What is the Purpose of Your Pillow?
A pillow will support your head as you lay so that your neck muscles can relax properly whilst you’re sleeping. There is a period during your natural sleep cycle, when your neck muscles become almost redundant and hence, do not support your head at all.
Your head is heavy and naturally supported by your neck as you walk around and go about your daily life. This is fine when you are vertical as your neck muscles are strong and develop in such a way that you hold your head in its natural position, and you are comfortable with that. However, once you lay down, your neck muscles are not strong enough to support your head in a horizontal position, so the use of a pillow is necessary to provide the support your head requires in this prone position. The correct pillow will hold your head aligned to your spine as you lay. The correct neck to spine alignment is vital to maintain a healthy posture and to ensure blood flows to your brain unimpeded. If your posture is good, you can walk around for long periods without developing aches and pains. This is because your spine is held in its natural curve, and your head is straight and naturally supported. Ideally, you should try to maintain the natural curve of your spine as you lay down to sleep. Sleeping on your side is the easiest way to achieve this. Your pillow should fill the gap between your shoulders and the side of your head so that you head remains straight and aligned with your spine. If you wake suffering with aches and pains in your neck, please reconsider the pillows you use.