Decreasing Migraines by Improving Neck & Shoulder Health

Neck and Shoulder Pain ReductionIn a recent article, we talked about reducing migraines through diet. This week, we’re going to focus on simple ways to reduce neck and shoulder pain, which often leads to decreased migraines — not to mention a better quality of life. But first, let’s take a quick look at some common causes of neck and shoulder pain …

Common Causes of Neck & Shoulder Pain

  • Stress or tension, which causes compression of spinal nerves (known as a “pinched nerve”)
  • Arthritis
  • A herniated disk
  • Muscle strain caused by overuse (sports- or labor-related)
  • Any kind trauma injury
  • Shoulder instability (joint slippage in and out of sockets)
  • Poor posture when sitting or standing
  • Spinal misalignment when sleeping (caused by use of a non-supportive pillow)  

Reducing Neck & Shoulder Pain
One of the easiest ways realize better neck and shoulder health is by using a supportive pillow. In addition to reducing pain, a supportive pillow can also help you sleep better. This combination of proper support, which aligns the spine, and better sleep is a highly effective way to reduce migraine occurrences.

How Our Pillow Helps

  • For Back-lying Sleepers: A multi-bolster system, created by leading Australian physiotherapists, cradles the neck for proper spine alignment
  • For Side-lying Sleepers: The non-bolster side of our pillow supports your shoulder while maintaining spinal alignment
  • With proper spine alignment, your muscles are in a position where they can relax, instead of being tensed up, which helps decrease the occurrence of pain and migraines
  • Migraines are often triggered by a poor night’s sleep; using a pillow that reduces pain can go a long way in helping you sleep better 

Additional Ways to Reduce Neck & Shoulder Pain
Speaking with your doctor is always a good idea when addressing chronic neck or shoulder pain. Seeing a licensed massage therapist, physical therapist, or a chiropractor are also smart strategies. When choosing one of these specialized health professionals, look for experience and a proven track record, as opposed to who’s offering the best price. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Stretching and exercise are also two options that help reduce neck and shoulder pain. But if you’re in pain, it may be difficult to stretch or exercise without causing more pain. Again, forming a plan with a health professional can assist in helping you feel better, while avoiding further injury or pain.

Aerobic conditioning is often an excellent way to help the neck and shoulders loosen up, reduce pain and increase range of motion. This occurs because aerobic activity increases blood flow to the muscles and soft tissues of the neck and upper back (your whole body, actually). It also helps release endorphins (after approximately 30 minutes of aerobic activity), which naturally reduce pain in the body.

We hope these strategies help reduce pain and improve the quality of your life!

Learn more about how our pillow can help with neck pain and shoulder pain.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Do You Have Sleep ApneaDid you know that approximately 22 million people are believed to suffer from some form of sleep apnea — either mild, moderate or severe? If you believe you fall into any of these categories, you might want to review the following criteria that can help you determine whether or not you should seek the help of a medical professional. Indicators of sleep apnea include how often you snore, and how easy it is for you to doze off during the day, among other things.

Before we take a deeper look at indicators, let’s get started by reviewing the three different types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is the most frequently seen form of sleep apnea, which typically occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes while a person is sleeping. Relaxed soft tissue can block a person’s airway, in varying degrees, and can be a cause of snoring.

Central Sleep Apnea
Far less common than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is connected to the central nervous system and occurs when a person’s brain doesn’t properly communicate with the muscles that control breathing. Snoring is NOT a symptom of this type of sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep Apnea
This is a combination of the two types of sleep apnea mentioned above.


Since you’re sleeping, self-diagnosis is not an easy task. If you have a significant other, calling upon their assistance, and documentation of what occurs, can prove helpful. You can also record yourself while you sleep and review yourself. 

  • Very loud snoring (a typical symptom of obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Pauses in-between snoring, followed by choking and/or gasps
  • Severe daytime sleepiness, also referred to as hypersomnia
  • Falling asleep easily during the day when you’re not active
  • Temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping
  • Waking up abruptly, accompanied by a discernable shortness of breath (typical with central sleep apnea)
  • Recurring morning headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Concentration, memory or learning problems

The Natural Comfort Pillow Can Help
Did you know that our pillow can help relieve obstructed sleep apnea symptoms? In addition, it’s incredibly comfortable and hypoallergenic! Find out more.

Please be advised that if you suspect you have any form of sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

What Does Formula One Racing Have in Common with Your Pillow?

