture in everyday life, for example sitting for hours at a PC, that leads to neck tension. Although the pillow is usually not the cause of the tension, it can still significantly alleviate the symptoms - or make them worse. If you lie correctly, you help your body to relax properly. Tense muscles can relax again with good ergonomics for the back and neck if the pillow provides a support function. Sleeping better with a pillow only works if you understand what the pillow is all about and what constitutes pillow quality. Anyone who wants to buy a new pillow should therefore consider a few important points.

In contrast, the wrong pillow can cause the cervical spine to sag. Due to the unfavourable position, the vertebral bodies on one side press against each other and run the risk of pinching nerves. However, the body also tries to compensate during sleep and keep the heavy head upright by activating the muscles around the vertebrae. The result is muscle tension in the morning, which in the long run requires an orthopaedic solution. Not only does the pillow help you sleep better, it also helps you wake up more relaxed: Anyone who wants to buy an ergonomically optimal pillow is practising preventive health care, which enriches the overall quality of life.

Which pillow provides relaxation?

And what do you have to look for in a pillow? In order to be able to sleep better with the help of a pillow, the course of the spine must be considered: Is the head bent too much? Then the back is too tense. Instead, the back should lie in a straight line - then the relaxation will be noticeable. The pillow can make a decisive contribution to this. The following applies: It's the combination that makes the difference. Pillow and mattress must complement each other and be adapted to your ergonomic needs.

Sleep better with the help of a pillow - follow these guidelines:

  • Around 20 percent of people are back sleepers; they only need a relatively flat neck support pillow that provides some support for the back of the head and neck. Therefore, pillows that are too thick and whose height cannot be varied are unsuitable.
  • Stomach sleeper also need a flat pillow; the stomach sleeper position is generally not ideal for posture and requires all the more care. To sleep better, using pillows that are soft but too thick leads to considerable tension in stomach sleepers. Too much bending of the cervical spine upwards puts double strain on the neck in this sleeping position.
  • Two thirds of people are side sleepers. Side sleepers, on the other hand, need a relatively high pillow, as the head must be supported more strongly here - because of this requirement, we often speak of neck support pillows. The head is relatively high due to the shoulders; if it hangs too much, the muscles in the vertebral region are strained too much. This results in neck pain and headaches.

Sleep better with the right mattress and variable pillow

One pillow for all sleeping positions? That sounds practical at first - especially considering that there are also some active sleepers who like to change their sleeping position several times a night. To be able to sleep better with the help of a pillow, the mattress must first be right. If the sleeping surface is not ergonomically optimal, the pillow is of little use. It doesn't matter whether it is a pillow for all sleeping positions. Strictly speaking, very few people stay in one position while sleeping, but change it several times during the night. That is why most people are mixed sleepers. In addition, there are individual differences in sleeping comfort, which are related to a person's physique. Therefore, a mattress should first be available that meets the individual needs and offers optimal body support.

Why foam cushions? The right filling material makes the difference

There are feather and down pillows, synthetic pillows, natural hair pillows, water pillows or grain pillows. But foam pillows are best suited as neck support pillows; they have a preventive effect and at the same time serve to treat tension. Since foam is used to make pillows for beds, chairs or sofas, the fundamental function of special foams is often already forgotten. However, certain foams work particularly well for the body and spine when combined.

Foam is an artificial filling material that is perceived as being differently soft depending on the type. The advantage of foam: it is very dimensionally stable and is therefore particularly suitable for neck support pillows. Foam pillows are also well suited for allergy sufferers.

Tip: With new pillows, there may be a little muscle soreness as the body first adjusts to the new pillow and has to get used to it.

Buying cushions: What do you have to look out for?

Sleep better with help from pillows! But which pillow is suitable? The pillow must ensure relaxed muscles in the long term; the search requires some time. However, the effort in the local shop is deceptive; during the day, people are usually in a situation that is not comparable to the natural circumstances in the evening or at night. Then there is the location: the shop is not an environment in which the customer can relax as they would in their own four walls at home. Instead, people in the shops tend to lie cramped and unnaturally on test mattresses and neck support pillows that are currently on sale but not adapted to the individual, ergonomic needs of the customer. If you are also a little tired, you will immediately find every product good. Therefore, you should rather test the pillow at home, where you don't feel observed and can be relaxed. By the way, the same applies to the mattress: it makes perfect sense to have the mattress delivered to your home and make use of the trial period. You will notice over time whether the pillow or the mattress meets your needs. If in doubt, you can return the pillow and mattress free of charge. In order to be able to use pillows effectively and supportively for sleeping better, everyone must first be aware of their own sleeping habits, think about the materials and in any case simply test the products - at home, with peace of mind and over a longer period of time.