Sleeping positions and pillows!

Are you getting a restful sleep?

Are you experiencing neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and arm numbness?

Your pillow might be the problem!

 “Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge,” as per sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist.

At Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture, I have patients that come to me for treatment and I find out they have been using the same $5 dollar pillow for several years!  The general rule of thumb is to buy a new pillow every 12-18 months as the pillow will flatten and break down with time.  If that is not reason enough to buy a new pillow you should also know that it may contain skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites, which make up more than half of an older pillow’s weight.  I also do not recommend that you sleep on a cheap $5 dollar pillow!  You spend a good portion of your life in bed so make the investment in a good pillow that keeps your spine in proper alignment and prevents straining the neck muscles and joints.

When shopping for pillows you need to consider a few things, as not everyone has the same requirements.  You are welcome to call or email Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture to discuss this.  Here is a list of some of the things you need to consider:

1) Your personal sleeping style:

Back sleepers: Generally require thinner pillows to prevent your head/neck from being strained forward.  Ideal pillows will also have a “lobe” at the bottom which will cradle your neck.

Side sleepers: Require a firmer pillow to fill the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.  Some newer pillows have firmer sections to allow side and back sleepers to change position on the pillow.

Stomach sleepers: No chiropractor (including myself) will recommend this position as it strains the neck and does not support the spine.  If you must sleep in this position then you should use a very thin pillow or no pillow at all.  A useful tip to provide some support to the low back and to reduce back pain is to place a pillow under your stomach.

2) Pillow stuffing:

 The most common pillows are stuffed with foam, polyester fiberfill, down feathers, memory foam and latex.  There are also pillows that use a combination of some or all of these and provide versatility.  You can also find water pillows that have a water chamber and has memory/fibre fill over top and is adjustable in firmness and thickness.  Another newer pillow uses soft “microbeads” and “adjusts” to your sleeping position and head/neck size.  At Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture we carry several different types of the above mentioned pillows as everyone has different needs.  I personally recommend pillows that allow for various sleeping positions and incorporate new technology.

Ultimately, the decision you make is up to you and must fit with not only your sleeping “style” but also within your budget.  You can expect to spend between $60 to $100 for a good pillow.  Investing in a good pillow is important, so speak to an expert before making the purchase!  Happy sleeping!  Dr. Ryan Broddick

Broddick #Chiropractic and #Acupuncture is a pain relief and wellness clinic located at 62 Stanley Street, Ayr, Ontario serving #Ayr #Paris #Drumbo #GlenMorris #Plattsville #Princeton #Cambridge #Kitchener #Waterloo #Brantford #Ontario and surrounding areas.  We offer a number of cutting edge treatment options so please look through our services and products to see how we may be able to help you!  For updated hours, contests, promotions and health information please visit the clinic Facebook and Twitter pages.


Comments (15)

  1. Everybody needs to know about pillows. So many use the wrong type of pillow and place them wrong. The pillow is not meant to be under the head.. it’s meant to go all the way down to the curve of the neck and into the top of the shoulder. Great info by Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture about the different sleeping positions. What type of pillow do you recommend Dr. Broddick? In our office we recommend a water based pillow as you put water in it to satisfy the firmness each individual person likes and when you turn from back to side, etc the water shifts to where the support is needed most.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I never would’ve thought that sleeping positions and types of pillows would’ve impacted my quality of sleep. I think I’ll be paying much more attention to the quality of pillows I am purchasing from here on out.

  3. Thanks for this doc! I also recommended water pillows typically because I find them the most customizable, however certainly there are lots of available options. Nice to see you are looking out for all aspects of your patients’ health at Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture, keep it up!

  4. Pillows are very important for proper sleep. I have some patients that have entire closets filled with pillows they have tried that haven’t helped. Thank you Broddick and Acupuncture for the information on sleeping positions, I find this very helpful. I too, have good success using the water pillow with my patients..

  5. Thanks for the great article on sleep position and pillows. Both are very important in the recovery of an injury especially with an injury to the neck or lower back.

  6. Thanks for the great info on pillow selection Dr. Broddick. “What kind of pillow should I use?” is definitely a question patients ask chiropractors all the time. I’m sure patients at Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture are highly satisfied.

  7. I’m starting to wonder if my memory foam pillow with a gel core is the right pillow for me. But, with it, my memory foam mattress, and the help of a good Chiropractor, the ringing in my ears has all but stopped.

  8. As a side/stomach sleeper it took me a very long time to find a pillow that was right for me. This article sheds great light on small problems that could lead to the cause of chronic issues like neck pain. Thanks Dr. Broddick!

  9. I am so happy to see an article on this topic! This is a topic that I talk to my patients about on a daily basis (especially ones with neck pain and headaches). Having a proper pillow is a great adjunct to chiropractic care. Thanks Dr. Broddick!

  10. Thanks for the great information on pillow. Sleeping posture is so important to our overall health and the health of our spine. Most people focus on their sitting and standing posture and don’t think about their sleeping posture. The proper pillow pays a big role in this.

  11. Great Article. If I don’t use some of the techniques described in the article I’ll feel it in the morning, especially being a stomach sleeper.

  12. great post, we sleep 33% of our lives, yet most people take it for granted. its when your body heals and gets its neurological rest.
    bed and pillows and shoes are some of the most important things one can do to help their body out, your last post about orthotics was great too.


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