A sleep pillow is also called an orthopedic pillow and is designed to help correct the position of the body when lying on any type of surface. It conforms to specialized guidelines, ensuring the proper support of the body and correct placement so the person can have a more restful, healthier and safer sleep. Quite often, traditional pillows were made of fiber and foam, but new types of sleep pillows are made with memory foam which reacts to heat, forming to the body’s shape as it rests. However, not all sleep pillows will return to their original type of shape if the person moves about. As such these pillows are for therapeutic purposes and can help alleviate some medical conditions.
The Benefits of a Sleep Pillow
A sleep pillow can benefit a person when they sleep in many ways. They may assist in relieving symptoms associated with rotary cuff injuries, whiplash, neck pains, sciatica pains, lower back type pains, GERD, acid reflux, circulation problems, breathing issues, insomnia, snoring and sleep type apnea. In fact, there are varied types of sleep pillow available to help support most parts of a person’s body. Some are multi-purpose and others are multi-position, whilst other types may be specially designed to assist with sleeping disorders and physical type ailments. These types include:
• Contour/cervical sleep pillow – curved to adapt to contours in the shoulders, neck and head; designed for side and back sleepers; can help relieve headaches, a stiff neck, frozen shoulders and neck pain; may further open airways for snoring reduction and the control of sleep apnea type symptoms
• Travel/neck sleep pillow – horseshoe shaped to support the neck’s contours for use whilst travelling or working in a seated position; helps to keep the neck in a straight position
• Triangle-shaped/wedge sleep pillow – slopes to help the body remain diagonally positioned, whether downright or upright; considered to be multi-purpose to relieve GERD and acid reflux symptoms when sleeping
• Lumbar sleep pillow – half-moon type shape for providing lower back comfort, relieving lumbar type pain and keeping proper posture when sitting; can also be positioned beneath the knees to elevate the legs and to provide massaging and relaxing neck support
• Knee/contoured-leg sleep pillow – hourglass in shape, the pillow is positioned between the legs to elevate the body, keeping it straight in a side sleeping type position; some are foldable and unfoldable to put space between the legs for better circulation
• Body sleep pillow – long and curved in shape to totally support the entire body, including the knees, legs, lower back, back, shoulders, neck and head; specially designed to replace most sleep pillows for comfortable side sleeping
Most sleep pillows are designed to adapt to varied medical and sleep needs. Each one is designed to adapt to one or more sleeping type positions and assist in the treatment of sleep disorders and other medical conditions. Whether a person sleeps on their side, back or stomach, the right sleep pillow can improve the person’s health, ability to function during the day, rest and enjoy an improved quality of life. Sleep pillows may even assist people in living longer because of the health benefits, though sleep pillows are not a cure-all by any means, just one of many tools used to aid in medical treatments and sleep.