Finding The Right Pillow
Consider how important it is to make sure your pillow fits you, not the other way around. This is true since you spend about 1/3 of every 24 hours sleeping. The second thing is the pillow you choose can differ greatly depending on how you sleep.
It's important to know how (what position) you sleep most nights. Poorly fitting pillows can cause damage to your neck and lead to spine problems. While a chiropractor can help you heal from the injury, it's important to stop the nerve pressure as much and as soon as possible.
These are the essentials. A pillow should help you maintain a neutral posture throughout the night. The support it provides for your neck and shoulders is the most important decision you will make about a pillow. Hygiene and allergies to the material are secondary considerations. Your pillow should be replaced every four to six months due to oils on your face, on your head and in your hair. Poor skin and allergies can be caused by the buildup of bacteria and dust mites. Oils can also cause the pillow to flatten, affecting how it supports you.
A single pillow should have a slight curve if you are a back-sleeper. This will support your spine and keep your alignment neutral. A pillow that is too small or too big or too many pillows can cause lower neck strain and/or unnecessary stress on your upper neck. Both of these are not conducive for a good night's sleep. At Mecham Chiropractic we can recommend an excellent cervical curve pillow. Stomach sleepers, not recommended, will need a thinner pillow that provides more support than cushion. A thin pillow will reduce pressure on your shoulders and face and promote alignment of your spine.
Side sleepers are the most difficult. Side sleepers require a pillow that fills the space between their shoulder/arm and the neck. Pillows too small or too big can cause the neck to rest at an unnatural angle, which will result in stiffness and pain in your shoulder muscles. When you buy a pillow, it doesn't have to be expensive. Buy one and try it out for several nights. If you are satisfied with the result, return to the store and purchase two or three additional pillows of the same brand and size. To prevent the problems mentioned above, you should replace your pillow every four to six months.
Always go back to the pillow that's right for you. If the pillow doesn't support you for any reason, go back to the beginning and search for the best pillow for you. Sleeping is 1/3 of your life and it's worth spending the time, effort and money to find your perfect pillow.