Therapeutic & Supportive PillowYou may be wondering, what could Formula One Racing possibly have in common with your pillow? The answer to this question depends on what type of pillow you use. If you’re using a typical, department store pillow, probably nothing. But if you’re using a therapeutic pillow, the connection between one of the fastest moving sports in the world and the restful slumber of sleep becomes clear — it’s all about support.

Let’s examine the similarities between some of the gear used in Formula One racing, specifically the driver’s seat and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) system, and the Natural Comfort Pillow.

Formula One Gear that Supports the Head, Neck & Spine

Did you know that those little tiny cockpits in Formula One racecars contain a custom-made seat? At their core, they’re made of a single piece of plastic for the strongest possible support. The next step is adding a custom-made seat cover that’s crafted to fit the exact shape of each driver — it actually molds perfectly around their bodies! This offers stability when driving, as well as support for the entire back.

While the spine is supported by the custom seat, the neck and head are supported and protected by the HANS system. This system includes a carbon fiber shoulder collar that sits under a driver’s safety belts, and is securely connected to his or her helmet with elastic straps. If impact occurs, the straps reduce head movement preventing vertebrae from stretching, and the collar absorbs and redistributes force away from the driver’s skull and neck muscles.

How Our Pillow Supports Your Head Neck & Spine

While the products mentioned above support a person when they’re driving fast, our pillow helps get you up to speed for your day. Speaking of driving, did you know you can use our pillow in the car? Just sit it vertically on our backrest, and the pillow will mould to your back — supporting it much like a custom Formula One seat!

As far as sleeping is concerned, consistently using a supportive pillow like the Natural Comfort Pillow can help with a variety of issues including:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • TMJ
  • Migranes

Support for Back- and Side-sleepers

Here’s a quick overview on how our pillow works for both back- and side-sleepers. Feel free to visit our How this Pillow Helps page for more info.

Neck Pain Relief Back-Lying & Sleeping

Neck Pain Relief Side-Lying & Sleeping

We understand that when you’re sleeping, you’re not risking your life like a Formula One driver does during a race. The question is, by sleeping on an inferior pillow, how are you affecting your life negatively by not addressing issues lie insomnia or neck pain?

We created the Natural Comfort Pillow because we want to help people lead happier healthier lives. We also want you to be as successful as possible. Being well rested, and reducing pain can make a big difference in the amount of success each of us enjoys.

Since our pillow has an unconditional money-back guarantee, there’s no risk involved in giving it a try. All we ask is that you use the Natural Comfort Pillow for at least 30 days to see how it can improve your quality of life.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Regulating Your Sleep-wake Cycle for a Better Night’s Rest

Regulating Your Sleep-Wake Cycle for a Better Night's SleepDo you know if you have a healthy sleep-wake cycle? In our tech-centric world, many people don’t. The good news is there are easy ways to make a positive impact on your sleep-wake cycle, which can help you produce melatonin when it’s time for bed, as opposed to during the middle of your day.

Let’s define what melatonin is, and examine some of the ways you can better control when it’s released in you body.

What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s controlled within the body by light exposure, and it’s a key element in the regulation of a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Our brains typically secrete more melatonin in the evening when it becomes dark outside, making us sleepy. During the day, less melatonin is released because of daylight, causing us to be more awake and alert.

Modern-day Disruptions
These days, many people work in an office where there is no direct exposure to daylight. No windows means no sunlight, which can lead to more production of melatonin during the day. This is why so many people experience mid-day drowsiness. Then, when it’s dark outside, our eyes and brains get bombarded by the artificial light of televisions, computers and mobile devices — which can suppress our body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.

So as you can see, with the advent of modern culture and technology, we’ve got our sleep cycles pretty confused.

How to Reset Your Sleep-wake Cycle
Simple, effective strategies to get your sleep-wake cycle back on track include increasing your exposure to natural light during the day, and decreasing your exposure to light before you go to bed.

Ways to increase your exposure to light during the day:

  • Remove sunglasses, especially in the morning
  • Spend more time outside during the day. Take a walk during one of your breaks, or simply go outside and get some sunshine.
  • Exercise outdoors, or try walking your dog during the day instead of the night.
  • Fill your home or workspace with as much light as possible. Open those curtains and blinds! Moving your desk closer to a window is also an effective way to increase alertness.
  • If you don’t have access to natural light, try a light therapy box. It can simulate sunshine and is especially helpful during the winter when daylight is in short supply.

