Today we are talking about sleeping and what part a pillow might play in giving the correct support for the head and neck! Can you explain how that support works?
Understanding the support that is needed comes from knowing how you sleep.
The position that you sleep in, back, side or stomach or maybe a combination of those positions.
The shape of your neck, with the amount of upper shoulder muscles.
These two things help us know the thickness of the pillow that is required!
So thinking about being a side sleeper, what kind of pillow is required?
For a side sleeper, a thicker pillow to fill in the width of your shoulder is required to hold your head and neck straight and your spine aligned.
This is a thicker pillow so it fills in the shoulder width. This pillow has a shoulder cutout so it doesn’t add pressure to your shoulder!
But what if you are a back sleeper?
Sleeping on your back is a very healthy way to sleep as it doesn’t put pressure on your internal organs. To keep your neck aligned, a lower profile pillow will support your head and not push your chin into your chest.
Many men have thicker upper back muscles, so there is quite a curve from their back to their neck and then the back of their head. This shape would require a thicker pillow, much like how men like more of a pillow on a recliner as compared to just a flat back!
Yes, there are those pillow type backs on recliners!
Women typically do not like them because it pushes their heads forward, but for men, it fills in their necks for good support, just like a thicker pillow for a bed!
What about a stomach sleeper, what do they need?
They should really try to learn to sleep on their back or side. Stomach sleeping generally is learned because the mattress they slept on was sagging in the middle, so they went to their stomach, because our body doesn’t bend that way, and it felt better than laying in the sagging middle. The big problem here is that there is so much pressure on all of our internal organs,and it is very difficult to keep our spine straight. We need to turn our face left or right…so that can easily cause neck pain.
If you do sleep this way, a very thin pillow or none at all should be used!
What if Side sleeping and back sleeping occurs, due to tossing and turning through the night?
That is usually a sign of trying to get comfortable….maybe the bed is too hard or too soft! Other issues could be not having enough space to be comfortable, or noise in the room which wakes us up momentarily so we move to another position!
If you do sleep a couple of ways it is best to use a medium thick pillow, which works for your back position and then when you go to your side, you need to punch the pillow it to give it more thickness! When you move, you will wake up enough to do the adjustment!
Sounds like back sleeping is the healthiest position!
Yes, we have learned many bad habits over the years….and how we sleep and how much we sleep are things we need to make sure we are doing correctly! We will talk more about other healthy sleep habits soon!