"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is Your Pillow Harming Your Health?

Pillows may also help or hurt depending on their firmness and your sleeping position.

Photo: © vitranc/Getty Images

But the advantages of pillows don't transcend comfort and positioning. Sometimes pillows also harm your health.

Pillows and pain

“If your neck is bent in any way for a long period of time, it's going to hurt,” explains Matthew O'Rourke, a physical therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. A pillow that is just too soft or too firm will often cause neck pain, he says.

For example, in the event you sleep in your side with a soft pillow that doesn't provide enough support under your neck, your head can have to boost the side to fulfill the pillow. If you sleep in your stomach—a position that pushes the neck back—using a firm pillow pushes the pinnacle back even further. “If you're on your stomach with your head, you're sleeping in a full rotation position, and that can be painful,” says O'Rourke.

Similarly, sleeping in your back with an excessive amount of support pushes the neck too far forward.

Pillows can derail CPAP.

For individuals with sleep apnea — a condition by which you stop respiratory periodically during sleep — pillows can interfere with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP keeps your airway open through a bedside device that pushes air through a mask you wear whilst you sleep. “If you're a side sleeper, the pillow can take the mask off,” says Dr. Epstein.

Lack of sleep

There are consequences for losing sleep from anxiety at night. Your body has less time for muscle growth, tissue repair, and other vital functions that occur during sleep.

Lack of sleep can affect mood, considering skills and appetite. Chronic sleep deprivation increases your risk of falls, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

As a positive aspect

Sleeping along with your upper body elevated at an angle may reduce symptoms of sinus problems and stop recurrences of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo – a condition by which tiny crystals are expelled from the inner ear. And extreme dizziness.

Specially designed pillows may also help people keep their CPAP masks on. “They have cutouts that fit into the mask so it won't get knocked off,” explains Dr. Epstein.

Pillow IQ

Finding the precise pillow is a matter of non-public preference. In today's high-tech age you might have many options: materials that conform to your shape (memory foam), keep you cool, wick away moisture, or repel mold and dirt particles. are (which can help allergy victims). Some pillows even track your sleep habits and wake you up with music (these can cost a whole lot of dollars).

Traditional materials are also popular. Down and feather pillows conform to your shape and repel dust particles, but they may be hot and expensive. Pillows fabricated from cotton, wool or synthetic cotton are inexpensive, but they create a more attractive climate for dust mites.

Keep the robustness in mind. Side sleepers need a firm pillow for support. Rectangular pillows with side panels may also help. They are taller than standard pillows. Back and stomach sleepers will want to use thinner, softer pillows. Aim for a snug position that may aid you go to sleep. “Try to get the spine in a relatively straight position. But everyone's composition is going to be a little different,” says Matthew O'Rourke, physical therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Beware of pillow guarantees

While adjusting your sleeping position may also help prevent symptoms, it won't eliminate health problems reminiscent of restless leg syndrome or sleep deprivation – although some pillows may also help with snoring and sleep disorders. Sold as an answer. Both doctors say the one technique to cope with sleep disorders is to talk over with your doctor and get a correct diagnosis and treatment.