If you have trouble sleeping at night, wake up feeling agitated and not fully rested, make it a goal to get a better nights sleep. Look at your mattress, and also at the pillow you are using under your neck each night.
Just like you check your fire alarm batteries each year, take a closer look at the pillow you are sleeping on. Does your pillow need to be replaced? Does it look flat and limp and offer you zero neck support? Fold your pillow into half, taking all of the air out. When you release your pillow, it should bounce back to its original shape. It should be fluffy, supportive and hold its own. If it feels like it has clumps in it, and there are holes around the pillow where there is no support, consider getting a new pillow altogether.
A supportive cervical support pillow should support your neck in its natural state. The neck curve has a natural c-curve, and a good neck pillow supports that normal alignment.
Lie on your pillow and have someone take a picture of you using the pillow. Is your head sinking into the pillow too much, such that it is causing neck extension. Maybe the pillow is too big for you. Forward head posture can be the cause of a lot of neck pain, discomfort, stiffness and a sore upper back area. An ideal neck pillow should hold your head in the same relation to your shoulders and spine as if you were standing.
Also, make sure you are comfortable sleeping on your side or on your back using the pillow. We shift our bodies while sleeping at night, so you want to make sure your pillow supports you in side or back sleeping positions.
Consider using a dust cover with a zipper on it to keep your pillow clean and free of dust mites, mold and allergens. It will not only help you sleep more soundly, but your pillows life will be extended.
Happy New Year to all of my Readers ! May 2011 bring you happiness, good health, and most importantly restful sleep!