Pillows play an important role in helping you have a good night’s sleep. So what should you look for when searching for the perfect pillow to help you wake up rested and refreshed?
According to Dunlopillo spokesperson and APA approved musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Richard Christianson,a key consideration is sleep position:
* Side sleepers need to fill the gap between their shoulder and midline so that their head doesn’t hang lower than the midline or is propped up too high above midline. The variables which will determine the profile of your pillow are: your frame width; and the comparative density of the mattress to the pillow.
* Back sleepers, due to the smaller curvature of the cervical spine, there is only a small gap to fill so a lower profile pillow may be all you need.
* Stomach sleepers, the main factor to be aware of is the extra degree of neck rotation it causes. When you already have a sore neck, this position is usually an uncomfortable position to adopt. Look for pillow shapes and designs that can help lessen the rotation angle of the neck.
What’s next? Snap a picture.
A simple self-assessment is to take a picture of you lying either on your back or side and see if the pillow fills the natural curvatures of your spine, allowing your head to rest in alignment with your chest and shoulders.
If your head is angled up, your pillow profile may be too big; if your head is angled down, your pillow profile may be too low. If you like to sleep in various positions, a dual contour pillow may be a great option.
Think you’ve found you’re perfect pillow? Now it’s time to test.
When it comes to a healthy night’s sleep, the main subjective sign health professionals assess is do you have good sleep hygiene. According to Richard, good sleep hygiene is considered being able to fall asleep within 20-30 minutes of trying and to stay asleep for the first five hours.
One of the main features you should be looking for in a pillow is self-rated comfort. So, a clear sign that your pillow may not be right for you is persistent tossing and turning in the first 20-30 minutes of trying to go to sleep. Make sure you trial pillows as comfort is a personal preference, not a science.