Two things need to be considered for a pillow to fit correctly. One is the support the pillow provides to the neck whether you’re sleeping on your back or side. The pillow needs to touch your neck. Your neck can’t be “hanging in space” it needs something it can lay on, the pillow. When I evaluate the pillow brought into the office by a patient the first thing I do is tell her to assume her regular sleeping position. Many times she will lie on her side with the top part of the arm under the pillow in such a manner that her neck is resting on the pillow appropriately supporting the neck. This isn’t a good postion for the arm to be in all night. You need a thicker pillow.
The second thing is make sure your head is level. When laying on your back your head should be at a neutral postion, not flexed forward nor bent backward, right in the middle. The extent of forward bending or backward extension will be directly proportional to how bad your neck hurts after a poor night’s sleep. If you sleep on your side, a straight line from the middle of the chin to a spot right between your eyes should be level. Again, either direction up or down can cause your neck to hurt.
I find contoured pillows consistently fill these needs. Because they don’t lose their shape during a night’s sleep as a fiber filled pillow may. Memory foam pillows can also fill this need.
Your local chiropractor,
Main St. Chiropractic