Have you heard conflicting advice about pillows? Advice can range from using a very thin pillow to using a thick one to not using a pillow at all!?! Confused about the correct answer? Lets look at different sleep postures and why we all need to use a pillow ….
Sleep is essential for optimal body function. It is the time when your body rejuvenates and refreshes itself from the stresses of the day. Your body can relax the best when our joints are placed in a neutral position. During sleep, head neck and shoulder joints should be in neutral alignment with the spine and this can be easily achieved by using a pillow that is customised to your body type.
If you sleep on your back, the pillow height should be the distance between the back of your head and the upper back. And if you are a side sleeper, height of the pillow should be equal to the distance between the tip of your shoulder and the earlobe.
But have you ever wondered what happens if a pillow is not used? If you are sleeping on your back without a pillow your head rolls backwards to touch the bed. In this extended position the joint space inside the spine is narrowed down, which can lead to a potential nerve impingement. This can give rise to symptoms such as neck pain and/or heaviness, tingling, burning or numbness down the arm.
If you are a side sleeper and your pillow is not able to support your cervical spine in neutral, you will either strain or twist your neck or you will tuck your arm under the pillow to support the neck and end up with aches and soreness in the shoulder, neck and upper - mid back over a period of time.
So go and check that pillow today and see if it supports your spine in neutral!!
If you are still not sure about your pillow check out my favourite resource that tells you my favourite pillows.
Other ways I can help ...
Join my free community on Facebook where we discuss similar topics in a judgement free and friendly group.
If you like this blog and want to be notified about new blogs as soon as they are published, subscribe to my mailing list below.