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Although they might seem a little odd at first glance, body pillows can be a wonderful way to improve your sleep quality and overcome various issues with insomnia and wakefulness during the night. If you’re constantly waking up stiff and sore, or you’re starting to consider investing in a pregnancy pillow for stomach support, it might be time to learn a little more about body pillows.
Body pillows are available in a range of shapes and sizes to suit your needs. From the U-Shaped pillow, there’s something for everyone to help reduce joint pain to the C-shaped pillow for pregnancy. Today, we’re going to be looking at how to use a body pillow effectively to take your sleeping routine to the next level.
What Is a Body Pillow?
Before you can discover the benefits of sleeping with a body pillow, you’ll need to know what one of these products looks like. A body pillow is essentially just an oversized pillow designed to improve your sleeping position. An organic body pillow can give more support to certain parts of your body when you’re resting, improving the quality of your sleep.
Using the right body pillow in your bed can help you cut down on other pillows you would otherwise need to tuck between your legs or place behind your back. Some pregnancy pillow options in the body pillow landscape are specifically designed to give pregnant women the extra comfort they need for a good night’s sleep.
Options for body pillow shapes include:
• C-Shape: The C shape pillow supports your legs, back, and head. You simply curve into the centre of the C, so your head can rest on the top of the pillow while the rest of the C supports your legs and back.
• J-shape body pillow: The J shape pillow offers more support for your legs if you have any problems with sciatica, congestion, headaches, and acid reflux. J shape body pillows can also give you a good night’s sleep if you need more spinal alignment.
• I-shaped pillows: An I-shaped pillow is a simple long pillow that allows you to lay your head and neck on the top while you hug the middle between your arms and legs. This design can help to keep your spine aligned and reduce pressure points for healthy sleep.
• U-Shaped pillows: The U-Shaped body pillow is a good choice for pregnancy, as it offers full back and front support for pregnant women. A U-shaped pillow may also be ideal if you move a lot during your sleep, as it restricts tossing and turning.
How Do You Use a Body Pillow?
The right way to successfully use body pillows will depend on the kind of pillow you get. If you’re using U-shaped pillows as a pregnancy pillow, you might want to get guidance from your doctor on the best body pillow for your needs. If you’re using a C-shaped pillow, you’re likely to have a better result if you tend to prefer a side-sleeping position.
Make sure you have the right kind of pillow for your needs. For side sleepers using a J-Shaped body pillow, it’s a good idea to avoid placing your entire leg over the body pillow, as this can lead to back problems. A good organic body pillow is best positioned between your knees while offering support to your head and neck like pregnancy pillows.
Most organic body pillows and high-quality body pillows will come with graphics to show you how to use the pillow correctly. Before you sleep with a body pillow, it may also be a good idea to speak to a medical professional. It’s not just pregnant women that need to be cautious about the way they sleep. Side sleepers with sleep apnea may also benefit from a body pillow if they learn how to use it correctly.
Are There Benefits to Sleeping With a Body Pillow?
If you choose the right body pillow for your needs, you can experience a wide range of benefits. Today’s consumers can get body pillows in a range of shapes and sizes with different materials to help improve the quality of their sleep.
You might get a C-Shaped body pillow with memory foam or shredded memory foam to help you rest easy at night. Or, if you struggle with spinal alignment, you can get U-shaped body pillows specifically designed to reduce back pain and offer full-body support.
There are even inflatable pregnancy pillows for occasional use. Once you have the right body pillow and you know how to use it correctly, your entire body can experience benefits like:
Pressure Point Relief
It’s easy to suffer from pressure point issues when you’re lying on a firm mattress. Your hips are often sensitive and can cause pain when you’re not getting the right amount of support. Using a body pillow with a removable cover between your legs can help to improve your hip positioning, so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep with a warm pillow to keep your spine aligned.
If you sleep on your side, a body pillow helps to reduce discomfort on your side and arm, where you might end up placing too much pressure on your extremities during the night. Placing the pillow correctly between your knees and arms will have something to help you stay properly aligned.
Reduced Tossing and Turning
For people sleeping with a partner, to find that a body pillow helps reduce disruption to their partner for more than a standard head pillow. A good body pillow will help to hold your body in place in the right position when you’re sleeping. This is often more likely when you have a curved pillow than a simple set of rectangular pillows.
