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Pillow Talk

By Krista Elliott

Oh, your pillow ... your wonderful pillow. After a long, tiring day, you could write a sonnet about how much you love and adore your soft, supportive, pillow. It cradles your poor, fatigued head, its plush comfort soothing you into dreamland. 

Pillows are one of the best inventions since sliced bread (which is also quite pillowy, now that one thinks about it). But, are you getting the most out of that soft haven upon which you rest your head? Is your pillow perfect? 

How to Choose a Pillow

For the most part, pillows all look alike. So it's just a matter of popping into the store and grabbing what's on sale, right? 

It's actually a little bit more involved than that. The wrong kind of pillow can place your neck and shoulders into a poor alignment, resulting in aches and tension in the head, neck, shoulders and upper back, as well as a poor night's sleep. 

Position Matters

The first step to choosing your best pillow is to know which position you sleep in. You may lie down in one position, but wake up in another. Usually the position you wake up in is the one you've spent most of the night in. 

Then, pick a pillow that best supports you. If you are a stomach sleeper, a flat and soft pillow will keep your head in alignment with your spine. If you are a back sleeper, a medium pillow keeps your neck in a neutral position. And if you are a side sleeper, a thick and firm pillow nicely fits the space between your bed and your head that is created by the bulk of your shoulder. If you change positions throughout the night, a medium pillow that is fairly soft is the most versatile. 

Feathers, Foam and More

Pillows are now offered in many types of fill material. Down and/or feather pillows are luxuriously soft, but offer little support, and may aggravate allergies. Polyester fill pillows are easy to find in a wide variety of sizes, firmness levels, and thicknesses, and wash easily in the washing machine but are not as breathable and can be prone to dust mites. Wool or cotton-filled pillows are quite firm, and not as susceptible to dust mites as feather or synthetic pillows. Memory foam pillows are resistant to dust mites and can be made in ergonomic shapes that support the head and neck nicely, but they do not wash well, and can be costly. 

You spend a lot of time with your pillow. It's worth taking the time to make sure you get one that will be a dream come true for your neck and back. If you're having issues with your neck or back, a trip to The Joint Chiropractic would be beneficial before you head out to go pillow shopping; you'll want to be operating your best, physically, before investing in a pillow that gives you the best rest. An adjustment to the spine can do just that! Then, sweet dreams.

 

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