Sure, body pillows are fun to cuddle with. But did you know that they also have plenty of other important benefits?
Your sleeping position and sleep quality can have a substantial impact on your physical and mental health. If you don’t sleep properly, you may feel stressed, achy, and irritable. For many people, a body pillow is the key to sleeping comfortably, which makes them feel better during the day.
There are a two main types of body pillows:
- U-shaped pillows surround you on both sides and let you sleep on your back or on your side.
- I-shaped pillows are made for hugging while you sleep on your side.
How to Use a Body Pillow
You can also choose between a variety of materials and stuffing, including wool. When you go to sleep, position the body pillow so that it supports your back and neck. If you sleep on your side, rest the pillow between your knees.
If you’re used to sleeping with a smaller pillow, you may be skeptical about whether or not body pillows really make a difference. You’ll have to try one for yourself, but many people have made the permanent switch to using a body pillow after discovering that they feel calmer, better rested, and more comfortable when they wake up.
Benefits of a Body Pillow
Here are five benefits of sleeping with a body pillow:
1. Increases Relaxation
Hugging a body pillow while you sleep is very comfortable, so you should be able to fall asleep more quickly and achieve better, deeper sleep. When you hold onto something, you’re less likely to toss and turn, so people tend to feel much more refreshed and well-rested when they wake up.
U-shaped pillows are especially good for preventing tossing and turning. Body pillows can also help with physical relaxation. Sleeping on your side with a body pillow lets you properly align your spine and neck, which will help your muscles fully relax.
2. Prevents Back and Neck Pain
If you have chronic back or neck pain, your sleeping position might have something to do with it. Back and neck pain sometimes results from a poor sleeping position, but a body pillow will provide extra support and help you align your back and neck properly. You won’t have to tense up your muscles to hold your sleeping position, so you won’t have a stiff neck or a sore back in the morning.
3. Relieves Stress
When you feel well-rested and wake up with no pain, you’ll feel much less stressed. Being tired and achy can cause irritability, lethargy, and difficulty concentrating — all of which contribute to stress. Also, the physical act of hugging a body pillow can lower your heart rate and increase levels of oxytocin, a stress-relieving hormone.
Wool products and wool body pillows are especially helpful for stress relief because they can help regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable. If you already have wool bedding, a wool-filled body pillow could be a good addition to your set.
4. Helps with Pregnancy
It can be hard to sleep comfortably during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. A body pillow will support your baby bump while you lie on your side, so you don’t have to strain your back to achieve a good sleeping position. A U-shaped pillow is especially helpful during pregnancy because it also provides support for your back and can relieve back pain.
5. Stops Snoring
Snoring happens when the back of your mouth or throat collapses and partially covers your airway. As air moves through, your mouth and throat vibrate and create the loud snoring noise. This is much more likely when you lie on your back than when you lie on your side.
Lying on your back increases the pressure on your throat, making it more likely to collapse. Sleeping on your side is an easy snoring solution for most people. A U-shaped body pillow will prop you up on your side, so you won’t be able to roll over onto your back and start snoring in the middle of the night.