Pillows are just for “heads”? I may have done it wrong over the years

In our daily perception, a pillow, as its name suggests, is a bedding that pads under the head to raise the head slightly when lying down. >. But is the pillow really just a “head” pillow, literally? Let’s take a look together.


Pillow Pillow Pillow More Than Your Head

Pillows are not just for pillows, if you only use them to sleep with your head on you are doing it wrong . Many people have poor sleep quality because of the wrong position of the pillow when sleeping. Simply using a pillow to prop your head will cause the cervical vertebrahanging between the shoulders and the pillow, so that the neck muscles cannot be completely relaxed and rested, resulting in neck pain when sleeping , muscle strain, and even difficult to sleep in severe cases.

One ​​of the keys to good sleep quality is to use the right pillow to work as it should. When sleeping, place your head and neck on the pillow, and let the pillow support your head and neck so that your neck is in a normal neck flexion for the pillow to work. If you just put your head on the pillow, the posture is wrong, no matter how expensive the pillow is, it will not help.


The height must be selected to sleep well

In addition to the correct “pillow position”, choosing a appropriate height pillow is also the top priority to ensure sleep quality. A pillow that is too high or too low will affect the body. cause some damages. Studies have shown that excessively high pillows will obstruct the normal blood circulation of the head, easily lead to brain hypoxia, cause snoring, stiff neck and other problems, high blood pressure, cervical spine High pillows can’t be used by patients with diseases and spinal disorders; and pillows that are too low can easily cause eyelid and face edema, and people with asthma, lung disease, and heart disease can’t use it either. Use a low pillow.

The height of the scientific and comfortable pillow is determined according to the physiological curve of the cervical vertebrae of the human body. Joints, muscles, ligaments, etc. are in a state of relaxed and get better rest. Under normal circumstances, the height of the pillow should be slightly lower than the distance from the shoulder to the neck on the same side, about 8 to 15 cm, or according to the formula: (shoulder width – head width) ÷ 2.

Pillow height is also important | Figure bug ideas


Pillow selection also requires sleeping position

Different sleeping positions require different heights of pillows, and these differences need to be taken into account when choosing a pillow. For people who are used to sleeping on their backs, the height of the pillow is preferably 8 to 13 cm (about the height of a fist). At the same time, a pillow can also be placed under the knees to relieve the pressure on the spine. For people who are used to sleeping on side sleeping, the height of the pillow should be the width of the individual shoulders, about 13 to 15 cm, so that the cervical and lumbar vertebrae are almost on the same horizontal line. There are also people who like to sleep in prone, they can choose very thin pillows or no pillows. At the same time, in order to avoid back pain, it is best to put a thin pillow on the abdomen, but it is usually not recommended to take a prone sleeping position .


Softness, elasticity, etc. can also affect sleep quality

The material, pillow shape, softness and hardness of the pillow will also affect our sleep. The pillow core should be made of a soft material and made of soft Moderately firm, slightly elastic pillows are preferred. If the pillow is too hard, the pressure on the contact part between the head and neck and the pillow will increase, causing head discomfort; if the pillow is too soft, it will be difficult to maintain the normal height, and the head and neck will not be supported and fatigued. In addition, the pillow should have suitable elasticity. If the elasticity of the pillow is too strong, the head will continue to be subjected to the external elastic force, resulting in muscle fatigue and damage, such as “spring pillow”, “air pillow”, etc., which are not beneficial to health. Pillow.

Having said so much, the importance of pillows for sleep is self-evident. Choosing a suitable pillow can not only improve the discomfort such as shoulder and neck pain, but also improve the quality of sleep. There are all kinds of pillows on the market, with a wide variety of varieties, and the prices are also very different. When choosing, you should combine your own situation and know what is most suitable for you.

Author | Fangjie Cheng

Review Expert | Peng Zhiping, Deputy Chief Physician of China Sleep Society

Editor-in-Chief | Li Huahui

This article is the original of “Popular Science in China-Scientific Principles Made Easy”, edited and adapted from the “Scientific Rumors” platform, please indicate the source when reprinting.