How to choose your right pillow

Do you know what premature wrinkles, heartburn, neck pain, and sleep apnea have in common?

All of the above can potentially be caused by a poor sleeping position. To find the best sleeping position for your body, consider more than just what's comfortable. Bearing in mind where you're placing pressure - even while you sleep - can be the difference between a good night's sleep and an achy morning.

According to the American Chiropractic Association(ACA)’s research, to choose a suitable pillow should be based on your own sleeping habit and posture. Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Healthy posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.


Here’s the tips for choosing your right sleeping position and pillow  to solve your pain problems: 

 


Notes to select your pillow based on your sleeping habits:


Back Sleeping: 

Despite the fact that only 8 percent of the population chooses to sleep on their back, back sleeping is actually a good option for your body. Sleeping on your back allows the head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position throughout the night. By remaining neutral, you're not forcing the body to contort out of its natural alignment, and relieving unnecessary stress on the spine.

Additionally, lying flat on your back supports all of the contours of the spine, allowing the muscles of the neck and back to fully rest during sleep.

 

To pick the right pillow for back sleeping, you should use a flat pillow. Since the human spine is not straight, it has a physiological arc of about 30 to 40 degrees forward to take pressure, weight, and force, so ergonomically if you choose a pillow that is too thick, it will tend to tighten the neck muscles when you sleep. Generally, people who sleep on their backs should better choose a pillow 3-6 cm thick, so that your chin is at the same level with the height of the pillow. It is also recommended to choose a space cotton pillow which provides strong support and elasticity.

Side Sleeping: Great for Pain

Side sleeping is excellent for pain, so long as you're keeping the torso and legs relatively straight. This helps to keep the spine in a neutral position, alleviating excess pressure on the body. You're also less likely to snore in this position, as a side-sleeping posture keeps the airways open.

The cons? Sleeping on your side can increase the likelihood of developing wrinkles and sagging skin. Because we often force the sides of our faces into pillows while sleeping in this position, gravity and repetitive motion can cause the skin to sag and wrinkle in delicate areas such as the face and chest. To help? Use a silk pillowcase that won't create creases on your skin and prevent the development of "pillow wrinkles."

 

Stomach Sleeping: Less Snoring, More Aches

Stomach-sleeping generally wreaks havoc on the spine, especially the neck. Sleeping with your head turned to the side forces the neck to remain in an unnatural position all night, leading to a sore neck in the morning. Plus, lying flat on the stomach causes the spine to straighten, disrupting its natural curve. The result? Persistent lower back pain.

Additionally, stomach sleepers place their body weight pressure on the muscles and joints, possibly leading to numbness, tingling, and irritated nerves over time. However, while stomach sleeping is ultimately terrible for your posture, and will likely result in aches in the morning, it is beneficial for something. Stomach sleeping can reduce snoring, and in some cases help those with sleep apnea.

 


Have you been suffering from sleepless Nights or Achy morning? 

Different Sleeping position cure different of types body pain. 


Recommended Sleeping Positions for Each Type of Pain

Our bodies utilize the hours we sleep to recoup and recover from the stresses of the day. However, placing our bodies in the incorrect position for sleeping can not only lead to more pain in the long run, but can also begin to disrupt our sleep cycles. Losing countless nights of sleep can lead to sleep deprivation over time, which can affect basic motor skills, cognitive function, and energy levels.

For this reason, it is incredibly important that we begin to get in the habit of sleeping in positions that benefit our bodies, especially if you regularly experience pain. The best sleeping position for your body will depend on where you are experiencing pain.

1. General Back Pain

The optimal sleeping position for general back pain is on the side, with a thin pillow placed between the knees. While the side-sleeping position keeps the cervical and thoracic spine aligned, the addition of a pillow between the knees keeps your hips, pelvis, and lumbar spine aligned as well.

If this position seems uncomfortable to you, back sleeping could be a suitable second option. However, instead of lying completely flat, place the thin pillow beneath the knees to help maintain the natural curve of the spine and evenly distribute weight across the hips.

2. Shoulder Pain

For those with shoulder pain, it's important to avoid side-sleeping, which will increase the pressure on the afflicted area. Instead, sleep on your back with adequate pillow support. In fact, hugging a thick pillow can help support the shoulder, keeping it upright as opposed to slumped or stretched.

