Side Sleeper Pillow: How Does It Help?

Not many people would even bother to know what a side sleeper pillow is, unless driven by some kind of health compulsion. After all, what are the usual considerations when buying a pillow? Purchase decisions are usually driven by factors like look and feel of a product and the associated comfort. Some might even look for anti-allergic materials and durability.

Yet sleeping position has an important role to play in the quality of sleep. For example, sleeping on the back could result in the tongue receding backwards towards the back of the mouth; this could obstruct normal airflow during sleep and result in sleeping discomfort as well as snoring.

Sleep apnea is a health condition that affects millions in this country. If you too are a patient, you need to know that sleeping position affects both the frequency as well as severity of apnea episodes which may be doubled for people who sleep on their back in comparison to people who sleep on their sides.

Side sleeper pillow: who uses them?  

There are several types of such pillows for exclusive use of side sleepers. Some of the users are:

–          Suffering from acid reflux

–          Pregnant (sleeping on the left promotes better circulation and easy breathing)

–          Patients of neck and back pain

–          Patients of sleep apnea and snoring

Catering to a wide variety of side sleepers 

The design variation of the side sleeper pillow is necessary to cater to the specific needs of different types of side sleepers. The three major types of side sleepers are:

  1. Curling on one side almost in a fetal position.
  2. Lies on one side with both arms extended forward
  3. Lies on one side with both arms pointing downward.

What are the immediate benefits of the side sleeper pillow? 

–          Improvement of sleeping posture

–          More refreshing and restful sleep

–          Prevention of sinus problems including snoring and apnea episodes

–          Ensures comfort during and after pregnancy

–          Restful sleep for people who are coping with acid reflux.

How does the side sleeper pillow ensure comfortable sleep?

It is the design of these pillows which allow maximum comfort during sleep. It supports the head and neck during sleep. It also keeps the spine, the head, neck and shoulders properly aligned so that the pressure points are eliminated. The pillow essentially cradles the neck and head properly. This prevents the sleeper to continuously flip the pillow over, mold it or reshape it in order to sleep well.

Usually such pillows are made from memory foam – a unique material that conforms to the shape of one’s head, shoulders and neck. But for side sleepers who sleep with their arm under the pillow the special pillow might have to be thick and heavy. There are more advanced designs of pillows for side sleepers that carry specially-placed channels, contours and shelves.  Such fixtures allow space for the shoulders to be tucked under a ledge without using any pressure while the head is placed further back.

One of their prime working mechanisms is that the pressure points and weight are transferred to the same side of the shoulder and body.

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