The 1st question we need to ask is “what is good posture?”
When we look at a spine’s ideal shape, it needs to have 3 very important curves from the side view in the neck, the mid-back and the lower back, which allow the force to be distributed the way it was designed to. From behind the spine should be really straight. When this is not present, each individual segment is physically under more stress on a day to day basis which accumulated to accelerate degeneration. The spine is the armour of the nervous system and therefore must function correctly, not doing so creates increased pressure on the nervous system that decreases its ability to correctly send its signals to and from sensation receptors, muscles and vital organs and functions!
So when we’re looking for a pillow, there are 3 things we need to consider;
– What position do you sleep in and how high is the pillow lifting your head? The height of the pillow should be appropriate to keep your head in a neutral alignment during sleep. Typically, sleeping on your back would require a lower profile pillow so that your head remains lower and in line with your spine, where as a side lying posture would need a slightly higher support to fill the gap between the neck and shoulder keeping the head in line once again.
– Does your pillow have a contour? Your head is larger in diameter than your neck, hence, having space for your head to fall into is important to keep your neck straight during sleep in any posture. Traditional pillows don’t form the shape of your head and neck and therefore don’t keep you in good posture for the full night’s sleep.
– How soft is your pillow? As a general rule, softer pillows and mattresses offer comfort for the short term, where as a firmer pillow or mattress will offer support. A balance needs to be found to create a comfortable and supported sleep to allow you to wake refreshed the next day!
Ask Dr Matt what pillow he uses and recommends!