Did you ever feel uncomfortable while sleeping during a visit somewhere? This is because of the change of pillow and mattress. Pillows play a vital role in maintaining the quality of your sleep.
That’s why it’s essential to use the right kind of pillow in the right numbers. Since each of us is different in our physical characteristics and positions of sleeping, the correct number of pillows to sleep with also varies.
Now, let’s jump into details to find out the number of pillows ideal for you.
Why Do We Use Pillows while Sleeping?
Ever noticed that you feel this craving for a pillow below your head if you lay down without a pillow? That’s because pillows don’t only ensure your comfort while laying but also provide support.
The main purpose behind using pillows is to maintain a neutral alignment of the head, neck, and spinal cord while sleeping. Along with that, there are many other reasons why most people prefer sleeping with pillows. Some of them are as follows.
To Support the Neck
Our neck is positioned a bit forward than our back. That’s why not only our necks need support when lying down or even when sitting down.
Since our head is heavier than our neck and the only thing that connects the head with the whole body is the neck, it puts a lot of pressure on the neck to put it upright while resting.
Pillows provide that support to the neck to stay upright during the entire resting period.
To Fill the Head Space
If you stand straight, letting your back touch the wall, you will observe that your head doesn’t touch it. If you try to do so, then you won’t be able to stand straight. This is due to the space between the head and the back of our bodies.
Similarly, while sleeping, this very space requires to be filled to ensure a neutral body alignment. Pillows do that for your comfort while sleeping.
To Enhance Malleability
Our head, neck, and shoulder are sensitive parts. They always demand support that is malleable. This is essential for easy movement and protection of the head and neck.
That’s why we always tend to buy soft and bouncy pillows for comfort.
Benefits of Sleeping on a Single Pillow
Many times, we stack several pillows together to make ourselves comfortable when sleeping. But by the middle of the sleep, this becomes very uneasy as it doesn’t maintain the body’s neutral alignment.
And so, people who sleep on more than one pillows tend to switch their positions more while sleeping – subconsciously searching for comfort. Moreover, this also leads to stiffness, back and neck pain after you wake up.
Besides, sleeping on more than one pillow also increases the back shoulder muscle with a risk of advancing towards a hump-back. This is why sleeping on a single pillow is highly encouraged.
Benefits of Sleeping with More than One Pillows
While sleeping on a single pillow is preferable, there are advantages to sleeping with more than one pillow by your side too. Firstly, sleeping with more than one pillow provides options for you to support any part of your body, including your hands, legs, or stomach, whenever you feel like it.
Many times, when we use a pillow for a very long time, it gradually becomes flattened, dirty, and uncomfortable. At that time, if you combine it with another flattened old pillow, it ensures the proper alignment that one fresh and new pillow provides.
Again, when the pillows get old, they get worn out, and thin fibers start to come out. Inhaling this fiber can lead to breathing problems or asthma. Thus, it’s better to replace your pillow as soon as it starts to flatten out and begin to feel uncomfortable.
Besides, not all pillows feel comfortable every time. And so, there should be more options on the bed to switch easily from one pillow to another. Don’t forget about the very important part of the pillow – the pillowcases. You should splurge and add some luxury pillowcases to your collection for maximum sleep comfort.
How Many Pillows Should You Sleep with?
As said before, your sleeping positions play a major role in deciding the number of pillows you should sleep with. Below we are listing out the most common sleeping positions and the ideal number of pillows for them.
Side sleepers sleep with the most common sleeping position. And sleeping sidewise is also scientifically proven as the ideal position for sleep. That’s why most of the pillows are designed according to side sleepers.
The ideal number of pillows for side sleepers is two. One low-loft pillow to sleep on and one medium-firm to keep between the legs.
Because if your two legs and knees touch one another, then it puts stress on your hip joint and muscle. And so, to maintain the proper alignment of the leg and hip muscle, it’s better to keep a pillow between them while sleeping.
Back sleepers keep the spinal cord in the most ideal position as it remains straight on the bed. It’s the most primitive and practiced way of sleeping.
Back sleepers can sleep on one high-loft pillow below their head. But it’s better to add one more pillow under the knee to maintain the normal curvature of the spinal cord and proper alignment of the hips joint.
Moreover, having a pillow under the knee while sleeping by the back also helps to fall asleep faster. But if you don’t feel comfortable with it, you can skip it.
Before we advise you on this, you should know that sleeping by the stomach is not considered an ideal sleeping position and is scientifically proven unhealthy. If you do sleep by the stomach, then use pillows more cautiously.
A stomach sleeper shouldn’t use pillows at all. But if you prefer doing so, it’s better to sleep on one thin low-loft pillow to avoid abnormal neck curvature.
Sleeping Position Switchers
While many people tend to sleep in one position the entire time, many subconsciously switch their positions while asleep.
This is either due to their tendency to change comfort zones or because their dreams influence their sleeping positions. And so, if you switch positions a lot in sleep, it is best to sleep on one pillow. As sleeping with more than one pillow might create obstructions while changing their sleeping position.
Ideal Way to Arrange Your Pillows
There are different shapes and kinds of pillows. It is better to have a collection of all or most kinds to cater to the preferences and comfort of everyone in the household.
All kinds of pillows aren’t arranged in the same way. You need to arrange pillows smartly to make the best use of each and every type. Below, we are sharing with you the right way to arrange some common types of pillows while sleeping.
Small Square or Rectangular Pillows: These pillows are best to be kept between two legs if you sleep sidewise.
Medium Square or Rectangular Pillows: Such pillows are commonly used under the head and shoulder while sleeping. But can also be placed between two arms to keep them aligned while sleeping sidewise.
Cylindrical Pillows: Small cylindrical pillows are best to support the neck and the shoulder while sleeping on the back. In contrast, big cylindrical pillows can be kept between both the legs and arms at a time by side sleepers.
Body Pillows: These pillows are large enough for the whole body to sleep on with extra comfort.
We hope we were able to help you find the right number of pillows to sleep with. At the end of the day, your comfort matters the most. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with the ideal ways or numbers of using pillows while sleeping, you can change it according to your ease.
Hope you have a sound sleep tonight!