If you are looking for migraine relief at home, you may need to consider sleeping on an elevation pillow for head and neck support. Learn why sleeping with your head elevated on a wedge pillow may be an easy way to relieve migraine symptoms.
How an elevation pillow affects your head while you sleep
During the day when your body is upright, gravity assists the blood flow and circulation between your head, neck, and heart. However, when you sleep at night, your body and head are lying flat. When you lie flat, the circulation loop between your heart and your head slows down.
Your system must work harder to circulate blood through your brain and head because it doesn’t have gravity helping it. Lying flat can cause an increase in intracranial pressure. This decreases oxygen to the brain which can lead to headaches or migraines.
Sleeping on a head elevation pillow may change this. Some studies have shown a decrease of up to 60% of migraines for individuals that sleep with at least 30 degrees of head elevation. When you sleep with your torso and head elevated, it lessens the restriction of blood vessels going to your head. In turn, the amount of oxygen going to your brain increases while you sleep.
What wedge pillow do I need to elevate my head?
For migraine relief at home, sleeping with a minimum head and torso elevation of 30 degrees may decrease your incidence and intensity of migraines. A comfortable and effective way to sleep at the correct angle is to invest in a wedge pillow to elevate head, neck, and torso. A 12-inch wedge pillow would effectively get your head to this 30 degree position.
To be most comfortable, combine your elevation pillow for head support with a knee wedge pillow. This will prevent your upper body from sliding down your elevation pillow during the night. It will also align your hips, knees, and lower back correctly so your muscles and joints are completely relaxed and not affected by any gravitational pressure.
Using an elevation pillow for head and neck support may prevent or lessen the severity of migraines. Get migraine relief at home and don’t go another day debilitated by head pain!
-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy