Is It Healthy to Sleep on a Wedge Pillow?

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There are many types of pillows one can choose to have, varying on purpose. Most people use pillows for sleep and relaxation, but some pillows are also known and designed to help the ill recover and provide extra comfort, including pregnant women.

Wedge pillows are a good example. These triangle-shaped pillows are specially created to elevate one’s upper body while sleeping.

Recently, too, in the time of the pandemic, wedge pillows help those who are ill with COVID-19, especially in avoiding additional congestion and keeping one’s chest raised, leading to better recovery experiences.

Are Wedge Pillows Healthy?

So yes, just to answer the initial question, it is healthy to sleep on a wedge pillow. For those who are interested in learning more about its health benefits, then here they are, detailed below.

Health Benefits of Using Wedge Pillows

Some of the best things about wedge pillows that you need to consider are:

1. Helps in Recovery Time From Surgery

Recovering from surgery is a physically painful ordeal. Wedge-shaped pillows help stop one from rolling onto the wound area.

Preventing that from happening helps avoid swelling, especially in tender joint areas, and secure a comfortable sleeping position. That is why doctors recommend these pillows for post-operative care.

Some patients even use two wedge pillows, one for the upper body and another for the knees, to further hasten recovery.

2. Prevention of Potential Health Issues

Some doctors testify that wedge pillows can be part of a lifestyle change, especially preventing possible problems. First, it is said that head elevation to 30 degrees can stave off heartburn symptoms.

Also, the constant use of wedge pillows, which enables upper body elevation at an optimal angle, helps prevent vertigo relapses and other sinus conditions. The slanted design is known to ease sinus pressure.

Additionally, those treating their sleep apnea through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks also use this. Other health conditions, such as ocular hypertension and glaucoma, are aided by wedge pillows. The elevation that the pillows offer helps lessen eye discomfort compared to when lying flat.

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An old woman sleeping – Photo by: friend JAD – Source: Flickr Creative Commons

The use of a single wedge pillow is also known to be better in helping those with glaucoma. In particular, wedge pillows help ease pressure buildup in one’s eye. It is also better to use them than when using multiple pillows, which, in turn, can even cause other problems such as back, shoulder, and neck misalignment.

3. Helps Improve Blood Circulation and Respiratory Wellness

Blood circulation is posited to improve using wedge pillows under one’s knees. Doing this helps prevent ailments like varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, as the pillows can aid in the treatment of overused and sore muscles. The increased blood circulation enables easier blood transport from all body parts back to one’s heart.

In terms of respiratory wellness, the 30- to 45-degree head elevation that wedge pillows offer contributes to lower lung airways pressure. This facilitates easier breathing than regular pillows known to create pressure.

4. Helps Treat Back Pain, Indigestion, and Acid Reflux

Finally, wedge pillows are widely known to treat back pain, indigestion, and acid reflux. Wedge pillows help treat reflux or GERD due to gravity and how it helps drain acid into the stomach instead of letting it stay on the throat. Fewer reflux symptoms are also observed when one sleeps with the head up.

Those who experience GERD also know that it worsens at night, so the use of wedge pillows helps ease the discomfort and allows better sleep. On a related note, wedge pillows also help indigestion by reducing abdominal discomfort.

Back pain is also treated by using wedge cushions, as these pillows provide the needed support to the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. The wedge pillows, in this regard, relieve strain and pain.

Putting these pillows under one’s knees helps relieve lower back pain and facilitates correct spine alignment. On the other hand, you can use two-piece wedge cushions to elevate legs, leading to reduced nerve root’s pressure on one’s lower back.

The Bottom Line

It doesn’t hurt to purchase a wedge pillow, especially if your health condition calls for it. Armed with other tools to continue living a healthy life, wedge pillows remain a safe choice and reliable option.

After all, wedge pillows, like other pillows, provide comfort and quality sleep, above all things. The best thing is that they are available in various heights, so you can choose a size based on your weight, height, and other conditions that merit its use.

However, while wedge pillows are promising, especially in eliminating health problems, it is important to note that it is still best to see them as aids rather than surefire solutions. Proper diagnosis and treatment for health conditions are still the way to ensure overall well-being.