3. Neck Pain

Those with neck pain should refrain from stomach-sleeping, as this position forces the neck to remain in an unnatural position throughout the night. If neck pain is keeping you up, try sleeping on your back with a flat pillow under the head. This position and pillow combination will keep the head in a neutral position, eliminating excess pressure on the neck.

Additionally, those with neck pain can sleep on their sides, using a supportive pillow that will keep the neck straight. A fluffy or flat pillow for a side sleeper with neck pain will place the neck at an unnatural angle, furthering pain symptoms. For neck pain, it's best to keep the neck neutral and supported. For more information on which pillow type would be best for your pain, check out our blog all about pillow preferences.

4. Lower Back Pain

Sleeping with lower back pain can be very uncomfortable when you're not using the correct posture. For a good night's sleep and a well-rested morning, try sleeping on your side with support under the knees, hips, and shoulders. Placing thin pillows along your body can help keep the spine in alignment while also reducing the pressure that your hips place on the lumbar spine.

If lower back pain is stemming from damaged discs, sleeping in a fetal position will help to open up the pinched area of the spine, thus relieving pressure and making sleeping comfortable. If stomach sleeping is your preferred position, placing a pillow or rolled-up towel under the hips will add additional support that will relieve pressure on lumbar nerves.

5. Sciatic Pain

Sciatic pain benefits the most from a firm mattress, as support is key. Those with sciatic pain should try sleeping on their back and side only, supporting the spine and hips with pillows. If you choose to sleep on your back, place a pillow under the knees to support the weight of your legs and hips.

If you opt to sleep on your side, be sure to sleep on the side that is not experiencing pain. Then, bend whichever knee is facing the ceiling at a 90-degree angle. Support the bent leg, which should be the leg experiencing the sciatic pain, with enough pillows to keep the hips level.

6. Indigestion and Heartburn

Surprisingly, side sleeping is the best position for those with indigestion or acid reflux. But, not just any side. Due to the unique arrangement of the oblong shape of the stomach, only sleeping on the left side can improve digestion and blood flow.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acids exit the stomach up through the esophagus and throat. Sleeping on the left side helps the esophageal sphincter - the tube which connects the stomach to the throat - to remain closed, keeping stomach acid where it belongs. The sphincter tube is located on the right side of the stomach. Thus, when we lie on our right side, stomach acid travels up the tube and is more likely to irritate the esophagus, causing acid reflux.

 

How to use our pillow to maintain a right posture during sitting and laying down
 

What is the Best Sleeping Position? (By Dr. Casey at Evolve Chiropractic. )

We show you what it is and how to support your body so you fall asleep quickly and easily every night. We know this is something most of you probably struggle with – or have struggled with – but the solution is actually very simple. Keep reading because we’re going to break this all down.

Sleep ergonomics is the study of how to position your body to get the best rest every night. We’ll use the principles of sleep ergonomics to pick apart the side sleeping position – the most common and most helpful sleeping position for most people.


The Best Sleeping Position: The Side Sleeping Position

The single best sleeping position is sleeping on your side. The way people normally side sleep though, isn’t healthy because the body isn’t aligned properly. Usually the lower back is curved over, the neck isn’t properly supported and we either crush our lower shoulder or hyper-extend it. Luckily for us, those issues are all easily fixed with a couple simple tweaks.

Support Your Neck and Head

People always ask our chiropractors, ‘What’s the best pillow for sleeping?’ I tell them, ‘Which ever one you feel most comfortable with that keeps your neck in alignment.’ What is important is how the pillow supports your head and neck so you’re not tilting or cramping to one side or the other. You want a pillow that holds your body in a neutral position.

 

The key point is to keep your neck and spine in line. Very important. You don’t want too much tilt one way or the other. If your pillow height and neck are in line, you’ll be good to go.

The Benefits of a Neutral Side Sleeping Position

 

Once you start sleeping like this, you are going to see a whole host of positive health benefits. Your body will more easily enter into deep REM sleep. This is important because REM sleep deprivation has been shown to have negative psychological effects, including mild depression, anxiety, irritability and even hallucinations. REM is also the stage of sleeping when you enter the dream state.

{Note: This content is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials.}