One of the most important items in getting a good night’s sleep is choosing the correct pillow.
Pillows come in all different shapes, sizes and materials, however, a pillow should always be the correct height to keep your head level with your spine. Knowing your sleep position will determine what type of pillow you should choose.
If you sleep on your back, you are best to choose a pillow that is not too firm or too high since this will raise up your head and neck too far resulting in neck pain. Ideally, your head should be level with your upper back and spine.
If you sleep on your side, which the majority of people do, your pillow should conform to the shape of your neck to and should be high enough to keep your head aligned with your spine.
Stomach sleepers should choose the slimmest pillow possible or no pillow at all, since stomach sleepers can run the risk of hyper-extending their neck.
A physical condition may also dictate an extra pillow be used. The Canadian Chiropractic Association suggest for people who suffer from lower-back pain, a pillow placed under the knees if you sleep on your back or in between her knees if you sleep on your side will further help to support the spine.
Pillows can be made from feathers, down, polyester fibre, memory foam or organic products such as buckwheat hulls. If you suffer from allergies, in particular dust mites, you should consider a hypoallergenic material such as those made with polyester fibre or polyurethane. If you suffer from dust mite allergies, you can buy special mite-proof covers for both your pillows and mattress, since these are both locations that dust mites take up residence. The new mite covers are soft the touch, yet provide a complete barrier between you and the dust mites.
If you suffer from asthma, recent studies have indicated that both feather and cotton pillows are better than synthetic pillows in controlling dust mite populations. This may be in part due to the tight weave used on these pillows that create a barrier much like the barrier created by the new mite covers.