Pillows plays a bigger role in our sleep than we think. But with so many choices out there, it’s difficult to make the right choice. And seeing as you’ll spend about one third or your life sleeping, it’s a choice worth pondering over.
A pillow that doesn’t fit your properly or doesn’t provide enough support may lead to discomfort while sleeping or waking up in pain. It’s would be far more beneficial for you to wake up refreshed and energized for your day. And to do that we need to find a pillow that’s not only comfortable for you to sleep on but also provides the proper support to your neck structures.
There are 3 criteria that you must consider.
First, you must consider the size of the pillow. Basically, if you have broader shoulder, than you’d need a thicker pillow to support you properly.
Second, consider the material that the pillow is made out of. If you have allergies, than it would be wise to go with a hypoallergenic pillow. Pillows can be made from many different materials so be sure to check the details on the packaging to ensure that it’s what you’re looking for. Also, be sure to wash your pillow cover regularly. Pillows must be replaced every year or two on average, but this depends on the quality of the material.
Third, look at your sleeping position. There are 3 types: back, side or stomach.
- Back: you’ll need a pillow with medium thickness and a bump (called “cervical pillow”). Make sure that it holds your head in a neutral position
- Side: You’ll need a pillow that more firm. Depending on the width of your shoulders you’ll want to pick the size of your pillow accordingly. Ideally, you want your nose in line with the centre of your neck when sleeping on your side.
- Stomach: You’ll want a pillow that’s soft and flat. Sleeping on your stomach is not ideal in the long-term as it can lead to more spinal issues. Talk to one of our structural chiropractor for advice around this.
A second pillow may be sued for side sleepers as it can be placed between the legs to keep the pelvis alignment in neutral throughout the night. A second pillow is also a good idea for stomach sleepers to hug so that they avoid turning onto their stomachs. If you’re suffering from low back pain and you sleep on your back, try placing it underneath your knees to take a bit of pressure off.
Now you’re equipped with the knowledge to go out there and make an informed decision about the pillow you sleep on. Not only will it help you achieve a good night’s sleep, it may also prevent or reduce neck pain, back pain, headaches and, in certain cases, snoring. Sleep soundly!
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