When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, some people find it impossible to be completely comfortable and get their 8 hours in.
This has led thousands of companies all over the world to develop equipment, accessories, and medications that can help people get a better night’s sleep.
One of these nifty new inventions is the wedge pillow, which has grown massively in popularity across the United States in recent years.
Designed with some fantastic orthopedic benefits in mind, a wedge pillow could be your key to getting the perfect night of rest but only if you can use it correctly.
Surprisingly, even misusing the wedge pillow slightly can result in some pretty adverse effects on your posture, breathing, and comfort.
That’s why, in this guide, we’re going to be telling you everything you need to know as a wedge pillow side sleeper.
How Does The Wedge Pillow Work?
If you’ve never seen a wedge pillow in action before, you can basically think of it as a firm pillow that’s shaped like a triangular wedge of cheese.
It’s an orthopedic pillow that has a steady incline and can be placed under the upper body or legs while you sleep.
The angle of incline varies between a 30 degree wedge pillow up to 45 degrees, with different people preferring different angles.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Wedge Pillow?
We now understand a little more about what a wedge pillow is and what it looks like but you might still be wondering how it actually helps you to get a better night’s sleep.
Well, it turns out there are probably more health benefits than you would think:
Relieves Acid Reflux
At some point in their life, most people have felt the effects of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
This happens when digestive acids are allowed to escape from the stomach and end up in the esophagus.
It can occur when pressure is placed on the lower esophageal sphincter while you sleep.
It is mainly a problem for people who sleep on their backs because gravity causes the acid to pool further up the body.
Therefore, using a wedge pillow to prop your head up can use gravity to keep that acid further down the body where it’s supposed to be. It also helps relieving pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter as described above.
Helps Reduce Snoring
Snoring and sleep apnea are common afflictions that have more of a detrimental effect on the people we share a bed with than ourselves!
It happens when airways get blocked and air can’t pass freely through the mouth or nose due to the obstruction.
Using a wedge pillow to elevate the upper body is said to create a more easily open airway system, which prevents blockages that cause people to snore.
Prevents Upper Body Pains
Thankfully, the wedge pillow can help to correct this as well.
Propped under the upper body, the wedge pillow can take some of the pressure off the base of your spine.
In fact, when used correctly, the wedge pillow can help to align your spine much more effectively to reduce long-term twists and curves that can build up over time.
Also, because your spine connects to pretty much every part of your upper body, these benefits are extended to your shoulders and neck, too.
Sleeping On Your Side With A Wedge Pillow
Plenty of people prefer to sleep on their side overnight.
There’s nothing wrong with this and if it makes you feel most comfortable while you sleep, you should keep doing it.
The wedge pillow can help to ensure your spine remains in a neutral position while you sleep on your side, which will ease any tension on your back muscles.
Similarly, you can use the wedge pillow to cradle your shoulders and prevent build-ups of pressure at certain points overnight.
For side sleepers, an angle of between 35 and 45 degrees is ideal with a wedge pillow.
The most important thing to remember about sleeping on your side with a wedge pillow is to keep your head, neck, shoulders, and back aligned.
For this reason, it’s often a good idea to place an extra pillow at the top of your wedge pillow and place your hip at the bottom of the slope.
If your wedge pillow is too short for this, you could end up sleeping with your spine curved sideways, which will have detrimental health effects in the long run.
Using A Wedge Pillow For Your Legs
Interestingly, it’s not just your upper body that can benefit from a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side.
In fact, placing the thick edge of a wedge pillow between your knees can work wonders for your posture overnight.
It is said to be particularly beneficial for easing lower back pain which is often caused by your legs twisting your spine without you even realizing it.
This is also very helpful for pregnant women who find themselves suffering from back pain while sleeping.
Should You Use A Regular Pillow With A Wedge Pillow?
In general, it is not recommended to use a regular pillow alongside a wedge pillow.
The wedge is designed with orthopedic benefits in mind and the angle is worked out to help your neck, back, and shoulders lay in the right positions.
Using a regular pillow on top of it can actually do more harm than good by misaligning your neck with the rest of your body.
However, if you find it more comfortable to use your wedge pillow with a regular pillow, it won’t do too much harm to use it every now and then.
As you can tell by now, there’s a good reason for the recent popularity of the wedge pillow.
With the numerous health benefits and ease of use, your sleeping habits could be completely transformed.
Once you start using one for yourself, you won’t even be able to comprehend how you ever lived without one!