Pillows and Mattresses: Are they all the same?
What pillow is best for you?
- If you are a side sleeper you need to make sure your pillow keeps your head in a neutral posture.
- If the pillow is too high your head will be sitting up too much and if it is too low you will be compressing the neck and shoulder. These poor postures could result in neck pain, headaches, tingling into the arms and breathing issues to name a few.
- The perfect pillow is going to have a contour allowing a thicker pillow to support your neck while giving enough space for your shoulder height, so as you are not compressing your shoulder and forcing it forward. It is very common that this is one of the main causes of shoulder problems in people. The pillow should then be thinner for where your head will relax into.
- When you look from behind the spine should stay straight from between the shoulders and into the neck.
- When you are observing from in front the shoulder should be relaxed, not compressed and pushed to the front, and your chin should be aligned with the mid part of your sternum.
- For back sleepers the pillow only needs to support the small curve of your neck. There is minimal support really by the pillow. The main thing, is that you are careful that you are not creating a foreword head posture. A forward head posture can lead to pressure on the nerves in the neck and may lead to problems which were mentioned earlier.
Our Chiropractic assistants are trained to fit you for the correct pillow. We advise that you do not choose a pillow off the shelf, and instead have yourself fitted for the right pillow for your individual needs.
At what age should you get your first pillow?
Did you know up to 40% of children experience sleep problems. Your child could be one of them. Every parent wants the best for their child – and now you can provide the best even whilst they sleep.
For your child’s spine to be naturally aligned during sleep it is recommended to use a pillow with a contour to support the neck as well as the head. A child will generally start to lie on their side from the age of 2-3 years. As soon as the child is lying on their side to sleep, it is recommended you get them a good pillow.
The contour pillow keeps their growing spines supported and perfectly positioned for a restful night’s sleep. Parents need to be encouraging their children to lie on their sides using a good, supportive pillow which will encourage this. Making sure that the child’s legs are bent, but not above the level of their bottom will prevent them from rolling onto their stomach.
We offer pillow fittings for children and have junior pillow sizes suitable for their smaller frames. Our trained staff will happily assist to ensure you get the right fit for your child.
How often should you change your pillow?
All pillows have a different life span. A good rule of thumb is changing your pillow every 1–2 years. If you feel that your pillow is not supporting you as well as it used to, or you are having to place your hand under your pillow when you sleep as you are subconsciously trying to raise it, these are all signs you are in need of a new pillow. If you can no longer tell the size difference between each side of the pillow (as each pillow has 2 sizes in one generally) this is indicating that it has lost some of its support so may need to be replaced.
However, this is not the only reason you should look at changing your pillow over so regularly.
Night after night of sleeping on the same pillow it absorbs body oil, dead skin cells, and hair. This can create the perfect environment for allergens (dust mites) to thrive.
What about your mattress?
If you are sleeping in the correct posture and you have a pillow which has been correctly fitted to support your spine but you are still waking up sore, there can be two reasons.
One may be that you have imbalance in your spine and nervous system and may benefit from seeing a wellness chiropractor to help remove this imbalance. A chiropractic adjustment can calm your brain and nervous system and lead to having a better-quality sleep, and waking more refreshed with less/ no discomfort.
The other reason could be that you are needing a new mattress.
When you look at your mattress, you want to look at your posture when you are lying side on. At the level of your shoulder and your hip you want to make sure that the mattress is staying relatively firm and not dipping right in. If the mattress is dipping quite significantly at these areas, it is a sign to look for a new mattress.
A mattress needs to be supportive, but it does not have to be the most expensive. A thin memory foam or cushioning layer on top can be ok, however, you do not want this too thick as this can cause less support of your spine and lead to problems down the track. You really need to shop around and try many types of mattress to find the one that has the right support and that you feel comfortable on.
If you have any specific questions regarding your individual situation or you would love further information please contact us here at Global Chiropractic on 54443388 or email [email protected]
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