When it comes to improving the health and well-being of those who are hospitalized, hospitals have long relied on adjustable beds. Snoring, sleep apnea, acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), poor circulation, and lower back pain can all be alleviated by elevating the head and legs while sleeping.
The benefits of head and leg articulation don’t require a hospital bed. A wedge pillow can accomplish the same goal. We describe how to utilize a wedge pillow to improve your sleep quality throughout this post.
What is a Wedge Pillow?
Orthopedic pillows with a tapering slope are known as wedge pillows because of their triangular shape. The design resembles a wedge of cheese, as implied by its name.
The upper body or legs can be raised between 30 and 45 degrees, or 6 to 12 inches, using these pillows. Although the incline’s height might vary, most wedge pillows are 20 to 25 inches wide and 20 to 25 inches long.
When you sleep on your side, you can keep your spine in proper alignment, enhance your respiratory health, and reduce your aches and pains. When lying on your back or side, tuck the thickest corner of the wedge pillow under your chin and the thinnest corner under your shoulders when sleeping on your wedge pillow.
Using a wedge cushion to support your back and spine as you sleep or lounge around is a great way to ensure your comfort. The thinnest edge of the wedge cushion should face the ceiling, and the flat side should rest against the headboard of the bed.
Under the Knees
Place a wedge cushion between your legs, with the taller corner of the pillow beneath your knees, if you sleep on your back. Poor circulation is improved, bloated, achy feet are reduced, and varicose veins are reduced thanks to the elevated position. Lower back pain can be reduced by raising your upper body when you sleep, as well.
When you’re sitting down, a wedge pillow can double as a little tabletop for a book, notebook, or laptop computer. Place your book or laptop on the slanted edge of the wedge pillow and sit with the tiniest corner facing you.
Under the Belly
In the second and third trimester of pregnancy, gravity can cause some discomfort for pregnant women by lowering their tummies. The narrowest corner of a wedge cushion can be tucked under your growing tummy to support your stomach and alleviate any discomfort you may feel when sleeping on your side. When lying on your side, lean on the taller corner to help support your upper arm.
Benefits of Using a Wedge Pillow
In addition to being an excellent sleep aid, bed wedge pillows can help alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of medical conditions and problems.
For those who are suffering from a cold, allergies, postnasal drip, or even a cough, tilt your bed to help the sinuses drain and make breathing easier.
Prevents Acid Reflux and GERD
The symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn, nausea, and difficulty sleeping, can all be attributed to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux can be avoided by sleeping in a reclined position, which prevents stomach acid from re-entering the esophagus.
Reduces Nighttime Asthma Effects
Blood naturally collects in the lungs while resting supine, increasing the risk of nocturnal asthma and other breathing problems. Sleeping at an angle helps to keep the lungs clear by reducing blood pooling.
Alleviates Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring Problems
A person with obstructive sleep apnea experiences episodes of sleep apnea, in which their breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. A person’s airways are blocked while they are in a supine (on their back) position because the mouth and tongue relax, collapsing backward. You can improve your quality of sleep by sleeping on a wedge pillow that raises your head. Sleep apnea should be diagnosed by a doctor if you suspect you have it.
The use of a wedge pillow may be recommended by doctors when a patient is recovering after surgery or an operation. An adjustable wedge pillow makes the transition from a hospital bed to an ordinary one easier and can help you sit straight while confined to a chair. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before using a wedge cushion following an operation.
Minimized Back, Shoulder, and Neck Pain
Using a wedge pillow to alleviate chronic back, shoulder, and neck discomfort is an excellent idea. In order to alleviate strain on the lower back and neck, you should use a wedge pillow under your upper torso.
Ear Pain Relief
Gravity drains fluid from the ears, lowering pressure and decreasing pain when using a wedge pillow to sleep on.
Lower Risk of Glaucoma
Overproduction of intraocular pressure (IOP), the pressure in your eyes, causes glaucoma, which is an eye disease. High intraocular pressure (IOP) affects the optic nerve, resulting in long-term vision loss. People who have glaucoma can reduce their IOP levels by sleeping on their backs at a 20-degree elevation.
More Comfortable Pregnancy
Pregnant women, who frequently have back pain, acid reflux, and edema, can benefit greatly from using a wedge pillow to help alleviate their symptoms and get a better night’s sleep. Place a wedge pillow between your knees and ankles to prevent ankle edema while you’re pregnant, and many other options.
