How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

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Georgia Crabtree - January 27, 2020 Hi, I'm Georgia! One of the Happy Beds content writers. When I'm not here you can find me sipping a strong coffee, desperately trying to finish my novel whilst attempting to train my two naughty house bunnies!

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

Statement cushions have become a must-have item for any bedroom. I know that there are times when I can’t even get to my bed for all the excess cushions. They look great but, other than that, they don’t really have a purpose. I tend to toss them on the floor when I get in bed and pop them back on when I make the bed in the morning.  

Many a time I’ve thought it might just be easier to sleep with the cushions there! I already sleep with two pillows, but this leaves me questioning how many pillows should I sleep with? And is it bad if I sleep with more?

It turns out that it depends on which position you prefer to sleep in! Most people tend to sleep with two pillows beneath their head, but experts say this might not be the best for your body. 

Why Do We Sleep on a Pillow?

Andrew Weil M.D, an alternative medicine practitioner, states that the concept of a pillow dates back as far as ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used stones to rest their heads on whilst they slept, to prevent bugs from crawling up their noses! This isn’t really a risk for us now in the 21st century, yet pillows are still seen as an essential sleep accessory.  

Let’s first think about the way our spine, neck and head are aligned. When we walk around, our neck and head sit directly atop our spine. Why do we consider it comfortable to completely change this alignment whilst we sleep? 

In fact, some research shows that sleeping without a pillow could actually be much better for us! But we know that that isn’t always realistic to sleep without a pillow. They’re super comfy after all. So, how many pillows should you sleep with?

 

Sleeping Positions vs. Number of Pillows

One major factor in deciphering how many pillows you should sleep with is your prefered position. 

 

Side Sleepers

The most common way that people sleep is on their side. It is recommended that side sleepers use two pillows - but, before you get excited, they aren’t both for beneath your head! 

To align your spine and ensure that you’re getting the support that you need, it is recommended to sleep with one pillow beneath your head, and one between your knees. This is because the leg you place on top when you sleep on your side can pull your spine out of alignment, leading to issues with your lower back and hip in the future. 

Read about the other benefits in our blog post: The Many Benefits of Sleeping With A Pillow Between Your Legs.

Top Tip: Professionals recommend that you use a firm pillow between your knees to ensure that they don’t touch. 

 

Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back is proven to be the best way to sleep for supporting your spine. So, if you’re doing that, well done!  It is still recommended that you use one thin pillow beneath your head to maintain neck and spine health whilst sleeping in this position. 

Laying on your back may be the recommended way to sleep, yet people often say that laying flat on their back is painful for their lower back muscles. 

Don’t worry though, we have a solution for that! Try putting a pillow beneath your knees to encourage your spine to stay aligned in its natural curvature, this should subsequently reduce any strain in your lower back. 

Top Tip: This position is advised for people with neck pain. For extra neck support, add a rolled pillow into your pillowcase, or even try tucking the pillows beneath your shoulders whilst you sleep. This will make the neck feel more extended, therefore reducing muscle pain.

 

Front Sleepers

Sleeping on your front is proven to be the worst way that you can sleep for your health. Though sleeping like this could stop you from snoring, it’s terrible for your back and neck. Not only does it make it hard to keep your spine in its natural position through the night, but it also puts additional strain on joints and muscles. 

In this position, try not to have a pillow beneath your head. If you really need to, ensure that it is a thin, soft pillow. It is also a good idea to put a thin pillow beneath your pelvis. This will help to align your spine. 

 

But, What if You Need Two or More Pillows?

We get used to sleeping in our own way, and it becomes really difficult to adjust, even when you’re told that a different way may be better for your body. If you feel like you really need that additional pillow, it could be because the pillow that you’re using isn’t right for you. 

Your pillow should support the curve of your neck completely. If it doesn’t, why not try a memory foam pillow? 

Our Panda Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow provides exceptional support for your head and neck, and may just be the secret to cutting down to one pillow! 

 

How Many Pillows Do You Prefer?

Let us know how you sleep, with one pillow or two? Maybe even more! Share your stories with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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