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HEAD REST FOR BEST BED REST

Are you sleeping with the enemy? Using the wrong type of pillow can cause muscle strain and discomfort. Keep these tips from sleep experts and doctors in mind so the next time you buy a pillow, it won't be such a pain in the neck.

If you're a back or side sleeper: Pick a dense foam pillow, which is more stable. It will keep your neck in a neutral position, maintaining its natural curve. Without that support, neck muscles can tense up, leading to headaches or even migraines. Look for a contoured version, especially if you sleep on your side. The front mound fills in the space between neck and shoulder. (Try the Isotonic Memory Foam Contour Pillow; $60, bedbathandbeyond.com.)

If you tend to sleep on your stomach: Opt for a down pillow. Density isn't as important here, since lying on your stomach requires less neck support. Down also compresses easily, which means air passages aren't restricted when you turn your neck to sleep. (Try the Down Slumber Pillow; $30.) Allergy sufferers should note that dust mites like to burrow into down. Keep them away with a miteproof cover (BedCare Ultra Cover; $12, natlallergy.com). Then tuck yourself in and say good night to counting sheep.

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