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Should Shoulders be on a Pillow When Sleeping?

The way you sleep can make a huge difference to how you feel when you wake up. Your sleeping positions can affect your sleep quality and can have a significant impact on your entire day. Not sleeping in a comfortable position or with a good pillow can lead to severe neck pain or backache. While many people will tell you that the right pillow will help you deal with aches and pains in the morning and wake up fresh, the way you sleep will also contribute to how you feel.

Many people have several questions about how you should sleep on a pillow. Some of the common questions are:

  • Should I sleep with one or two pillows?
  • Should I use a pillow at all?
  • Should I sleep on my back, sideways, or on my stomach?

While some people feel the best way to sleep is without a pillow, many others will tell you that pillows are necessary to give you support and align your shoulder, neck, and back with your sleeping position.

One of the most common questions people have about sleeping on pillows is where their shoulders should be. Ideally, your shoulder should not lay on your pillow when you sleep. This also means that different sleepers will have to sleep a little differently to ensure their shoulders are not on the pillow.

If you are a back sleeper, your pillow should be pushed down next to your shoulders. However, your shoulders should not be placed on the pillow itself. Your head should be level when you sleep on the pillow, and your ears should be parallel to your shoulders. Ensure your pillow is not so thick that your chin gets tucked in your chest. At the same time, it should not be so thin that your chin is pushed in the air. Your chin should be in a neutral position to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Many people who sleep sideways, left or right, tend to use their shoulders as their pillows. This also is not the right way to sleep. If your head is tilted to the left or right and you use your shoulder as a pillow, your muscles will get contracted, and you will wake up with a stiff neck. You should not push your shoulder up towards your ear or pillow. Instead, you should lay your head on the pillow and pull it down near your shoulder. Not paying attention to this will not only lead to a stiff and sprained neck but will also lead to your ribs getting misaligned. This can be very painful if you don’t correct your sleeping position.

While your sleeping position influences how you feel in the mornings, you should also be mindful of the type of pillow you use. The kind of pillow suited for you will vary based on the kind of sleeper you are.

Side Sleeper

The best pillows for side sleepers have the right thickness to fill the gap between your bed and your head. It should help keep your head and neck straight and in line with your spine. Your pillow should neither be too thin nor too soft. It should prevent your head from leaning downwards and straining your neck. This will ensure a healthy neck and back.

Back Sleeper

If you sleep on your back, your pillow should be firm around the edges and soft in the center. This will support the natural curve of your neck and will avoid any kinds of pains. It will also allow your head to sink into the pillow and not tilt it too back.

Stomach Sleeper

Sleeping on your stomach is sure to cause neck and back pain. Lying on your stomach will put extra pressure on your lower back. Your spine will not be aligned as you will have to turn your head to keep it on the pillow. A good pillow for stomach sleepers is one that is slim and not too soft. A thick pillow will force your head backward and create uneven pressure on your back.

A good pillow and sleeping position is essential to ensure good neck and back health. Make sure you pay attention to how you sleep and do a little bit of research before you buy your pillow. A little bit of adjustment in your sleeping position and the right pillow will go a long way in ensuring you wake up fresh and without any aches or pains.

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