By Lisa Zelenka – Physiotherapist
If we spend approximately one third of our lives sleeping, how important is it to have a good quality sleep? This question has been on my mind recently, so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about sleep.
Typically, a good quality sleep would translate to around 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Often this is not the case as many of us wake feeling tired or suffering from aches and pains. Studies have shown that insufficient and poor quality sleep affects our mood, stress and general daily function. This may be due to poor neck support, posture or position. These sustained postures create increased biomechanical stress, muscle tension or even headaches. Therefore the our posture while we sleep can often be related to musculoskeletal injuries of the neck and upper back. Sleeping with a good quality pillow can significantly reduce neck pain and muscle tension. So you may now be thinking, what can I do to ensure that I get a better nights sleep?
Choosing a pillow that fits you
Seems like an easy fix doesn’t it? Well believe it or not, an appropriate pillow in addition to physiotherapy management can significantly reduce your muscle tension and neck pain. Studies have even reported that after 18 months of use of a supportive pillow, 84% of users reported relief from neck pain compared to generic pillow use.
So since there are so many pillows on the market, how do you know which one to choose?
Here are some simple tips you can use to find a suitable pillow:
– A “one size fits all approach” does not exist
– A pillow that supports the head and neck in a neutral alignment (i.e. supports the natural neck contour), therefore reducing the stress and load on your neck
– An appropriate shape and consistency (memory foam pillows have shown to reduce waking pain and improve overall sleep quality)
– Correct pillow height that holds your head in a comfortable position, approximately 10cm (an adjustable pillow is good for this)
The pillow our Physio’s recommend
The pillows we swear by at Cremorne Physio are Flexi Pillows. These memory foam pillows have a gentle contour shape, which conform perfectly to the curves of your neck and shoulders. The contour is at two different heights, making it adjustable to suit everyone. Flexi Pillows come in both medium and firm density, depending on how soft or firm you prefer your pillow.
If you’d like more information on how we can help improve your sleep with the right pillow, get in contact with us today. Our Physio’s would love to chat with you personally about your sleep/neck related pain. Fill in your details below, or call us on 9908 1949 we will be more than happy to discuss with you further how we can help find the best pillow for you.
(Please keep in mind, these are general guidelines for the majority of our patients but it is important to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist first and make sure you have a plan tailored specifically for you).