Did you know that while sleeping, more than 60% of those suffering from severe neck pain often injured themselves? Moreover, you think running is a risky sport. The average person sleeps 6-7 hours a night, which counts for almost a third of their total lifetime.
Now let’s see how much money you have invested in your bed? When was the last time you treated yourself to a beautiful pillow? How much time have you spent selecting the right pillow? I am sure you will look at your current sleeping situation, and make the necessary changes after reading this article.
Your bed type can be a contributing factor to morning stiffness and feel groggy. A mattress should not cause excessive pressure on the skin and muscles but should be firm enough to support you. Avoiding futon mattresses are a good rule of thumb as they lack proper absorption qualities and are usually made of shredded fabric. Cheap waterbeds are too soft, and they create much shearing and are a threat to your spine. So ensure your bed provides you the proper comfort and support.
Sleeping Position and Choosing the Correct Pillow
Trying to reduce the damage done to your spine at night is the ultimate sleeping position. Ideally, you want to respect and support your normal curves by keeping your spine in its most natural position. You may potentially flatten or increase those curves out depending on how you are lying down. Possibly, you could be causing some shearing and torsion forces, which are quite disastrous to your spine. The pillow plays a very vital role in keeping your spine in line.
In addition, a too firm and voluminous pillow can cause as much damage as a pancake pillow. You must know if you spend most of the night on your side or your back before choosing a pillow. You should consider getting rid of the bad habit of sleeping on your stomach if you do so; when you sleep on your stomach the only way you can keep breathing is to turn your head sideways when you lie on your stomach. Change now.
How to choose the best pillow for you
I sleep on my back: When lying your back on a thick pillow, it brings your neck and the upper thoracic area in way too much flexion, overstretching a lot of soft tissues and opening the back of the spine.
You need a thin pillow that will barely lift your head off the bed to keep your spine in a more natural position. Your pillow is a bit too thick if you can see your toes.
You also need a pillow that will support your natural neck curve when you run your hand on the back of your head. So, before you go to sleep, pack pillow under your neck to give it more support.
I sleep on my side: Side sleeping doesn’t come easily and requires a much thicker pillow. You pretty need a pillow that is as thick as the distance from your shoulder to your neck. Your head drops into the pillow when it is too thin. The wider your shoulders, then the thicker the pillow!
Your neck must be narrower than your head. Once you have found a thick enough pillow, ensure you pack it a bit under your neck so that the area gets the more support it requires.
I roll around: If you go from lying on your back to lying on your side, then the thickness of the pillow is going to be an issue. Some people compensate for the thin pillow by placing their arm under the pillow when they roll to the side. The challenge is that it’s prone to tendonitis and other nasty injuries and tends to make your shoulders a little bit unbalanced. Your pillow will surely be too thicker for lying on your back if; on the other hand, it’s thick enough for side lying.
If you sleep on your side, make sure that your eyes aligned vertically. Also, make sure that if you are on your back, your head should be as straight as it should be if you’re standing up.
Make your own pillow
There are varieties of pillows on the market, but synthetic ones are the preferred choice because they don’t pack out as much overnight. Orthopaedic pillows can provide ideal support to your spine, as long as your neck matches the curves of the pillow perfectly.
Water pillows are now the latest trend. These pillows are made of a water pouch located under a regular pillow. The interesting side of these pillows is that they move as you move. They offer constant and adequate support to your neck. The water always follows to where there is less pressure in the pillow. You can remove or add water to adjust the thickness and firmness. They are perfect for people that move around a lot.
Why not design your own orthopedic pillow and save some bucks? If all of the above fails, or if you have not decided on the type of pillow you need. Then take a towel and turn it into a little roll. Slide the towel in your pillowcase, and bring it down to the edge of the pillow. Flip your pillow over for the roll to be underneath. You can use thin or thick towels to customize the bump to your own neck.