I am a pillow snob; the most snobby pillow snob a person could be. I travel with my pillow on car rides; it is my carry-on when I fly; and I won’t even nap on the couch without pulling it out of the bedroom. My last pillow had the saddest departure. It was left behind during a road trip from Gulf Shores, Ala. to home. It was forgotten in Memphis, and I didn’t realize this until St. Louis, Since we were traveling with my then four-month-old son, I lost the vote to retrieve it.
A good pillow can make a huge difference for someone with history of neck pain, interrupted sleep or headaches (chiropractic care also makes a huge difference, of course). Most cervical support pillows are made out of memory foam. As you might remember, I’m not a fan. Memory foam will collapse away from you or sink away from your neck rather than adding support. Most people who have one of these pillows like them for about two months and then prefer something different.
Generally speaking, I prefer the Tri Core Pillow Standard Support (we carry them in our office, and you can find them online) because it actually helps to correct the curve in the neck. This is a tough pillow to use all night at first for that reason. Correction can be a little uncomfortable at first, so I recommend using it for a couple of hours at a time for the first week or so while your body adjusts to it. The same company also makes a pillow specific for CPAP users, in case you feel the challenge of that in your sleep routine.
Another great option for those interested is a latex pillow, which you can purchase one from our friends at JC Mattress. It has some ‘give’ and also supports your body. This pillow is also a great option for those of you suffering with allergies. My son used to wake up every day with eight pounds of sludge accumulated in his head while sleeping. We were making do with an old mattress and pillow that belonged to my grandparents. It seemed good enough until he slept one night on a latex pillow and woke up so much better . We quickly made the switch.
Ultimately, your typical department store pillow has a two-year life span. After that time, it has accumulated enough sweat, pressure, and in my case…drool (shhhh don’t tell anyone) that it needs replacing.
When you are sleeping, we recommend you sleep on your back or on your side. Stomach sleeping is really hard on your spine and promotes scoliosis-type curves. If you lay on your side, you should line-up your body so that you could draw a straight line from your ear lobe, to your shoulder, to your hip, to your ankle. Keeping these parts of your body lined up will ensure that you have all the proper curves in your spine while you are sleeping.
I hope you get to relax and evaluate your sleeping routine to have even sweeter dreams!