Not all sleep is equal
Sleep should be a time of rest and rejuvenation but, for many people sleeping in subpar settings, it can actually be a time that contributes to a cycle of stress and back pain. Comfort of body and mind are what let us fall asleep; comfort influences feelings of calmness, which lead to feelings of relaxation, in which your body is able to reduce energy expenditure and focus on resting. Sleeping on an old mattress with ill-fitting pillows hardly sets the tone for such a scenario. So let’s truly define comfort as the combination of a physical state of being and state of mind in which you are able to sleep restfully and protect the health of your spine. Changing the way you use your pillows is a key way to influence a healthier sleep life.
Changing your pillow strategy
The first thing to realize is that bigger and fluffier does not necessarily translate to better. An ideal pillow is one that fits the gap between head and shoulders and supports your neck in a straight line with the spine throughout the whole night. That means if you have a pillow prone to sinking, your neck may end up at an unfavorable angle as you sleep innocently. However, if you are not in the market for a new pillow, here are some ways you can use your pillows to effect more comfortable and supportive sleep.
- Side sleepers can use a pillow in between the knees to maintain spinal alignment and prevent the knees from sticking together.
- Back sleepers can place a pillow just below the knees to elevate them slightly, improving circulation and maintaining spinal alignment.
- Stomach sleepers can use a pillow directly under the upper body from the stomach to shoulders in order to prevent over-arching of the back as the body sinks into the bed.
At OFW Chiropractic, we believe that the health of your spine should be a primary objective during sleep. Fortunately, there is a positive correlation between how good your spine feels and how well you sleep! If you are interested in improving spinal health to sleep better, or vice versa, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.