Having a rested night greatly impacts your day. Sleep is an extremely important aspect of the human body as it is during sleep the body repairs itself and gets ready for the day ahead.
Getting sufficient sleep is necessary for the healthy functioning of the brain and body. Body pillows allow for a comfortable sleep if you suffer from sleep apnea, are recovering from an injury/surgery, have back pain, or pregnant. These are long narrow pillows that you can cradle between the legs.
Body pillows are great for alleviating pressure point relief and improve spinal alignment. They are designed to give extra comfort and support to your back, neck, and head compared to a regular pillow. The key to getting the most out of using a body pillow is knowing its proper usage.
Never used a body pillow before? Read on below to know in detail all you need to know about body pillows, their use, types, and benefits.
Types of Body Pillows
Body Pillows come in a variety of shapes so they can address different needs as well as bed sizes and body types. Cylindrical and rectangular pillows happen to be the most common body pillows. However, you would also come across body pillows that are shaped like C, J, and U. You should know that when you are using a C or U-shaped body pillow, you cannot place any extra cushions or pillows on the bed they take up a lot of space. They are long and when you unroll them fully, there is little or no room for other objects on the bed.
Let’s take a brief look at the different types of body pillows:
Cylindrical Body Pillow
If you have a small bed, then these narrow-body pillows are great. Compared to rectangular pillows, cylindrical pillows do not need much space. However, they perform the same function that is relieving pressure off your shoulders. Cylindrical body pillows come in different sizes. So, you can make an informed decision based on your height. Wrap your arm around this pillow and place it between your knees.
Rectangular Body Pillow
These are the most commonly found pillows in bedding stores and online. The standard size rectangular body pillows come in is 20 inches by 54 inches. This size is suitable for adults with average height. People who are 6 ft. or taller might need longer pillows to cover the distance between the ankles and chest.
While using it, wrap your arm around the pillow. This relieves pressure off your shoulders. Keep the pillow between your knees to ensure the neutral alignment of the spine. Do not put your leg completely on the body pillow as it could lead to back pain.
C-Shaped Body Pillow
Ideal for side sleepers, C-shaped pillows are used for back and front support. These pillows are for those side sleepers who do not have space for a U-shaped pillow on their bed. For proper support of your head and neck, place the curve of the C towards your back. The bottom end of the pillow should support your thighs. Tuck it in between.
J-Shaped Body Pillow
As the name suggests, this pillow looks like a giant candy cane. J-shaped pillows do not need as much space as U-shaped pillows. This makes J-shaped body pillows ideal for those who sleep on a small-sized mattress and want head, neck, and back support. All you have to do is place your head on the curled end and place the straight end between your legs.
U-Shaped Body Pillow
These pillows are common for getting head, neck, and back support. Back sleeping becomes difficult with the increasing weight and growing stomach. Moreover, it is advised not to sleep on the back during pregnancy. Back sleeping during pregnancy can limit blood supply to the fetus and trigger back pain as well. Side sleeping boosts circulation during pregnancy, leading to a healthy fetus.
U-shaped body pillows are big enough to be used on a king or queen bed. Just place your head on the curve and hug one of the U’s arm. The other arm supports your back and keeps you from back sleeping.
The Right Use of Body Pillow According to Different Sleeping Styles
What we discussed above was according to the different body pillow shapes. This is a more general take on how you should be using a body pillow as per your sleeping style. It all comes down to what you feel is the most comfortable position.
You could place the pillow along the length of the body. If you sleeping on your left, you can cradle the pillow by placing the body pillow between your legs and wrap your right leg around it. Last but not least, you can hug the body pillow or use it to gently rest your hands on it. Body pillows can also be used in supporting your back as you prop yourself up in the bed to read a book, watch TV, or use the laptop.
Side Sleeping with a Body Pillow
If you are someone who sleeps on his side, then you can use a body pillow for neck support. Slip the top part of the body under your head. You can hold the rest of the body pillow near you for comfort and additional support. It is common to place one of the legs on the top of the body pillow. As for the lower part of the body pillow, you can place it between your knees and pull your knees slightly towards your chest. This supports both your lower back and hips, ensuring that you feel no tightness or discomfort in the morning.
If you are expecting, then sleeping on your side using a body pillow can increase blood circulation to the uterus. It also helps in getting relief from swollen ankles. The best part is that the body pillow gives you ultimate comfort by supporting your back, belly, and neck.
Back Sleeping with a Body Pillow
One of the best sleeping positions is back sleeping. It can prevent acid reflux, heart issues, and keep the body aligned. But not everyone is comfortable sleeping on their back, causing strain on their body. Using a body pillow could help with a comfortable sleep. To prevent that, they can use a body pillow. The use is simple. Hug your body pillow like a teddy bear with the top part of the pillow resting on your shoulders. See that your arms rest freely on it and curl around as if you are hugging a loved one.
Comparatively a U-shaped body pillow helps with treating back issues and relieves back tension by cradling your neck. This way, your spine is in a natural and comfortable position.
Sleeping on Your Stomach with A Body Pillow
This is not a good sleeping position at all. This puts a lot of stress on your back. And if you have to, see that you place a pillow under your pelvis so that your body rises a bit. This helps in straightening your spine as well.
If you are a stomach sleeper, never put a pillow under your head. If you do, it should not strain your back area.
Health Benefits of Sleeping with a Body Pillow
Body pillows can be quite beneficial no matter how to sleep, have back pain, or expecting. They help maintain spinal alignment and relieve pressure points. Even hugging them calms you down and helps with a night of restful sleep.
Alleviates Back Pain
Using a C-shaped or u-shaped body pillow can potentially ease back pain. Place a body pillow between your legs. This maintains spinal alignment. These pillows offer extra back support, alleviating back pain.
Lessens Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Sleeping on your side is the healthiest of sleep positions. It prevents and reduces snoring and sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back and stomach can increase breathing problems. However, a body pillow could help you develop the habit of side sleeping.
Relieves Pressure Points
Sometimes a poor pressure while sleeping on the side forms pressure points in your hips and shoulders. These areas have to bear the body’s entire weight when you sleep that way. When you hug a body pillow, all the tension from the body is released for a comfortable sleep on your side.
Soothe the Mind
Our adrenal glands secrete cortisol in the bloodstream, the stress hormone when we are anxious or stressed. Cortisol increases heart rate and blood pressure. These impact sleep quality. When you sleep while hugging a body pillow, it lessens the blood cortisol levels that soothe the mind leading to a calm sleep.
Wrapping up, these were some valuable tips as to how you can use the body pillows depending on their types and your sleeping style. But you should do deep research before buying one. It all comes down to finding the perfect body pillow that relieves you of pain and allows you to sleep comfortably. There is a body pillow for everyone according to their sleep styles and posture problems. BTW: Diipoo has a variety of materials and sizes, custom body pillow is a very good option, come and try!