Ways to boost melatonin production at night:

  • Decide what time you want to go to sleep. If bedtime is 11pm, be sure to turn off all electronic devices by 10pm. At first, this may be difficult. Many of us have formed strong habits around these devices, so be kind to yourself as you develop new, healthier habits. In addition to lowering melatonin production, these devices can actually stimulate the mind, making you feel “wired,” even after a long day.
  • Wind down you day with an audio book, an actual book, meditation, or by listening to music.
  • If all of your books are electronic, and you must read on your mobile device, set the background to “night mode,” which essentially makes the background black and the text white.
  • Change out bright light bulbs with softer ones with lower wattage — especially in your bedroom.
  • When you go to bed, make sure your room is dark. The darker your bedroom, the better chance you have of sleeping well. To darken the room, cover electronic displays, use heavy curtains, or try a sleep mask.

We hope these tips help you have more productive days, and more restful nights.

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Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Managing Stress for Better Sleep

Managing Stress for Better SleepIt’s no surprise to anybody that stress is part of life. And although we can’t always control the events that cause stress or anxiety to manifest in our lives, we can control how we respond. Finding ways to manage stress is a critical factor to leading a happier, healthier life. It can also be the deciding factor as to whether or not we sleep well on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at a handful of ways to manage stress — including meditation, exercise and mindfulness.

Meditation comes in many forms. Let’s examine two simple, effective ways to mediate that can be accomplished in as little as three minutes.

First, let’s turn to your smart phone. recently posted an article that details the top 17 meditation apps of 2014 for your Android or iPhone. Two of our favorites are Mindfulness and Mindful, which are very effective and only ask for 3-5 minutes of your time to complete a meditation.

Our second suggestion is much more low tech. Simply find a place in your home where it’s quiet and you can have some privacy. Sit comfortably, with your legs crossed (if possible) and your back straight. You can also sit in a chair if you find it more comfortable. Light a candle, and simply stare at it while you take slow, deliberate breaths. Breathe deeply through your nose into your stomach, and exhale completely through your mouth. At first, you may find that it feels impossible to sit still for even five minutes. But with a little practice, meditating in this way can be quite rewarding. An important tip is to try and clear your mind while you’re performing your meditation. That being said, if a thought enters your mind that’s totally OK, just let it pass as best you can and refocus on your breathing.

There’s often a preconceived notion that exercise needs to involve immense amounts of effort. Not true. Even a 10-minute walk around the block at lunchtime is good exercise for your body, and can lower your stress. Bring that deep breathing into your walk for increased meditative benefits. Of course, if you prefer running, yoga, biking, weightlifting or some other form of physical activity, go for it! Doing something you enjoy is far better than doing something you feel you “should” do. The point of exercise is to de-stress, not add stress to your day.

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, etc. In our tech-centric, fast paced world, it’s sometimes difficult to me mindful. Instead, our thoughts often focus on what’s next on our to-do list — even while we’re still currently working on a task. The best way to stop this cycle is to take a minute or two every few hours to focus on your breath. The simple act of focusing on taking slow, deep breaths is a form of mindfulness, and can help lower stress. While you’re taking these breaths, note how your body feels in the moment, and what your surroundings look like. Can you feel your muscles, and your brain, relaxing a bit?

Thank you for visiting My Better Spine. We hope these tips help reduce your stress.

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Is Your Pillow Causing or Relieving Neck Pain?

Neck & Shoulder Pain ReliefNot all pillows are created equal. As a matter of fact, some can actually aggravate neck pain, cause headaches, insomnia — and even misalign vertebrae. The good news is that a well-made, supportive pillow has a wealth of health benefits. Let’s examine what goes into the making of a well-made pillow, and what types of benefits it can offer — including proper support of the head and neck, as well as relaxing neck muscles and de-stressing joints.

A well-made, supportive pillow should:

  • Support the head and neck — in both back- and side-sleeping positions
  • Relax the muscles of the neck, lessening stress on joints
  • Mold to your neck and head, with no recoil or spring back
  • Never stress the joints of the neck
  • Be comfortable, yet supportive
  • Be breathable

Benefits of a supportive pillow include:

  • Relief from neck pain or stiffness, neck injuries, headaches, insomnia and shoulder pain
  • Improved performance for athletes
  • Helping vertebrae remain aligned
  • Improved airflow and blood flow, while reducing breathing obstruction in the throat
  • A better night’s sleep

Hallmarks of a quality pillow:

  • A blend of natural down and feathers
  • 100% cotton casing
  • Bounces and fluffs into shape
  • Easily conforms to the size and shape of your head and neck (unlike molded foams and rubber)
  • Feathers and down also “breathe”
  • Absorbs body moisture

