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The Orthopedic Pillow and The Importance of a Healthy Sleeping Habit

Updated on March 28, 2010
Never underestimate the importance of a correct sleeping posture! (c)
Never underestimate the importance of a correct sleeping posture! (c)
The ancient Japanese knew many useful things about a healthy sleep. (c)
The ancient Japanese knew many useful things about a healthy sleep. (c)

A fulfilled, harmonious life begins with a healthy lifestyle. Everything is important as far as our well-being is concerned: the way we think and speak, the way we act, the way we move, the way we eat and drink and, of course, the way we sleep.

When was the last time you analyzed your sleeping habits? Did you know that an incorrect sleeping posture can have a detrimental effect on your skeletal system? Affecting the spinal column and other parts of your body, such postures can cause many dysfunctions like insomnia, poor blood circulation, snoring, breathing difficulty, neck and back pain etc.

If you do a little research on this subject, you’ll find lots of useful information regarding sleep positions and their importance. From the ancient times, the wise healers knew the crucial influence of a correct sleeping posture on our physical and psychological health. For example, did you even watch a movie about ancient Japan? There are many wise things to learn from the Zen practitioners and the old samurais! Did you notice how they used to sleep - on the floor, with a hard pillow under their necks? Did you ever wonder why they had such an ‘uncomfortable’ sleeping tradition?

The ancient Japanese are not the only ones we can learn from as far as our sleeping posture is concerned. Throughout the ages, different health-improvement systems explained and promoted the benefits of a correct sleeping. Even nowadays, you can find lots of useful information - already verified by scientific research - that will help you understand the importance of sleeping and sitting postures and their influence on our health and well-being.

A classical negative symptom of our modern civilization.
A classical negative symptom of our modern civilization.

Unfortunately, nowadays many people are attracted by the ‘easy ways’ comfort provides. We eat junk food, sit in front of the TV during all evening instead of having long walks somewhere close to nature, we drink coffee in the morning instead of doing breathing exercises and we sleep on soft comfortable beds and puffy pillows that are immediately crushed by the shape of our head. And then, when we reach the age of 40-50, we wonder why everything hurts and we can’t live without medication anymore.

Painkillers will not make you healthy again. You know that as well as I do. You also know that it’s not easy to prevent your diseases instead of suppressing the symptoms with the aid of chemicals. However, there are many people who understand the importance of an increased awareness when it comes to health and disease prevention. You can meet them everyday - they do martial arts, yoga, jogging, aerobics, they try to eat healthy food and live in the same rhythm with the universe, waking up early in the morning and going to sleep before 11 PM. OK, you'll say, so what can we do in order to have a healthy sleep? Do we have to sleep on the floor with hard rolls under our heads, like the Japanese used to?


Fortunately, our civilization offers a quality compromise that allows us to have both a correct and comfortable sleeping posture. The orthopedic pillow is a special therapeutic device designed for supporting different parts of our body while sleeping or sitting. Thanks to its special shape, it improves and corrects our posture, this way easing the tension and the pain from our neck, back, shoulders or knees. Orthopedic pillows are made from special materials that are hard to crush, unlike regular sleeping pillows.

Of course, the best solution is to start using an orthopedic pillow on a regular basis, before any unpleasant symptoms start to occur. This way you’ll never know how a sore back feels and you’ll never wake up in the morning with a stiff neck. However, it’s better to act later than never. By maintaining a healthy posture, these pillows will eliminate the cause of our problems, at the same time allowing us to have a quality rest.


Which is the best orthopedic pillow? The enormous variety available online can make you dizzy, that’s why I’ll write a few tips that will help you choose the most appropriate one.

1. If you (still) feel good and you need an orthopedic pillow for maintaining your health, then I suggest purchasing a neck pillow. It will keep your spine correctly aligned, this way reducing the tension in the neck muscles and joints, preventing snoring, sleep apnea, stiffness and pain. And remember that the pillow will not help you much if your bed is too soft! The bed should be relatively hard, preventing major spinal deformations.

2. If you developed a certain dysfunction because of your incorrect sleeping position, consult first with your physician or chiropractor. After assessing your particular situation, the specialist will advise you what kind of orthopedic pillow will be best for you.

At the same time, don’t forget to analyze your particular needs. Besides the popular neck pillow, there are also many other models of orthopedic pillows, designed to support different parts of our body in different circumstances:

3. For a better sleep, you can try using a body pillow. It’s long, 7 or C shaped, starting at the head, continuing with the shoulders and the back and reaching the legs. It provides lots of comfort (especially for those people who like to sleep on their sides), at the same time keeping your spine in a correct position.

4. Body pillows can be also used during pregnancy. They will help the future mother have a quality painless sleep and wake up refreshed and full of energy.

5. If you travel a lot, than you simply must have a travel orthopedic pillow. Mostly being horseshoe shaped, this kind of pillow supports your neck, preventing it from falling to the side when you take a nap in the car, bus or airplane and you don’t have the possibility to lie down.

6. If you work in an office, you spend most of your day in a sitting position. As a result, in the evening you go home with a stiff and sore back. A lumbar support pillow can make your life much easier! Its special shape will support the natural curvature of your lower back, diminishing the pressure on the spine and allowing you to work in comfort.

Orthopedic pillows can be made from different kind of materials: fiber or foam, inflatable, buckwheat or water filled.

Thanks to the wide assortment you can choose the one that is the most beneficial for correcting your sleeping or sitting posture, protecting your spinal column and thus helping you to be healthier.


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    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      10 years ago from Texas

      I've used an orthopedic pillow for years now. I agree the best time to start using one is when you don't need it. Good and informative hub. Thanks for sharing your insight. :)


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