Pillows: Choosing the best pillow for sleep

Pillows: Choosing the best pillow for sleep

What is the best pillow for sleep?

This will depend on what position you sleep in.

What is the best position to sleep in? It is an important question to ask because we will be in that position for on average 8 hours every night. One position for that duration of time can either be helpful or harmful to your body. If you happen to have aches, pains, or an injury (especially to the neck or back) your sleeping position is important: it can significantly take stress off injured tissues or even harm them further.

The best position in which to sleep is dependent on many factors. We want our bodies to be in a neutral position when sleeping. This means a neutral position of the spine from the lower limbs all the way to the head and maintaining the normal curvature of the spine. It is best to avoid any excessive curves forward, backward, excessive side bending or rotation, and any abnormal forces of the upper and lower extremities on the spine. This goes for the head and neck and determines the type of pillow needed to accomplish a neutral position.

The human neck has a slight forward curvature naturally. It is optimal to try to maintain this curve when in a resting position. The height of the pillow should not be too high or low when sleeping. This will cause abnormal alignment of the head and neck, causing muscle and joint strain. You can even wake with headLady on pillowaches. Poor pillow support can also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep.

Do you wake up with neck stiffness or headaches? It might be because of your pillow!

No matter what position you lie in, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, thick enough to allow your head to be in a neutral position. Sleeping on your stomach unfortunately makes this almost impossible as your head will be rotated as if you are looking over your shoulder...all night! This position is not recommended.

We must also remember that for optimal sleep you must be comfortable enough to fall asleep. This means that the position you sleep in may not be the most biomechanically desirable but allows your body to get the rest it needs.

 

Now that you kMan on pillownow more about sleeping positions we can now choose a pillow based on this. If you always sleep on your back you will want a pillow with a small curvature for the neck as you don’t want your head too high. If you sleep on your side you need a higher curve to fill the gap between your shoulder to your head and the gap to your neck. If you have a wider neck that more matches the circumference of your head then this will be less.

All that said one pillow that we have found on the market suits both of the above positions and is micro and macro adjustable to about every person no matter shape, size, or sleeping posture preference. The Complete Sleeper Pillow has one side with a large curvature and one with a lower curve. The Complete Sleeper pillow come in 4 varieties:

  • Original: Memory Foam – Soft Density
  • Plus: Memory Foam – Medium Density
  • Deluxe: Traditional Foam
  • Gel Blue: Memory Foam – Gel Infused – Medium DensityMemory foam pillow

The correct pillow will help keep you neutral and happy for a comfy night’s sleep. Your Health Domain stocks these pillows in our clinics so if you are having trouble sleeping talk to one of us about which option might suit you best!

 

To book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists so we can assess your spine and recommend the best pillow for you, call 9251 5111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Michael Tamaddoni

Senior Physiotherapist

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Pitt St. City Practice

Address:
Level 7 60 Pitt Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
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Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111

King Street Practice

Address:
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Telephone:
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