A non-supportive pillow isn’t only less comfortable, it can also have the opposite affect of a supportive pillow. In fact, a non-supportive pillow can exacerbate headaches, neck pain, or any of the conditions we’ve mentioned in this article. Learn More About How Our Pillow Can Help Visit the Natural Comfort Pillow homepage for specific information pertaining to neck pain, shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, TMJ and migraines. Try our pillow at no risk … When you try our pillow, we want to make sure you’re completely satisfied with your purchase. That’s why we offer a no-risk, 60-day money back guarantee that allows you to return the pillow for any reason. All we ask is that you use your pillow for at least 30 days to allow the feathers and down to mould to your unique neck and head shape — and for you to get accustomed to the special support the Natural Comfort Pillow offers. Thanks for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Tips for a Better Nights SleepConsistently getting a good night’s sleep is critical for physical and mental health, as well as your ability to be successful in your personal and professional life. Anyone who’s missed even a couple nights of restful sleep understands how debilitating exhaustion can be. Let’s take a look at five easy tips — including keeping a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine — that can help you get a solid amount of sleep on a consistent basis.

Get Comfortable
Although this may sound obvious, getting comfortable goes beyond making sure you have cozy PJs. In order to be completely comfortable for a good night’s sleep, you’ll need to create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. To do this, make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. If there’s light coming in from an outside streetlamp, or a neighbor’s porch light, try room-darkening shades. If there’s any type of noise you’d like to filter out, try earplugs, a fan or an ambient-sound sleep app on your smart phone that can add just enough background noise (like rain, or ocean waves) to cancel out disturbances while helping provide a more optimal sleep environment.

Your mattress and pillow also make a big contribution to the quality of your sleep. In addition to better sleep, a supportive pillow like our Natural Comfort Pillow can also reduce neck pain, TMJ, migraines and a host of other issues.

Keep a Sleep Schedule
This tip may take a bit of retraining your habits — especially if you’re a night owl. What you’ll need to do is go to bed and get up at the same time every day — even on weekends. A consistent sleep schedule reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle, promoting better sleep. That being said, if you haven’t fallen asleep within approximately 15 minutes, it’s OK to get up and something relaxing. The keyword here is RELAXING, so stay away from the temptation to work. Once you feel tired, go back to bed. Remaining in bed, stressing over falling asleep, may make it harder to actually fall asleep.

Stay Active During the Day
Physical activity isn’t just good for your overall health. It can also aid in better sleep. Consistent daily physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and experience deeper, more restful sleep. The time of day you have physical activity plays a role in how effective it is in helping your sleep improve. Exercising earlier in the day is optimal, making a morning run, or possibly a lunchtime walk, far more beneficial than exercising at night — which can leave you too energized to fall asleep. Other benefits of regular physical activity include more energy throughout the day and improved clarity of mind. Please note, before taking on any new type of physical activity, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor.

Create a Bedtime Ritual
A ritual is really just another way of getting yourself on a clearly defined schedule. Finding what bedtime routine works for you, and performing it every night, can go a long way in telling your body and your mind that it’s time to wind down. Reading, a warm bath, listening to relaxing music or meditating, are only a handful of tactics that can help you sleep better. Relaxing activities have a way of making us sleepy, priming us for restful slumber.

Part of your ritual can also include removing noise and excessive light from your sleep environment (in other words, turn off the TV).It can also involve fluffing your pillow, and setting your blankets in a specific way to make your bed more inviting.

Be Mindful of What You’re Eating
Going to bed hungry or full can affect the quality of your sleep. That being said, this is not an invitation to eat an entire container of your favorite ice cream. Instead, eat something light. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of how much you drink — starting at least an hour before you go to bed. This will help prevent the need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Having dinner earlier in the evening, and avoiding rich heavy foods within two-hours of bedtime, can help you sleep better. Heavy foods are harder to digest, and may keep you up. Spicy or acidic foods may cause heartburn, which can disrupt sleep. A simple cup of coffee, even when consumed hours before bed, can keep you up at night. Every person is different, so it’s a good idea to keep track of when you have your last cup, and how you slept that night. If you notice a trend of better sleep when you drink your coffee earlier in the day, why not make that part of your sleep ritual?

We hope these sleep tips help you rest more soundly. Please note that the tips on the Natural Comfort Pillow blog are not meant to replace the medical advice of your doctor.

Learn More About Our Pillow
Haven’t tried our therapeutic pillow yet? Learn more about how it can improve the quality of your sleep — and your life.

Thanks for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!