Looking For The Best Pillow? Follow These Tips

19/01/2015 3:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Do you wake up with chronic pain in your neck and back? Are you wrestling with your pillow every night, punching it to find that "right spot"? Are most pillows too high or too flat for you? Then maybe its time to find out what pillow works best for you.

"An ideal pillow would be firm, hypoallergenic, with good neck support," said Dr. Preeti Devnani, clinical director of Mumbai's Sleep Disorder Clinic, in an interview with HuffPost India. "Your sleep position will dictate how a traditional mattress top pillow can be used to provide the appropriate support. The wrong pillow can cause headaches, neck pain and shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing, and wheezing," she says.

Here are some suggestions for you, based on your sleep habits:

If you sleep on your back...

If you're a back-sleeper, your pillow should ideally support the natural curvature of your spine, while adequately supporting your head, neck and shoulders, she said. "If you place a pillow below your knees it reduces the strain on the back."

If you lie on your side...

If you're a side sleeper, you have to be careful that your spine stays in a straight and horizontal line, said Dr. Devnani. "Your pillow should give good support to your head and neck."

If you have trouble breathing while sleeping...

The right pillow can also help if you're having trouble breathing while you sleep. Specially-made pillows helps to elevate your base of neck, and reduce these problems, said Dr. Devnani. These pillows, called CPAP (continuoous positive airway pressure) pillows, come in various shapes and are dust-free pillows. "It is important to make sure that pillows are hypo-allergenic."

Does gender affect your sleep?

Dr. Devnani said that men and women on menopause are more likely to face difficulty breathing when sleeping. Pregnant women are also prone to snoring and shallow breathing, which has an adverse impact on foetal outcomes.

So, choose well, and get a good night's sleep!

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