Body pillows are hailed as being one of the most comfortable items that you could treat yourself with. They come in various shapes, sizes and colors; they also perform a wide variety of functions that extend far beyond comfort.
They lend support, and in some instances, provide relief from chronic pain. But how do you use a body pillow? What do you need to know about body pillows and why do you need a one?
These are common questions that we will now examine, so that by the time we’re done, you should be a body pillow expert.
Body Pillows and Sleeping Positions
Body pillows help you fall asleep and provide the proper support—no matter what position you prefer to sleep in. Each sleeping position has different benefits and different challenges.
Body pillows are more than a luxuriously comfortable pillow; they work to enhance the benefits of your sleeping position and eliminate the challenges. Are you a back or side sleeper? Either way, a body pillow will improve your sleep.
Sleeping on your back is the most beneficial sleeping position because it keeps your body in alignment and helps with acid reflux, heart problems and similar health conditions.
It might be beneficial, but not everyone enjoys sleeping on their back. This is where a body pillow comes in.
Body pillows are able to match the contours of your body and provide proper alignment of the spine while you sleep. This relieves stress and back pain, giving you one of the best night’s sleep that you have ever had.
Proper alignment also enhances breathing, circulation and helps your muscles to relax. All of these benefits improve your health, and go a long way in preventing insomnia.
If you have sleep apnea (this is a condition where you stop and start breathing while asleep), or if you snore or are pregnant, then side sleeping with a body pillow can help you in ways you’ve never thought of before.
If you’re pregnant, then sleeping on your side with a body pillow will improve blood flow to the uterus, and will help with swollen ankles. The body pillow will also support your neck, belly and back all at once, providing considerable comfort.
A word of caution
If you develop a backache after using a body pillow, then you will need to stop sleeping with one immediately. A body pillow should provide comfort and pain relief, never aches and pains. See a doctor or chiropractor to ask for advice and their expert opinion.
How to use a body pillow
Choose your pillow
There are many types of body pillows out there. Choosing one will largely depend on your personal preference.
We’ll start with the U-shaped body pillow. These wrap around your body and you can rest your head on the top curve, then use the separate arms to wrap down your spine and the other down your stomach.
This pillow can be used by side or back sleepers and prevents you from tossing and turning in your sleep. It also feels like a warm soft hug, which is a huge advantage. The only problem is that these pillows are huge, and so you’ll need a queen or king-sized bed.
l-shaped pillows are better at supporting the knees and relieving back pain. They are cheaper than U-shaped pillows and fit onto smaller beds. They come in different sizes and lengths and you can choose between thicker and thinner pillows.
They are mostly preferred by side sleepers since they realign your back and shoulders. They are also huggable and can suit a wide variety of sleeping styles.
Another shape is the J-shaped pillow which curves on one end and supports the neck and knees; they are the middle ground between the U- and l-shaped pillows. The main focus is on supporting the knees, and so this pillow helps to relieve back pain while you’re asleep.
Choose your material
Once you have settled on which shape you want, you need to move on to which material will suit your needs the best. It is always best to choose natural and organic materials; these are more likely to suit your needs better and will last longer.
You will also want to look for a pillow made from cotton and wool since this will be more comfortable for you. Comfort is important, considering you will be spending hours with your body pillow.
Get a cover
You have bought your body pillow! Congratulations, we know you will be very happy. But you’re not ready to use it yet. You still need to get a cover. This will personalize your body pillow, but most importantly, it will make your pillow easy to clean.
Some stores sell body pillow covers, but you might need to order one or make one yourself. Some body pillows come with removable covers which will save you a lot of hassle.
Get your money’s worth
You’re all set. You are ready to use your body pillow. You feel excited and can hardly wait for bed time. This is good, and you deserve it.
Wrap your pillow around you, hug it and make sure that your back and neck are aligned comfortably and properly supported.
Don’t throw your leg over the whole pillow if you sleep on your side, this will throw your back out of alignment, so just make sure that it rests gently under your knees.
A body pillow is one of those things that will bring you untold comfort and you will not regret buying one. If you follow this guide, you should have an all-round positive experience with your body pillow and avoid the usual pitfalls that accompany trying out something new.
We hope that you enjoy your new body pillow and that you’ll be sleeping comfortably for years to come. Once you get a body pillow, bed time will never be the same again!