So many of us struggle to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Some people, college students for example, often find themselves delaying sleep and staying up later than normal to meet fast-approaching deadlines. Others may go to bed at a reasonable hour, but lie awake unable to drift off to the land of dreams. Then there are those who fall asleep the minute their head hits the pillow, but wake up feeling as if they were lying under a ton of bricks. Your quality of sleep can be affected by your body’s alignment, and finding the right pillow can play a major role in your overall level of comfort. At RxWellness Arlington, we can help maintain your body’s alignment and provide you with useful tips on the best type of pillow for your body type and your sleeping position.
Finding the Right Pillow
You want to find a pillow that perfectly supports the curves of your body, relieves stress on pressure points of the body, and keeps your spine in the proper position while you sleep. You should also try to find a pillow that fits the overall needs of your body. For example, if you are a hot sleeper and tend to sweat heavily throughout the night, then you might need to consider memory foam with tiny holes that allow ventilation. Knowing your body’s needs can help you select the correct pillow for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
The most important thing to remember when selecting a pillow is to find one that allows your spine to remain in a neutral position throughout the night. A simple way to know if you are in the correct alignment is to pay attention to your ears and your chin. You want your ears in line with your shoulders, and your chin in line with your sternum. Keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout the night can alleviate neck pain and relieve pressure on the entire body.
The Right Pillow for Back Sleepers
If you prefer to sleep on your back, then it is recommended that you find a pillow with medium firmness and loft. Pillows that contain memory foam are also extremely beneficial to back sleepers. The medium loft helps to relieve pressure on your neck and shoulders by providing a good buffer between the mattress. Back sleepers need a medium loft because too much causes the neck to crane upwards (causing pain) and too little leaves your neck unsupported throughout the night (causing more pain).
The Right Pillow for Side Sleepers
Slide sleepers need a firmer pillow with a higher loft. A higher loft allows your head to be propped up so it can maintain the proper alignment with your spine. Pillows with higher loft will also relieve pressure off the shoulders so they are not bearing the brunt of the body’s weight. Side sleepers should transition to using firmer pillows because they provide better support for the position of the neck throughout the night. Firmer pillows can also help prevent side sleepers from waking up with a stiff neck.
The Right Pillow for Belly Sleepers
Some experts say to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether because it places the upper cervical spine in a position that puts you at a greater risk for straining your neck and it puts excessive pressure on the lower abdomen. However, if you are a stomach sleeper, you want to find a pillow with a low loft that is soft and compressible. You want to make sure the loft is low so your neck does not crane upwards while you sleep.
RxWellness Spine & Health | Arlington, VA
At RxWellness Spine & Health in Arlington, we can help you get a better understanding of your body’s alignment and its specific requirements for a successful and pain-free night’s sleep. During your initial consultation, you can share your concerns with the doctor and provide relevant information on sleep positions. The doctor will then be able to provide appropriate recommendations for the type of pillow you should be using and where you should have it positioned during the night for the most support.
We spend a large portion of our daily twenty-four hours sleeping, so it is important that those hours are not only comfortable and peaceful but beneficial and reparative. Keeping your spine in a neutral position while you sleep is a very effective way to wake up feeling more rested and in less pain. It helps you wake up without those random cricks in the neck or aching pains in the back. Finding the right pillow can be the support your spine needs to hold its proper alignment between chiropractic visits. At RxWellness Arlington, we can help you understand your body, get your back in the correct alignment, and select the perfect pillow for nightly support. If you have any questions or would like to book a consultation, give us a call at (571) 348-1541 or book an appointment online. We are located at 932 N Highland St Suite A, Arlington, VA 22201.