This video outlines the pros and cons of different sleep postures as tips on picking the right pillow!
The Importance of Using the Right Pillow…
Quality sleep is an elusive commodity for millions. The complex process of attaining a quality sleep pattern can be compromised by a number of factors that you may or may not have even considered. One such factor is simply the wrong pillow. Choosing the right pillow is very important in achieving a good night’s rest. A good pillow will support the skull and neck without applying undue pressure, as it conforms to the exact shape of the sleeper, thus spreading the weight evenly and uniformly along the vertebrae. Aside from aggravating the neck, many pillows can affect the shoulder as well. Shoulder problems are also often caused by referred pain from the neck. Therefore, stabilizing the neck during sleep is of paramount importance! Put some thought into choosing a good pillow. In addition to finally getting a great night’s sleep, you may end up saving yourself from neck and shoulder pain too!
Proper use of pillows:
Change your pillow every 1-2 years. Mark the date of first use on your pillow and in your agenda to check in a year and then every 3 months after that.
Pillows wear out too just like your shoes wear out!
Criteria for Choosing the Right Pillow for You:
A Good Pillow is designed to keep the spine in natural alignment. The human neck curves slightly forward (to sustain the weight of the head when upright), and it is very important to maintain this curve when in a resting position. If the height of the pillow is too high when sleeping sideways or on the back, the neck is bent abnormally forward or to the side, causing muscle strain on the back of the neck and shoulders. This type of position may also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep. Conversely, if the height of the pillow is too low, the neck muscles can also be strained. A Pillow must feel comfortable. A large part of what makes a good pillow is personal preference. If the pillow feels comfortable, it is likely to help one relax, get a good night’s sleep, and feel well rested in the morning.
Pillows for each sleep position…
One’s sleep position will dictate how a traditional pillow can be used to provide the appropriate support.
Using a pillow while sleeping on one’s back:
When lying on the back, a pillow should support the natural curvature of the cervical spine, with adequate support under the head, neck, and shoulders. When sleeping on the back, the height of the pillow should be lower than in the sideways position. Placing a pillow or two beneath the knees further alleviates any back strain, and is the gentlest position on the back.
When lying on one’s side, a pillow should support the head and neck such that the spine maintains a straight and natural horizontal line. Weight should be evenly distributed so as not to create unnatural bending or pressure. Some people may prefer placing a small pillow or rolled up towel under their waist while lying on the side for additional support.
Types of Pillows Available at Back to Health
At Back to Health, we have several different types of pillows to fit your needs. Each type of pillow has its own role:
- Min Makura Pillow (Buckwheat Pillow)
- Mediflow Waterbase Pillow (travel size available)
- Normailzer Pillow Firm (Petite, Standard, and Travel Size)
- Ortho-Cerv Headleveler Pillow (King, Queen, Double, Single Twin, Travel Size
- Therapeutica Pillow (Travel Size)
Speak to Dr. Rodwin about which pillow is best for your needs!
We Have Loaner Pillows!
At Back to Health we have a loaner system where you can borrow a pillow from us to try out! If you like it, we have them available to purchase.
Bring your current pillow in to have it checked by Dr. Rodwin.