The average person spends roughly one-third of their life asleep, yet puts almost no thought into their pillow choice, and often buys them with convenience and price in mind. Pillows play such a significant role in our daily routine, that they can determine whether we get a restful sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go, or wake up with neck pain, shoulder pain, and feel groggy and tired.
Our pillows serve two main purposes when we use them:
1. Comfort; the more comfortable your pillow is, the better sleep you will have.
and more importantly
2. Correct sleeping posture; a good pillow will support your head and neck in the correct position, preventing you from waking up with stiff joints and tight neck muscles.
The average lifespan of a pillow is 5 years, so a great test to see if your pillow is still up to the job is too;
Fold the pillow in half, then let go of the pillow. If your pillow still has plenty of life left in it, it will spring back into shape quickly and sharply.
If not, where do you start with buying a new pillow?
There are lots of different pillows on the market, from basic feather filled pillows, through to good memory foam, multi-size pillows, which is great because we all come in different shapes and sizes.
Finding the correct pillow.
To help you find the correct pillow firstly you need to determine whether you are a front, back or ideally a side sleeper.
Side sleepers need a larger pillow which keeps their head and neck in line with their spine. The ideal sleeping position is when the head/neck are properly aligned. This keeps our whole spine in the proper position when we sleep. This allows for easier breathing and less stress on our joints. A good indication that your pillow is too small is if you find you put your arm up under your pillow while you sleep lifting it up slightly to an adequate height.
Back sleepers require a small to medium thickness pillow. Preferably one which prevents their head from being tilted too far back while lying down but also doesn’t push it forward by being too high.
Front sleeping is not ideal as you force your neck into a sustained awkward rotational posture which can lead to muscle stiffness and discomfort.
You may even find that when you start using a pillow that is the correct height and support for you, you will naturally change to an ideal side sleeping posture.
Once sleeping position is determined there is a range of different materials that pillows are made of. The best one for you comes down to personal preference.
Please come in and talk to us at Peak Chiropractic, if that all seems a bit daunting. Discuss custom fitted pillow’s or other options with our friendly staff .