U-Shaped and cylindrical pillows help keep you positioned correctly during the night, so you don’t have to toss and turn to find a comfortable position. Less moving around during the night means that you end up having a more restorative sleep while your partner doesn’t have to deal with your unpredictable sleep patterns. Just make sure you have a king bed or a bed large enough to accommodate your chosen body pillow.
The Benefits of Hugging
Aside from offering head-to-toe support when you’re sleeping and relieving pressure points throughout your body, a body pillow can also offer other benefits. For instance, your pillow fills your need for comforting hugs during the night. Even if you have another person you can hug in the bed, it’s sometimes too warm to snuggle up all night. A body pillow is a cooler way to give you the comfort and relaxation you need.
There are plenty of certified sleep coach experts out there who recommend using a body pillow to help unwind and relax before bed. A J-Shaped pillow, for instance, can offer you the leg support you need while simultaneously giving you a narrow pillow to hold when you want to doze off in a good mood each night.
Improved Spinal Alignment
Talk to a sleep professional, or any other medical professional for that matter, and they’ll tell you that a lot of sleep problems are linked to bad positioning and poor alignment. For a side sleeper, a body pillow can be an excellent way to dramatically improve alignment in your spine and make sure that you’re spreading your weight out correctly across your mattress.
Not only does this improve your chances of lying in a more comfortable position, but your body pillow also offers total body support, so your hips and other parts of your frame don’t sink into the bed during the night. This means you can gently rest each evening without having to worry about waking up with aches and pains every morning.
Are Body Pillows Good for Side Sleepers?
A lot of different people can benefit from using a body pillow for restorative sleep. However, most of the time, body pillows are recommended for the side sleeper.
Using a body pillow while sleeping on your side can relieve pressure points around your hips and knees. This allows you to achieve a better quality of sleep each night. Placing a pillow between your knees will relieve pain and keep your spine more properly aligned, reducing the risk of back, shoulder, and hip pain.
Other people who can benefit most from using body pillows include:
Pregnant women have extra weight around their midsection, making it difficult for them to sleep restfully. A good body pillow can help keep a pregnant woman comfortably on her side while encouraging good blood circulation. You might even end up using two body pillows as you go through your pregnancy.
People With Back Pain
Most body pillows will offer you some relief if you suffer from back pain and neck pain. A comfortable body pillow is excellent for aligning the spine and reducing the pressure on the muscles around your back and shoulders, which might help you to sleep better.
People With Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, your doctor will often advise you not to sleep on your back. A good body pillow will help to keep you positioned on your side so that you can open your airways more effectively. Not only does this improve back pain, but many body pillows made with memory foam can help to reduce the risk of snoring and sleep apnea symptoms too.
If you choose the right organic body pillows or a synthetic material like polyester rather than memory foam, you can also use a body pillow for stomach sleeping. This can help give you a little more support as the body pillow fills the gap between your stomach and the bed.
People Recovering From Surgery
A good body pillow with memory foam and other high-quality materials can help to keep you in your preferred position when you’re recovering from surgery. This can mean you’re less likely to roll over during the night and rip your stitches or cause yourself other forms of pain.
Remember, you should always get advice from your doctor if you’re not sure whether a body pillow is a right choice for you.
Are There Disadvantages of Using a Body Pillow?
As we mentioned earlier, if you don’t do your research, it could affect your posture and worsen your sleeping.
As body pillows are designed to support different parts of your body and help align and support your joints, you could wake up with even more aches and pains if your body is supported in the wrong places.
Always read the recommendations of your pillow, listen to your body if something feels unnatural or uncomfortable, and consult a medical professional if you are unsure. Would you please not force your body into a position that doesn’t feel right? Some people may not need to sleep with a body pillow their entire lives.
Look After Your Body Pillow
Remember, a body pillow will work best for pressure point relief and comfort if it’s well cared for. Look for a product that won’t respond too badly to your body heat. An organic body pillow with cooling elements inside can help stop you from sweating too much during the night. If you do get a memory foam body pillow, try to make sure it’s machine washable and use a pillow cover to protect the inside materials.
Rebekah is a writer who loves to explore new products and find hacks that make life easier. She has a knack for all things home improvement, health and fitness. So you’ll often find her on Pinterest or browsing Houzz for ideas.
She’s always looking for the next thing to fix up around the house or what gadget might be just right for her lifestyle. Rebekah enjoys exploring new recipes, taking care of her family, and making sure she stays healthy with regular workouts at the gym.