How to Sleep with a Body Pillow

Two Parts:Using a Body PillowUnderstanding Body Pillows

Most people have a position in which they prefer to sleep. These positions can be on your back, on your side, or on your stomach. If you like sleeping on your side, help yourself get more comfortable and keep your body in better alignment by sleeping with a body.

Part 1
Using a Body Pillow

  1. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 1
    Buy a U-shaped pillow. Body pillows come in many different shapes. The shape you want will depend on your personal preference and sleeping style. Many body pillows are shaped like a letter U, which can wrap around your body. The U-shaped pillow works by letting your head rest at the top of the curve of the U, which fits snug around you at the curve of the U upside down. The separate arms of the pillow wrap around you, with one arm going down your back and the other going down your front.
    • You can sleep on either side or on your back with the U-shaped pillow.
    • This pillow has the added benefit of keeping you from tossing and turning in your sleep.
    • These pillow are large, so you will need a queen or king sized bed to use them.[1]
  2. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 2
    Use an I-shaped pillow. Body pillows shaped like the letter I are very long and huggable. Since they support the knees, they help relieve pain in the back and spine. These pillows are smaller, so they are better for smaller beds. They are also cheaper than U-shaped pillows.
    • This pillow would be best for you if you need support between your knees as well as your head. These are also favored by those who sleep on their side, since they help realign the back and neck while in a side position.
    • These can be thin or thick, so look for the ones that work best for your particular body shape and sleeping style. [2]
  3. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 3
    Try a J-shaped pillow. The J-shaped body pillow, sometimes called a C-shaped pillow, curve on one end to help support the neck or knees. They are considered a middle ground between the I-shaped and U-shaped pillows. They fit nicely between your knees, which is how it helps relieve back pain and strain.
    • These work well on all bed types, since they resemble the I-shaped pillow.
    • All the types of body pillows can be thick or thin, depending on your personal preference.[3]
  4. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 4
    Pick the best material. Body pillows come in many different materials and are stuffed with different things. When looking at pillows, organic and natural materials are the best. Since you spend so much time with your face against the material of your pillow, you want to make sure that get a good and comfortable material. Look for body pillows made of natural wool or cotton.
    • You can find these kinds of pillows from stores such as Gaiam, Comfort U, Leachco, and Holy Lamb.[4]
  5. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 5
    Cover your pillow. Once you buy the right pillow for you, think about getting a soft and cozy pillow case for it. You will need a special kind of pillow case for your body pillow, since they are so large. Cases are recommended for your pillow because you need to have a way to keep it clean.
    • You may be able to find one at a linen store, but you can also buy a cover specifically for your body pillow. You may also be able to make one yourself.
    • Some pillows come with a washable pillow case made on them, while others do not. If it comes with a washable case, take it off and wash it whenever you wash your sheets.[5]
  6. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 6
    Use it every night. Once you have the best body pillow for you, use it every night. When you first get into bed, position yourself with the body pillow around you. Make sure you are hugging and positioned around it in such a way that it supports your neck and back.
    • Try to avoid throwing your leg all the way over the body pillow when you sleep on your side. This can add undue strain to your back and actually cause more problems. Just gently rest it between your knees as you lay flat on your side.[6]

Part 2
Understanding Body Pillows

  1. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 7
    Learn how body pillows help. Sleeping on your back keeps your head, neck, and back in alignment. It can also help prevent pains in your neck and back as well as help with conditions such as acid reflux and heart problems.[7] However, if your preferred sleeping position in on your back, you can use a body pillow to achieve similar results.
    • Body pillows conform to the shape of your body, which helps align your spine in a more normal way. It also provides extra support, which helps relieve back pain and stress.
    • This causes you to breathe easier, promotes better circulation, and aids in muscles relaxation.[8]
  2. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 8
    Know other reasons to sleep with a body pillow. Side sleeping with a body pillow can help you if you have sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing then restart breathing while asleep. Body pillows can also help you if you snore and if you are pregnant
    • Sleeping on your side while pregnant helps improve blood flow to your uterus and can help with ankles that are swollen. It also supports your neck, back, and belly at the same time. Sleeping on your left side is generally considered preferable if you are pregnant.[9]
  3. Image titled Sleep with a Body Pillow Step 9
    See a chiropractor. If you develop back pain after you start using a body pillow, stop immediately. It should not cause you any pain or discomfort. If the back pain becomes common, see your doctor or a chiropractor.
    • If you start using a body pillow to help back pain and it gets worse, stop using it until you can discuss your options with your doctor.[10]

Article Info

Categories: Better Sleeping