Curious about the benefits of a body pillow?
This article will reveal how snuggling up with a body pillow can seriously upgrade your sleep quality, help reduce aches and pains, and even provide support for pregnant women.
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- Body Pillow Benefits
- What Is A Body Pillow?
- How To Use A Body Pillow
- Types of Body Pillows
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Body Pillow Benefits
- Pressure Relief
- Improved Alignment
- Helps With Back Pain
- Helps With Postoperative Recovery
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Improves Snoring, Sleep Apnea & Acid Reflux
- Helps With Pregnancy Safety & Pregnancy-Related Pains
- Customization Increases Effectiveness
- Provides Psychological Benefits
A regular pillow without the right support can be a real pain in the neck – pressure points get aggravated, and it can be super uncomfortable.
Wider-shouldered folks might even fold their pillow in half to get more height, which puts undue pressure on the arms.
The body pillow is designed to keep you comfortable, providing a full and elongated shape that can be placed along the body and between your knees for proper support and spinal alignment.
When lying on your side, the full weight of your upper body can press against your hips, leading to discomfort and pain.
When this happens, your leg tends to slide forward, causing you to twist and put strain on your back.
The body pillow helps to alleviate this issue by providing even weight distribution when you hug it while sleeping.
This helps to relax the muscles and keep you in proper alignment, preventing the need to twist and strain your back further.
As a result, sleeping with a body pillow can help improve spinal and shoulder alignment, which can reduce lower back, spinal, and hip pain.
Customization Increases Effectiveness
Body pillows come in different shapes and fills, allowing for customization and increased effectiveness in providing relief and comfort.
For instance, side sleepers may benefit from a longer pillow that offers more support for the neck and spine.
Back sleepers may need a thicker pillow for extra cushioning.
Additionally, some body pillows are filled with memory foam, which helps conform to the shape of the body and reduce pressure points.
- Features a detachable extension
- Measures 53″ inches long, 31″ inches wide, and 7″ inches high
- Perfect for ANYONE needing more support
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Improves Snoring, Sleep Apnea & Acid Reflux
Body pillows are a great way to improve your sleep quality, especially if you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea.
By providing support to your body and spine, a body pillow can help keep you in the right position and minimize any snoring or sleep apnea.
Sleeping on your side is widely regarded as the healthiest sleep position, as it can help prevent or reduce the severity of snoring and sleep apnea.
Read more about sleeping on your side here.
Switching from sleeping on your back or stomach can be difficult, however, so many people opt to use a body pillow to make the transition easier.
Wedge pillows are a great way to combat the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, especially during sleep.
By slightly elevating your head, shoulders and torso, these pillows can help minimize acid leakage from the stomach to the esophagus and provide much needed relief.
Helps With Back Pain
Sleeping with a body pillow can be a great way to reduce pain and improve overall comfort levels while in bed.
People with back pain, in particular, often find that body pillows can help them maintain proper spinal alignment and reduce pressure on their lower and upper back.
As a result of improved body position while sleeping, body pillows can provide relief from back, shoulder and neck pain.
Body pillows can be used to support legs, hips, and feet for those who find it difficult sleeping in the same position for extended periods of time.
Helps With Postoperative Recovery
Body pillows are a great solution for those dealing with postoperative recovery.
They offer a level of comfort and support that can help reduce joint pain, make sleeping easier, and provide a sense of relaxation that can help you through the recovery process.
In fact, a 2014 study found that body pillows were more effective than regular hospital pillows in aiding postoperative recovery for pediatric spinal fusion patients.
The body pillow is designed to cradle your body and provide support while you sleep, which can help alleviate chronic pain and make recovery more comfortable.
It can also help reduce stress and improve your overall sleep quality.
Improves Sleep Quality
A body pillow offers many benefits for sleep, such as providing comfort and support to help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
A 2021 study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine Research looked at the effects of using a long, straight body pillow to sleep with and found that it can help improve sleep quality in a number of ways.
Researchers found that body pillows reduce pressure on the shoulder, hip, and back while also helping people stay in a side sleeping position for longer.
If you sleep on your stomach then you might find it beneficial to sleep without a pillow, or on a very thin pillow.
Additionally, body pillows are able to reduce slow-wave sleep interruptions, meaning that if you’re a side sleeper, a body pillow could help you stay in dreamland a little longer.
Helps With Pregnancy Safety & Pregnancy-Related Pains
Body pillows are an invaluable asset for expectant mothers, offering additional support and relieving pregnancy-related pains.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side) which provides the best circulation for both the pregnant woman and their baby.
