Your Pillow Could Be The Cause Of Your Sciatica Pain, Stuffy Nose and Stiff Neck

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Are you not getting enough rest? Do you experience a stiff neck or sciatica pain on a regular basis? These issues could be the result of your sleeping behavior. There are three main considerations when it comes to sleep—your sleep position, the firmness of your mattress, and the pillow that you choose.

There are three major sleep positions and each of them requires a different type of pillow to maximize comfort and reduce the risk of health issues—including stiffness and chronic pain. Each of these positions also has their own pros and cons, so depending on your current health, one position may be better for you than another.

pillow cause of sciatica pain stiff neck

While you need to consider the position that you sleep in, a firm mattress is important to ensure that it provides good support for your spine. Then, you also need to think about the type of pillow that you use. Using the right pillow can help improve your quality of sleep, allowing you to get the rest your body requires. The wrong pillow can lead to headaches, neck and back pain, and even weight gain and other health issues.

Whether you are a tummy, back, or side-sleeper, you should pay attention to the pillow that you use. Here are the best pillows for the three primary sleeping positions.

Choosing A Pillow For Sleeping On Your Back

sleeping on your back

If you tend to lay on your back while sleeping, then your pillow should be able to support the natural curvature of your cervical spine. The pillow should be low, resulting in a naturally comfortable position for your back. Adding a pillow below your knees could help alleviate back pain and is one of the gentlest positions for your spine.

There are a couple of notes about sleeping on your back. If you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, lying flat on your back can increase the severity of your problem. To relieve this issue, prop your upper body up with an additional pillow.

When laying on your back, look for a firm pillow that supports your neck and shoulders.

Choosing A Pillow For Sleeping On Your Side

sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side is not a natural position, yet it can be very comfortable—until the added pressure and compression of your nerves causes joint or nerve pain. When sleeping on your side, it is important your pillow supports your head and neck in a way that keeps your spine straight.

Picture a straight line along your spine, from your lower back to your neck and head. When laying on your side, this line should remain straight. You may need a larger pillow to help keep your head straight. To reduce the chances of nerve compression, consider adding a pillow between your knees.

For side-sleepers, you will want a firm pillow that keeps your head elevated.

Choosing A Pillow For Sleeping On Your Stomach

sleeping on your stomach

When sleeping on your stomach, you should be able to lay your head as flat as possible. This is really not a convenient position for your neck or back, but it is manageable by choosing the right pillow. You will want a flat pillow, in order to limit the impact on your neck.

Your head will already be turned in an awkward position, so you want a pillow that will minimize this problem. Some people find that placing another flat pillow underneath their stomach helps keep the spine more aligned.

Pillows Degrade Over Time

Over time, your pillow will degrade in quality. Make sure that you replace your pillow every six to twelve months. It does not matter what position you sleep in, you should pay attention to the condition of your pillow, or pillows, and replace them as needed.

Stop spending your nights tossing and turning. If you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, remember to consider more than just your sleeping position. You also need to think about the pillow that you use.



Some of the links I post on this site are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, note that I’m recommending these products because of their quality and that I have good experience using them, not because of the commission to be made.

About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.

Show comments (1)


  1. I am going to have to try putting a pillow under my knees. I have a stiff neck every morning.

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