There’s a lot of emphasis on finding the right mattress if you want to get a good night’s sleep and avoid waking up with back or neck pain. But the pillow you rest your head on can play an equally important role when it comes to your sleep quality and the type of support your spine gets when you snooze. To point you in the right direction, here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a pillow.
Pillows come in all shapes and sizes. Some are overstuffed, while others are so thin they offer very little support. Ideally, you want a medium-sized pillow that provides some elevation but not so much lift that your natural head-neck alignment is thrown off.
If you’re not fully comfortable on your pillow when lying down, it stands to reason that you won’t be getting much good sleep. This matters because it’s important to be able to comfortably drift into the deeper stages of sleep, since this is when your body naturally restores and heals itself, a process that extends to your spine and its supporting parts.
If you’ve been treated for back issues, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice, especially if you’ve had a procedure such as an alternative to spinal fusion. Beverly Hills patients should expect the first few days after spine surgery to be somewhat difficult, so ask your doctor about which pillow might be best for you as you recover.
Even if you prefer a pillow that’s a bit firmer, you’ll still want one that conforms to the shape and movements of your head. Most people naturally move their heads when they sleep without even realizing it. A conforming pillow, such as one made from memory foam or even one filled with water, adjusts to target pressure points correctly as your head, neck, and upper spine move.
It’s easy to get into the habit of just using the same pillow you’ve always had on your bed. But even a pillow that was once perfectly comfortable and supportive can change shape and wear out over time. If it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your pillows, consider changing them if you’re noticing:
When it’s time for a new pillow, do some research to see what’s available and what’s new in pillow technology. For instance, you might prefer a heated pillow or one made of a material that naturally adjusts to your head/neck pressure. You may even wish to try a full body pillow if you need consistent and even spinal support.
Picking the right pillow is just one of several ways you can improve your sleep quality and give your spine the support it deserves while you sleep. Be just as mindful of your preferred sleeping position and the consistency of your daily sleep routine. If you have any lingering discomfort when you’re awake, see what your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon has to say.
If you need personal guidance on how to support your spine while you sleep, make an appointment today with one of the pioneering physicians at The Spine Institute. Our spinal health experts lead the industry in every aspect of neck and back health. Reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757.