Do you sleep on the thick end or the thin end? Knowing how to sleep on a wedge pillow is as essential as having one. Let us look at the different positions you can place a wedge pillow.
- If you are sitting in bed, place the flat end of the pillow against the wall or bedhead. That will make for a comfortable backrest.
Upright ReclineIf you enjoy reading or journaling in bed, you can place the wide end of a wedge pillow flat on the mattress. The flat side should then rest against the wall or headboard. With the pillow in this position, you can recline in an upright position without putting pressure on the neck or upper back.
- Elevated Back Sleeping
Snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea can often become worse when resting on the back. The ring of muscles and soft tissue in the back of the throat become soft and often collapse during sleep. When sleepers exhale, a loud vibrating noise can occur as air passes through this tissue. For those with sleep apnea, the relaxed tissue in the throat can put pressure on the trachea and cause breathing to start and stop.
A wedge pillow can be placed beneath the upper body, with the thinnest part of the incline resting near the middle of the back. The incline will open up the airway to make breathing easier and ensure the tongue falls forward rather than backward to prevent obstruction. For those with allergies, a wedge pillow can also help the sinuses drain more easily, preventing congestion during sleep.
For those who frequently experience acid reflux or GERD, stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus when lying down. This can cause a painful burning sensation, also known as heartburn, that makes it difficult to sleep. A wedge pillow can relieve symptoms of GERD. With a slight slope, gravity ensures the stomach acid flows down and does not enter the throat and cause discomfort.
Although experts suggest only sitting in bed when you intend to sleep, sometimes it can’t be avoided. With a wedge pillow, you won’t have to rest against an uncomfortable wall or headboard, and you will stay properly supported.
- Elevated Side Sleeping
If you are a side sleeper, a wedge pillow can also provide relief from sleep apnea and acid reflux. Plus, a wedge pillow will ensure the spine remains neutral when side sleeping, preventing tension build-up in the back muscles. A memory foam wedge pillow with a medium to medium-firm feel will also cradle the shoulders and prevent pressure points.
As with back sleeping, we suggest side sleepers use a wedge pillow with an incline between 35 and 45 degrees. Sleepers can choose where their head rests by sitting up higher or lower on the pillow. However, the head, neck, and shoulders should remain aligned to reduce tension.
- Leg Articulation When Back Sleeping
Back sleepers can place a wedge pillow under the knees to relieve pressure on the lower back and help muscles fully relax. Lifting the legs during sleep increases blood circulation, preventing the legs and feet from swelling and varicose veins from forming. For those with heart disease and other serious medical issues, improved circulation also promotes healing and recovery.
If you find yourself needing to work in bed, a wedge pillow can be used as a mini desk. The thinnest part of the taper should rest on the lap and the widest part near the knees to achieve this position. A laptop or tablet can then rest on the pillow for comfortable access and prevent wrist strain.
- When you have shoulder or neck pain, you should place it in the same position while sleeping. Rest your head on the inclined part. However, make sure your head, neck, and shoulders are in the same line to prevent tension.
- If you have pain in your lower back, you can place the pillow under your knees to help relieve pressure in the lumbar region.
- You can also place a small wedge pillow under your legs if you have poor circulation. This will keep your legs elevated and ensure proper blood flow to your heart.