• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2015, Volume: 8, Issue: Supplementary 5, Pages: 1-5

Review Article

Optimal Pillow Conditions for High-Quality Sleep: A Theoretical Review


It is widely believed that using a pillow that allows appropriate neck support to maintain cervical lordosis during sleep can lead to better quality sleep.Conversely, use of the wrong type of pillow can compromise pain-sensitive structures and produce waking symptoms, such as cervical pain and stiffness, headaches, and arm pain; and this in turn results in reduced sleep quality. Therefore, the optimal pillow should have neutral cervical lordosis, prevent waking cervical symptoms, and increase sleep quality by optimizing the sleeping position. A factor critical to a suitable pillow is proper support for cervical lordosis. The main role of a pillow during sleep is to support the cervical spine in a neutral position, which prevents loss of cervical spine curvature and waking cervical symptoms by minimizing end-range positioning of the spinal segments. Another critical characteristic of a suitable pillow is reduction of the temperature of the head and core during nighttime sleep. Because, sympathetic nervous system innervation was less excited with a cool pillow, which is important for deep sleep. In addition to neck support and temperature control, the pillow comfort is another critical characteristic of a suitable pillow. However, no association between pillow comfort and waking symptoms has been reported, suggesting that the participants’ perceptions of pillow comfort and their reports of waking symptoms are independent of one another. In conclusion, a neck pillow with a firm support and low temperature may reduce neck pain and improve sleep quality. Therefore, a cool and not too hard pillow with enough support for cervical lordosis is considered optimal and is recommended for high quality sleep and cervical pain relief.
Keywords: Cervical Lordosis, Neck Pain, Pillow, Sleep, Temperature


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