What’s the Best Pillow for You?
Pillow Advice from Dr. Shulman and Dr. Neely
We’ve all been there, you go away on vacation and the hotel is amazing! The bed is comfortable, the room is clean, and the amenities are great! BUT… the pillows were flat – so flat that you woke up with neck pain and a headache. Hopefully, you are able to get in to see a chiropractor on your trip.
Sleeping with the wrong pillow can misalign the bones in your neck, pinching nerves and causing a headache. A proper pillow is one of the most-important elements of a good night’s sleep.
Chiropractors generally recommend sleeping on your side or your back, but your preferred sleeping position is usually set at an early age. If you’re a stomach-sleeper, moving to your side or back is not always easy.
Back sleeper tips:
- Choose a pillow that conforms to the curve of your neck. Memory-foam pillows
are higher closer to your neck than they are where you rest your head. This ensures that your head does not sit higher than the top of your spine.
- If you’re stuck with a flat hotel pillow, roll up a small towel and place it inside your pillowcase so that it rests behind your neck. You can also travel with a small buckwheat pillow (available at Pure-Health) and use it for extra neck support. This offers support for your neck while your head rests comfortably on the pillow.
- Avoid a pillow that is too high or stiff. This over-flexes the muscles in your neck during the night.
Tips for Side Sleepers
- Side sleepers need to focus on keeping their head in a straight line with the rest of their body. Choose a firmer pillow that elevates your head.
- Side sleepers can also benefit from a pillow that is higher under their neck than their head.
- If you find yourself sleeping with your hand between your head and your pillow, that’s a sure sign that your pillow is not firm enough or is too flat. This can result in both neck and shoulder injuries.
Tips for Stomach Sleepers
- Sleeping on your stomach can be very hard on your spine. Try your best to keep your head, neck and spine as straight as possible during the night.
- Learning a new sleep position is challenging but it can be achieved. Start slowly by beginning your sleep in the desired position. If you wake up on your stomach, just move back to your back or side. Your body will eventually become more comfortable in the new position. Don’t believe me? Ask a pregnant woman who has usually had to readjust her sleeping position over and over throughout her pregnancy!
Dr. Neely and Dr. Shulman regularly advise patients on the type of pillow that will meet their patient’s needs and keep them feeling their best.
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