Sleep plays a major role in health. A good night’s sleep allows the body time to rest, recover, and wake up refreshed in order to meet the day. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep or worse it continues for days and days or even weeks into months you end up in a sleep deficit and often just can’t seem to catch up. This can leave you feeling drained, tired, and wrought with brain fog.
Existing in a sleep deficit can have a negative impact on your waking life.
Drowsy driving, for example, is responsible for 6,000 fatal car crashes per year in the USA alone.
Those with insomnia are 7x more likely to have an on-the-job accident.
Nurses who work 12.5-hour shifts report 3x more medical errors than those who work an 8.5-hour shift.
40% of those with insomnia area effected by an accompanying mental health issue.
75% of adults with depression suffer from insomnia.
90% of those with PTSD have been found to suffer from insomnia.
One of the major determining factors in how we sleep is comfort. There is nothing worse than trying to go to sleep, tossing and turning because the mattress or pillow we have is uncomfortable. Mattresses are incredibly important and will be covered in another article. For today, lets take a look at how to find the best pillow for your body and the way you sleep.
How to find the right pillow for your best sleep
It is important to find a pillow to keep your posture healthy while also satisfying your unique sleep needs.
Your pillows #1 job is to support you all night long in your most often slept in position. This means that your head, neck, back, and spine are all in neutral alignment. Here is the test: Your ears should be in line with your shoulders and your chin should be in line with your sternum. This neutral position can help alleviate morning stiffness and neck pain.
Each sleeping position preference calls for a different type of pillow.
Back Sleepers: This is what could be thought of as a “happy medium pillow”. Medium loft and medium level of firmness. The medium pillow can help relieve pressure in your neck, head, and shoulders. It is important to make sure your head is straight, and your neck isn’t being craned upwards.
It is helpful to have a pillow made from materials that conform to your head and neck such as memory foam. This type of form fitting stuffing cradles the head and keeps it in place while you sleep.
You may opt for a customizable support pillow. What that means: There are some pillows on the market that offer a zippered entry pocket and inside are individual layers that can be removed and added as needed. There are also Adjustable Fill Pillows where you can simply add and remove stuffing at a whim.
Side Sleepers: Side sleepers do best with a high loft (a think pillow) that has a firmer feel. Most important is not to go with a thin pillow or a soft feel. It is not supportive enough. The higher loft relieves shoulder pressure which transfers also into the neck.
Stomach Sleepers: A very thin pillow is mandatory for spinal health. 1” or less and a soft level of support. Even the smallest bit of craning your neck upwards will hurt the entire spine and neck. Down and down alternatives are wonderful for fluffy compressible pillows for stomach sleeping.
Hot Sleepers: Look for a cooling pillow. There are many on the market these days including those with a cooling gel pad insert. Cool yarn or phase change materials are also wonderful for super-hot sleepers including women in menopause and bodybuilders who have off the chart metabolism. They are designed to make your pillow feel like it has been refrigerated and they stay that wall all night long. Aim for a fabric that naturally wicks moisture away – bamboo and polyester are good examples.
Water Pillows of varied softnesses and lofts are a great choice all around as they are adjustable by adding or draining water amounts.
A note on memory foam: It sleeps hot. If you like the feel but not the temperature, try shredded memory foam instead.
Choosing the filling: memory foam is a great option but not everyone loves that slow sink. If you like a bouncier springy feel aim for latex.
Sensitive Skin: Aim for pillows made with organic all-natural materials. Cotton, bamboo, kapok are all good examples.
We hope this help you sleep just a little easier!
Make your appointment to get adjusted by calling 239-332-2555. The office of Kaster Chiropractic is waiting for your call. www.kasterchiropractic.com