Pillows are not just for decoration, and really can make the difference as to whether you wake up stiff and sore in the morning. Luckily, good pillows are not nearly as expensive as mattresses, which we discussed last week. Every body is a little different, but the best pillow will keep your neck aligned with your chest and lower back. Your chiropractic physician would say your cervical spine should be properly aligned with the thoracic and lumbar sections of your spine.
When you are on your side, your head and neck should remain in line with your mid and lower spine (this usually requires a thicker pillow). When you are on your back, your head and neck should be level with your upper back and spine (this usually means a flatter pillow). Many people sleep on either their side or their back, so it’s easier to choose a pillow. Some of us go back and forth through the night, so we either want two pillows, or might purchase one of those pillows with a dip in the middle – so your head can be closer to the mattress when you are on your back, and further from the mattress when you are on your side. Those with broader shoulders will need an especially thick pillow when they are on their side.
Firmer foam and materials usually provide more support throughout the night. Some pillows flatten out through the night, so you might find yourself sleeping with your arm under your pillow – a sure sign you are needing more support! If you have a sleeping partner who is of a different size and shape than you, there is a very good chance you need pillows of different size and shape.
Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR offers chiropractic medicine, sports medicine, naturopathic medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, and massage. If pain or injury is decreasing your quality of sleep, give us a call at 541-484-5777.
Source: The American Chiropractic Association’s guide Healthy Living – Sleep