Choosing the Correct Pillow
The correct pillow is just as essential in achieving a complete restful night’s sleep along side a healthy supportive mattress. The right pillow can relieve your aches and pains by providing proper support for the spine and neck. From a physical support standpoint, you would desire your pillow to elevate your head, neck and shoulders. This type of support, along with the proper mattress, can keep the body in proper alignment. Subjectively, you should always find your pillow comfortable the minute you lie on it. There is a fine balance of comfort and support when selecting the right pillow to sleep on.
The Different Sleeping Positions
When sleeping on your back, you should have adequate support for your shoulders, head and neck. The pillow should support the natural curvature of the cervical spine. A low contour/cervical pillow is often recommended for this particular sleeping position.
This is among the most common of the 3 sleeping positions and allows for a greater variety of options when choosing a pillow. There are many options: shredded latex, solid latex, wool, contour, etc. It is important for the pillow to keep the spine in a straight, horizontal line while supporting the head and neck. Weight should be evenly distributed to avoid the spine being out of alignment which will result in relief of pressure points.
The stomach position is considered one the worst positions, in large part due to the spine often being placed out of alignment. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that you sleep with a very flat pillow then place another similar or the same pillow under the stomach to straighten the spine, keeping it’s natural alignment. The optimal pillow height recommended for this position would be a no higher than 2-3.5 inches maximum.
Always remember that a pillow is a personal choice and choosing the right pillow for each individual should be a carefully thought-out process, much like buying a house or a car. It is essential to remember that support, follwed by comfort should be sought out in a new pillow. Many self-adjustable pillows are offered that can be custom-tailored to your own sleep position and body and comfort requirements. Happy pillow hunting!