Sleep is important. The right amount of sleep is essential for not only spinal health but overall health. But it’s not just important to get enough hours of sleep at night; it should be quality sleep. Sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t offer enough support for your sleeping position can lead to neck pain, headaches and an insufficient amount of sleep at night. Here is how to choose the right pillow for your sleeping position.
The majority of the population are side sleepers. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent slightly helps keep your neck and spine in neutral positions. The proper pillow for sleeping on your side should be thick enough to fill the gap between your neck and your shoulder. Without enough loft, your neck can sag into the mattress causing strain and muscle tension. A firm, lofty pillow is the best way to get enough support for your neck while keeping your spine aligned. Experiment with a flatter pillow in between your knees to take pressure off your hips and lower back.
Chiropractors do not recommend this position since sleeping on your stomach causes you to keep your neck at a sharp angle which puts a lot of tension on muscles and ligaments. You should try to break this habit by turning on your side, but if this is not a possibility for you, a flat soft pillow is the best choice. To support the natural curve in your spine, try using another flat pillow under your stomach.
While sleeping on your back should be avoided if you snore or have sleep apnea, it is the most natural way to fall asleep. The best pillow for back sleepers should have medium firmness that is lofty enough hold your head up without extending it past its natural curve.
If you have any questions about choosing the right pillow, your chiropractor can help.