Pillows are a popular topic of conversation with patients. “Lola, do you recommend those expensive, memory foam pillows?” or “should I change my pillow? If so what do you recommend?”; or even “I bought one of those expensive, funny shaped pillows and it made matters worse.” Although I sell specialist pillows in the clinic shop, I recommend them to a small number of patients. Most other patients are advised on how to adapt their own pillows to make sure their neck and spine are supported throughout the night.
Again, the depth is important, but the pillow will not be as deep as if you are a side sleeper. If the pillow is too deep, you will compress your throat and overstretch the ligaments and muscles at the back of the neck. If the pillow is too flat then then may cause the neck to back bend, which compresses the small joints in the spine and causes joint irritation and if you are unlucky, can cause temporary but very painful and restricting muscle spasm. This position is not very good for the delicate vertebral arteries in the upper section of the neck. The ideal pillow depth will slight tilt the chin downwards and allow the back of the neck to lengthen.
Who would I recommend adjustable orthopaedic pillows to?
Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) Conditions
Hypermobile joints in the neck
History of severe facial or head trauma.
I toss and turn all night – I cannot see the benefit of the above advice.
Other tips for a good night sleep
- Do not drink alcohol too close to bedtime – leave at least an hour. the alcohol affects the cerebellum, which is intrumental for balance and sleep.
- Drink a glass of water before bedtime. The body does a lot of processing during sleep. Hydration throughout the day can lead to reduced stiffness in the morning
- Finish watching TV or looking at PC screen / devices etc before bed time. the light interfere with the melanin hormone which signals bedtime and enable quality sleep
- Do not sleep with the lights on. Important message for those who are afraid the dark or fall asleep with the telly on. If you fall into the former category, maybe have a light on in the landing. In the case of children who are afraid of the dark, turn off the light in the room after they have fallen asleep and wean them using the little plug in lights.