Is it good to stack pillows?
A good pillow is designed to keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine. They should not, however, be stacked. Your body may be out of alignment if you stack pillows. Pillow stacking is not recommended because it just causes neck pain and stiffness in the morning.
You should replace your pillows if your pillows are so thin or worn down that you need to stack them in order to feel supported. Wedge pillows provide a softer slope than stacks of pillows for lifting the upper body.
‘How do you sleep?’ is one of the first questions I ask my patients who come in with neck or back discomfort,” says Dr. Jennifer Miller, an outpatient physical therapist and primary care physician specializing in treating neurological problems. For starters, I’d like to know if they use a body pillow, how many pillows they use, and in what posture they sleep. During a supine-to-sitting shift, I also examine their body mechanics, as bending the back might exacerbate pain. So, it follows that the quality of our sleep can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of our bodies. It can make a great difference to have the correct pillow.”
Is a wedge pillow or adjustable bed base better?
Wedge pillows and adjustable bed bases are both handy and effective at night.
An adjustable bed base lets you raise your legs and upper torso for better pressure-relief and relaxation while lying down or sleeping. Pregnant women, on the other hand, couldn’t use an adjustable base like they can a wedge pillow to support their stomachs. Despite their numerous advantages, adjustable bases can cost anywhere from $400 to $3500.
In addition to being flexible, wedge pillows are also simple to use. There is no way to modify the inclination of wedge pillows, which makes them less comfy than adjustable bed bases.
What is the best height for a wedge pillow?
It is common for wedge pillows to have thick, flat ends that measure between 6 and 12 inches or 30 and 45 degrees. The height of your wedge pillow should be determined by how you want to use it.
Wedge cushions with an incline of six inches or less are great for kneeling and flexing your legs. Those who sleep on their backs or on their sides can benefit from a wedge pillow with an inclination of 7 to 9 inches. Wedge pillows with a higher slope (10 inches or more) function best when used to sit upright.
Do you use a regular pillow with a wedge pillow?
Place your mattress directly on top of your wedge pillows. Because a second pillow can cause your spine to be out of alignment, using a second pillow over or beneath your wedge pillow can cause discomfort. If your pillow stack is shaky, it’s possible that your head will fall off.
Is it okay to sleep sitting upright?
Although it may increase the risk of DVT and varicose veins, sleeping upright isn’t necessarily dangerous. As a result, both disorders are widespread among long-distance drivers and fliers. To reduce side effects and improve comfort, lean back gently.
How high should you raise your bed for GERD?
GERD sufferers should utilize a 35-45-degree adjustable bed or a wedge pillow. This rise guarantees that stomach acid does not return to the throat. A lower incline wedge cushion may not provide the same level of relief as a higher incline pillow.
Does sleeping on an incline stop snoring?
Having your head and shoulders up as you sleep prevents the tongue from sliding backward and restricting your airways. Air does not have to pass through a confined area of soft tissue during inhalation and exhalation when a person is sleeping. Snoring is prevented and breathing becomes easier as a result.
Do you use a regular pillow with a wedge pillow?
It’s best to use a wedge pillow by itself, not in conjunction with another type of pillow. Additional pillows placed on top of or below the wedge pillow may cause the wedge to become unstable, resulting in a person rolling off their bed. It’s also possible that using two pillows in this manner could cause the sleeper’s head and neck to be protruding.
Are thick pillows bad for your neck?
It is possible that a pillow that is excessively thick will cause the head to rise and the neck to bow when sleeping. The muscles of the neck and back tense up in this position, resulting in discomfort and suffering.
Pillows that are soft and accommodating, like memory foam, with a medium loft are the best. To keep the spine in a neutral position, the head and neck must remain in line with the shoulders, and these cushions will help.
Is sleeping on your stomach bad?
The spine is forced to bend upwards when lying on one’s stomach, which puts stress on the back and neck and tightens the muscles. Chronic pain develops as a result of this over time.
As a result, we strongly advise against lying on your stomach while you sleep. Make sure to rest on a stable and even surface if you can’t sleep in any other position. For stomach sleepers, medium-firm to firm mattresses are the most ideal.
Sleep Peacefully With a Wedge Pillow
Simple yet effective: Wedge pillows can help alleviate pain and promote a better night’s sleep. Even if you don’t have a specific medical issue, these pillows can be utilized in a variety of ways to provide wonderful relief and comfort.
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