Are you experiencing neck pain during sleep?

If you are one of the  50% of Americans who experience neck pain every day, you may be surprised at one of the most common reasons people suffer from acute and chronic necks pain: 

Improper head and neck support while you are asleep.

Between 80 and 85 percent of the stabilization of the neck is through the strength and activation of your neck muscles.  However, during REM sleep, these critical stabilizers are shut off neurologically by your brain to inhibit you from acting out your dreams.  

In any position you sleep, you need to have a pillow that automatically supports your head and neck.  This requires a foam support that you do not need to fluff up to create the proper support. Foam pillows are much more superior for the support of the head and neck than down or other fiber filled pillows.  

Let’s get into more specifics. If you lay on an average pillow, your head is simply lifted, sometimes over four inches as you lay on your back. This causes neck muscle tension and abnormal disc pressure which oftentimes leads to disc injury and subsequent nerve pain.  

When you lay on your side and don’t have the proper pillow, you can cause compression of the “windows” where the nerves exit the sides of the spines (the foramen) which also can lead to neck and arm pain.  And finally, for the worst position. 

If you lay on your stomach, your neck of course needs to rotate in order for you to get oxygen through your nose and mouth causing tremendous stress on the discs, muscles and tendons.  So finding the right pillow for you and your sleep position is critical to getting a good, restful, rejuvenating sleep.  This is why we’ve created the following  guide to simplify the process for you. 

Consideration 1. Filling

There are many options when choosing the right neck pillow for you, and which you choose will depend on your specific needs. 

Two of the most common types of filling in a traditional pillow profile are down or synthetic polyurethane.  Pillows with a down filling tend to be light and soft , while synthetic pillows, and although less expensive, and often need frequent replacement.

However, many people are finding that more advanced approaches to pillow filling or even better yet, a foam pillow made from latex or gel-infused memory foam.  These pillows provide superior support and relief for common sleep problems, including neck pain. Some common pillow fillings include:

  • Wool – Known for being natural, hypo-allergenic, and resistant to molds and dust, wool pillows help keep moisture away and help regulate temperature.
  • Cotton – Popular for their hypoallergenic properties, these pillows tend to be flat and firm.
  • Latex – High end foam, especially the Talalay Latex.  Especially good for variable firmness, a soft resilience, breathable, hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, anti-microbial and very comfortable for head and neck support.
  • Memory foam – known for its ability to conform to the shape of the body part and for pressure relief.  The infusion of a gel bead is an additional feature of the contemporary Gel-Infused Memory Foam which is said to add additional support and create a slight cooling effect.

Consideration 2. Density

Depending on your particular needs, a firm pillow may be just what the doctor ordered, but it is best to avoid pillows that are  overly firm or stiff. Stiff pillows may strain the spine and neck areas.  

Consideration 3. Pillow Design and Purpose 

Pillows are designed to hold the head in the proper position while sleeping.  Each kind of pillow has its own specific function.

  • Side-sleeper pillows – These pillows are designed specifically for side-sleepers to relieve pressure and reduce  snoring. Orthopedic or Cervical pillows – these pillows are designed to provide ergonomic support and relieve neck pain.

Back and Side Sleeper Pillows:  These are best for people who like to sleep in both the side and back position.  Very few pillows on the market have ever come close to meeting this demand as it takes two very separate shapes to accommodate the head and neck during both positions. 

The neck needs to be supported in the half cylinder position to maintain the cervical “lordotic” curve during back sleeping.  The head needs to be supported in the same plane of the spine (parallel) when in the side posture position to reduce any lateral stress.  Only ONE pillow on the market serves this particular feat and task and that is PILLO1.

  • Stomach-sleeper pillows – These pillows designed for stomach sleepers tend to prioritize hypoallergenic concerns and tend to be thinner to allow for easier breathing. 

Consider your needs and sleeping preferences when choosing a pillow. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and you will want to select options that fit your sleep-style and physical needs in order to sleep well and avoid neck pain.

Consideration 4. Shape and Size

Alignment of the spine is essential for comfortable sleeping. An oversized pillow may elevate your head too much, while an undersized pillow may put stress on your back.

Make sure to choose a pillow that is the right size and shape to provide support and keep your spine and neck properly aligned.

Consideration 5. Other qualities to look for 

 In addition to the features already discussed, you will want to pay attention to the quality of the materials. You want a safe, comfortable, and long-lasting/durable  pillow that won’t flatten within a few weeks, collect germs, or fall apart. 

A clean, breathable pillow covering is also important for health and safety as well as to preserve the pillow’s longevity.

Remember that if you choose well, you’ll be using your pillow for several years.  It’s worth taking the time to research and weigh your options before making the investment. 

Recommendations For Better Sleep

While your pillow is extremely important, it is not the only essential factor for a good night’s sleep.  You also need a good quality mattress that provides optimal support, is breathable, and supports your body throughout the night. 

You should take into consideration many of the same factors listed above, especially when it comes to selecting the proper foam and breathable materials.  For the best match for all of the above considerations, check out and look at the Premium Mattress. 

The mattress is made of  extraordinary materials, has been designed by a doctor,  and is at a cost of under 50% of what similar mattresses found in retail stores.  It is also shipped directly from the manufacturer within 7-10 days free of charge to your front door!

Use clean, hypoallergenic bed linens, and make sure to flip your mattress regularly and wash your pillow every six to eight months. 

Never Toss and Turn again, invest in a high-quality pillow today!

Never ignore sleeplessness or neck pain. A good night’s sleep is essential to your health and longevity. 

You shouldn’t suffer from neck pain any longer. Contact us here and for help and advice in choosing the right pillow for you. Start sleeping better tonight!

Dr. Ray Hall

Dr. Raymond Hall, the renowned DC, inventor, author, lecturer, television personality and sleep expert who has been honored by the International Association of Healthcare Providers as the "TOP CHIROPRACTOR IN CALIFORNIA" for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Dr Hall currently practices at Pacific Coast Sports Medicine in West Los Angeles and lives in Malibu, CA.