PILLOW TALK: IS YOUR PILLOW RIGHT FOR YOU?
Are you waking up with a stiff neck or headache? Tossing and turning during the night trying to get comfortable? Waking up with your pillow down near your feet? Well perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at your old faithful pillow.
How to choose the right pillow:
Choosing a pillow is a very personal decision. Given that we spend roughly a third of our life sleeping, it is also a decision that requires some research. Nowadays pillows come in a range of varying styles, shapes, densities and materials. But what makes it the perfect pillow for you? Well it depends on your sleeping posture. Side sleepers will often need a higher, firmer pillow to support the space between the mattress and their head and neck. Back sleepers may require a medium sized, softer pillow as the space between your neck and the mattress is reduced.
The most important factor is to make sure that your head and neck are in a neutral position – that is, they are in line with your spine.
If you have been using an inappropriate pillow for a long time, you may have developed minor strain patterns through your upper back, shoulders and neck that predispose you to stiffness and headaches upon waking. While you are reassessing the quality of your pillow, it may be a good time to visit your Osteopath to ensure that your body is ready and able to adjust to a new pillow. Your Osteopath will be able to assist you with some handy tips to promote the ever important side and/or back sleeping postures.
Remember: Sleeping on your front is an absolute no no!
Two of the most commonly used pillow types are latex and synthetic pillows. They both provide a hypo-allergic option as compared to many feather or down pillows. Latex pillows tend to hold their shape well, are generally resistant to dust mites, mould and bacteria and are washable.
Memory foam is a pressure relieving, synthetic material that moulds to the natural contours and curves of your body, relieving pressure and maintaining correct spinal alignment. Removable covers make for easy cleaning and restrict the presence of dust mites, bacteria, mould and mildew.
Testing your pillow:
The average lifespan of a pillow is arguably between 2 and 7 years, but is largely dependent on a number of variables including:
- •Pillow material and density
- •Body moisture
- •Amount of use
If you’re unsure as to whether your pillow has passed its used by date try this handy tip; Fold your pillow in half and place a light object such as a shoe on top. If the pillow tosses the shoe off and springs back into shape, your pillow is still good. If the shoe doesn’t budge, then your pillow probably needs replacing.
Airing out your pillow on a regular basis ensures that pillows remain dry from body moisture that is absorbed during the night. Remember that a simple pillow protector will lengthen the life of your pillow and keep it looking brand new for longer.
So drop by the Heidelberg Osteopathic Clinic, test out a pillow during your next treatment, and ask your Osteopath how you can work towards achieving the perfect night’s sleep.
(Image courtesy of https://www.completesleeprrr.com).