The potential health benefits include:
- Reduced pressure on veins and organs
- Increased blood flow to the placenta and baby
- Reduced risk of hemorrhoids and swelling in the mother’s legs
As the baby grows, it can become increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in and pregnancy pillows are designed to help alleviate this.
U-shaped pillows that support both the front and back are a popular option, but many pregnant people also find relief in other shapes such as straight or wedge pillows.
By choosing a suitable body pillow, pregnant women can enjoy pain-free sleep by supporting their limbs, belly, and back.
A study from 1989 even found that wedge pillows were more effective than regular hospital pillows at providing back pain relief.
Check out the wedge pillow at this link.
With a variety of removable and washable body pillow covers on the market, pregnant women can give body pillows a try with the assurance that their pillow will remain clean and fresh.
Provides Psychological Benefits
For those seeking an extra sense of comfort and security during sleep, body pillows have become a popular choice.
While science hasn’t yet provided conclusive evidence, many swear by body pillows as a way to improve sleep quality and mental well-being.
It is believed that body pillows may even help to increase oxytocin levels and reduce feelings of loneliness.
According to a report by Johns Hopkins University, oxytocin’s release can help you relax and lower your blood pressure, which can naturally promote sleep.
In addition, oxytocin helps to increase feelings of comfort and safety, which can further help you to get a quality night’s rest.
With its various properties, a body pillow could be just the thing you need to get a good night’s rest and feel more relaxed.
Some people believe that crystals might improve your sleep quality and overall well-being – read more here.
What Is A Body Pillow?
A body pillow is a large (usually U-shaped) pillow designed to provide full-body support while sleeping or lounging.
Body pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials but are extra-long and usually much thicker than a traditional pillow, providing relief to the entire body.
These pillows are often used to support the neck and back, as well as the hips, legs, and abdomen.
How To Use A Body Pillow
A body pillow can be a great way to improve your sleeping posture and reduce pain and stiffness in your back, hips, and other areas. Here are some of the best ways to use a body pillow:
- Place the pillow along the length of your body for extra cushioning and support. This helps keep your spine alignment correct and can help reduce back pain.
- Place the pillow between your legs and wrap your upper leg around it. This is particularly beneficial for side-sleepers and helps keep your hips and back in alignment.
- Place the pillow behind your back while lying on your side. This provides extra cushioning and support, helping to reduce back pain.
- Hug the body pillow or gently rest your hands on it. This is a great way to add extra comfort and reduce pain and stiffness in your lower back.
Types of Body Pillows
When it comes to getting a quality sleep, the right type of pillow can make all the difference.
Shapes of body pillows include U-shaped body pillows, J-shaped pillows, and C-shaped pillows to rectangular body pillow designs.
There are plenty of options available to suit your individual needs:
- U-shaped, J-shaped, and C-shaped body pillows provide more full-body cradling.
- Rectangular pillows give one-sided support and cushioning.
Shredded memory foam, latex, down feathers, and polyester are the most common fill materials, each providing unique benefits.
- Memory foam body pillows provide excellent support and comfort, while down feather pillows offer a luxurious feel.
- Latex pillows offer a bouncy, resilient cradling effect.
- Polyester pillows are lightweight and hypoallergenic.
Look for organic body pillows that are made with natural and sustainably harvested ingredients.
Ultimately, a comfortable body pillow can provide you with the support and comfort you need to get a restful and comfortable sleep.
Are body pillows good for sciatica?
Body pillows may offer relief for those suffering from sciatica symptoms. They can be used to provide cushioning for the spine thereby facilitating better alignment and support for the hips, waist, neck and shoulders. The extra cushioning can reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, which in turn can lead to improved circulation and reduced pain. It is nevertheless important to note that body pillows are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and may not be effective for everyone. If you believe that a body pillow can help alleviate your sciatica, it is advisable to consult with your doctor beforehand.
Do body pillows help with anxiety?
Body pillows can help with anxiety by providing a source of comfort and security to help reduce stress levels. As you hug your pillow, the release of oxytocin helps to lower anxiety, improve memory, and reduce blood pressure. This means that a body pillow can be a great way to have a better night’s sleep and reduce your overall anxiety levels.
How much space does a body pillow take up?
A standard body pillow measures 20 by 54 inches (51 by 137 centimeters) but will come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. A standard body pillow will likely occupy a significant portion of your bed, so consider the size of your bed and the size of the pillow before you buy.
How do you wash a body pillow?
The washing instructions for a body pillow depend on the fill material, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The safest option is to wash in a bathtub with cold or lukewarm water and use a mild detergent. Some body pillows on the market are machine washable.