What Kind of Pillow Should I Use Doc?
What’s the Best Pillow for Me Doc?
I am asked this question every day. The best pillow for you is one that you can contour to meet through squishing and fluffing to meet your dominant sleeping position. Your pillow should fit you like an old pair of shoes. Your goal when buying a new pillow is to know what pillow is best for your body or spine type. Firmness and comfort is going to allow your neck and spine to be aligned properly or has the potential to cause headaches, neck misalignments, numbness and tingling in your arms and hands, and even the amount of oxygen your lungs can hold.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE PILLOWS ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST!!
I don’t care how much neck pain you may have. If you have don’t have a cervical curve in your neck in your neck and sleep on your stomach, even a $200 memory foam pillow is going to be a waste of money. When determining the number of pillows to use, keep in mind that too many pillows push your head forward (reversing the curve in your neck). One pillow is best lying on your back. Similarly, if lying on your side be sure the gap between your head and shoulders is filled by pillow. Find a position that enables you to maintain a midline position.
I’m going to make this easy….
1) If you’re in pain when you get up or sleep restless, something has to change.
2) Sleeping on your back with one pillow is the most ideal position.
3) Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position and unfortunately, one day it may catch up with you. So work on changing.
4) Side lying is the second desired position (with the back of your head level with mid-back).
5) “The Pillow Test”-Lay your pillow down on a flat surface and push your hand down into the pillow. If the pillow returns to its original shape immediately (foam or cotton)-Throw it out! Why? This will cause your neck muscles will be in a battle with gravity all night with constant resistance. If however your pillow stays depressed or returns to its original shape very slowly-Keep it!
The normal human neck has backwards C-curve called a lordosis. This helps sustain the weight of the head when upright, and it’s important to maintain this curve when in a lying position. If the pillow is too high when sleeping on your side or on your back, the neck is bent abnormally forwards or to the side, causing muscle strain on the back of the neck and shoulders. This type of position may also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep.