Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 11th 2015 Contents By Ann Moore-Spencer
WHERE IS THE LOGIC in having a beautiful bedroom, and you find your-
self being uncomfortable; tossing and turning and waking up stiff and un-
rested? Assuming you have décor covered, let us have a discussion about
Your pillows should offer support for your head, neck, spine and shoulders,
and should offer comfort, in general. If your pillow falls short in any of
these areas, you are likely having a less than optimal sleeping experience.
As with many things, not every pillow is suited for everyone. When you
sleep, you need your pillow to support your head and neck, keeping them
level with your shoulders and aligned with your spine. To support your
head while you stand, your neck naturally curves forward a bit. This curve
must be maintained when you are in a lying position. Pillows that are too
high can cause mis-alignment, resulting in muscle strain, obstructed
breathing, and snoring. Your neck muscles can also be strained if your pil-
low is too low. What is your best pillow depends largely on how you sleep.
Back sleepers. If you have a thick pillow, you are probably waking up daily
with a stiff neck. Avoid pillows that are thick, high or too firm. They will
push your head forward and out of alignment. Any pillow should mould to
the curve of your neck and still provide consistent support. Memory foam
is a good option. You should also consider a wedge pillow. Medium firm
pillows are best, and a pillow with a softer middle and firmer ends will also
work well. You may not be a natural back sleeper, and a medical condition
or injury may force you to sleep on your back. Out of your natural sleeping
position, this can be very uncomfortable. Placing a pillow below your
knees can further flatten the position of the spine and increase your com-
Side sleepers. They key is keeping your head and neck supported and
aligned with your spine in a straight and natural line. Choose a medium to
firm pillow that fills up the space between your shoulder and neck while
you lie. Contoured pillows, gusseted pillows or memory foam pillows work
well. To improve your comfort and for added support, see if an additional
body pillow, a pillow between your knees, or a small pillow under your
waist will work for you.
Stomach sleepers. Many doctors do not recommend that we sleep on
our stomach. This position puts the most stress on the lower back and
has the most potential for neck pain. The spine is more prone to arch
rather than maintain a natural position. Large, high pillows accentuate this
curve. Soft to medium firmness is recommended, and a thinner, flatter pil-
low will keep your head and neck from being elevated too high above your
back. Pillows with tapered sides can also be more comfortable. Sleeping
without a pillow is also an option, and you can also place a flat pillow be-
neath your stomach to maintain the natural alignment of your spine.
Beside these issues of posture and the alignment of the spine, comfort is
a rather subjective state. How the pillows feel is often important. Addi-
tionally, if you have allergies, stay away from natural pillow stuffing such
as feathers, down and other organic fillings. Hypoallergenic materials such
as polyester-based down alternatives, poly filling, or memory foam would
be more comfortable. Additionally, please replace your worn pillows. Dead
skin and soiled sacks, besides being unsightly are actually hazardous to
your health. Plus, over time, your pillow will lose its shape and firmness
and cease to support your neck adequately. Look to replace your pillow
every 3 years or so.
It is critical that if you continue to experience pain even after acquiring the
correct pillow for your sleeping position, you should consult your doctor.
Ann Moore-Spencer is the Managing and Creative Director of Beyond
Drapery Limited. www.beyonddrapery.com
| DÉCOR |
January 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE | 13
Many doctors do not recommend
that we sleep on our stomach.
This position puts the most stress
on the lower back and has the
most potential for neck pain.
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