Sleep is one of the most important things in your life. It’s what helps you wake up refreshed, ready to take on the day. It’s also one of the easiest things to get wrong and make a mess of. That’s why we’re here today.
In this video, Blair Chiropractor in Cranberry Twp, Dr. Bulow, talks about the importance of investing in good pillows and sleeping in the right position. He discusses how many people do not realize that these two factors are just as important to their health as eating healthy food or exercising regularly.
Dr. Bulow explains that poor pillow support can result in various conditions throughout the body that can definitely dampen one’s life. He goes on to say that sleeping on one’s back or side is a much better position than sleeping on one’s stomach.
Tune in to learn more about how you can help yourself improve your sleep and overall health with the right position and pillow support.
Here are some tips and some things that you can consider doing to enhance your quality of sleep.
This is Dr. Bulow with Revive Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Cranberry Twp.
How should you be sleeping? Why? What sort of pillows would be helpful? I’m going to help you with all of this. Let me first say that if you’re shopping for the perfect pillow or looking for the ideal mattress, because you have chronic neck, shoulder, and/or back pain, if you have already bought ten different pillows, buying ten more may not fix your problem.
You may need to have an evaluation by a specific chiropractor or physical therapist. Someone that actually can look at you to see how your body is actually in alignment or not.
Looking at someone from the front, their spine should be straight up and down. This is where we get into trouble when it comes to sleeping. Typically when we sleep on our side, usually the pillow is too soft so we end up sleeping on a weird angle with our shoulders rotated.
What you want to look for, if you’re a side sleeper, is to look for a pillow that is thick and firm. The pillows we generally recommend are called therapeutic pillows.
One of the benefits of this pillow is that it’s relatively thick and firm. It comes in five different sizes.
This first sleeping posture is the sideline. This pillow works really well if you are a side sleeper.
So if I’m going to sleep on my side, I want it so that when I lie down my spine and my head is directly in line with my spine. I’m not tucking or twisting my shoulders or twisted.
I’m lying on my side with my head directly in line with my spine.
By the way, when you go to sit up, here’s a little added bonus. You can use your elbow as an anchor point. Take your other hand, push on the hand, and then you can just come right up. That will help those of you that may have tighter lower backs.
So that’s side sleeping; let’s talk about back sleeping. Now, if you’re lying on your back, it’s a different story because your spine is different. When you look at the spine from the front, it should be a straight line, like my tie. If we’re twisted in different directions, that’s like a scoliotic spine. But ideally, you’d be straight.
From the side, your neck should actually have a C-shaped curve from the side here. If you think of the neck a lot like a banana, it has a curve to it. Then as you rotate it, it’s straight. If you keep rotating it around, it has a concavity in it. That’s called a lordotic curve.
When you lie on your back, you need similar to a speed bump in a parking lot. You need something to support your neck from behind.
Now you have a few options with pillows. When it comes to back sleeping, the most cost-effective is the dog bone pillow. This pillow is kind of nice and inexpensive. It’s just filled with cotton. It can go behind your neck and you can lie on your back. It’s effective for probably 20-minute sessions at a time.
Overnight though, this speed bump, if you look at it, is a big aggressive or it can be aggressive. This pillow can sometimes put a bit too much pressure on the neck. Then over the years, this can cause the reverse to happen. As the cotton breaks down it can be not as supportive.
But this is a great inexpensive option – the one reason I like this pillow a lot is it can double as a lumbar support. You can put it in your car or the office chair and it can support your lower back.
Now, if you have a bit of degeneration, bulging discs, or a lot of tension in the neck, you cannot have a very aggressive speed bump. You need something that’s a little bit more gentle on the spine.
This takes us back to the Therapeuticas that I showed you for side sleeping. The Therapeuticas were really good on the side because they made up the difference between your ear and the bed.
But what was really great about the Therapeuticas is they also have this little ramp down at the bottom. That little ramp extends down the base of your neck in between your shoulder blades. This makes it more of an easy contoured speed bump for your back.
So Therapeuticas are great because you can lie on your side and it will support you, and then you can also roll over onto your back. These are great because they do both.
The only pillow I didn’t mention before is the knee pillow. If you are a back sleeper, having something underneath the knees when you go to lie down will kind of decompress your lower back a bit. It’s not a bad idea to have that if you’re an exclusive back sleeper. If you go between side and back, I really wouldn’t worry about it.
So, in summary, when you’re on your side, you want your spine to be nice and straight. So you need a pillow that’s nice and firm and that makes up the difference between the distance between your ear and the bed. When you roll on your back, there is a curve that’s supposed to be in your neck, so you need something similar to a speed bump to support your neck.
So the one that we advise for overnight sleeping as being the best would be the Therapeutica Pillow because it’s really good for both side and back sleeping.
Just keep in mind that these are all great pillows, all great to have conversations about, but if you’re having chronic issues, you just want to make sure that you’re under really good chiropractic care.
And so if you have any questions on that, please leave them in the comments section below. If you are outside of the greater Pittsburgh area, check out our referral map, https://www.reviveucc.com/referralmap/ and we’ll help you find a professional in your area.
If you are in or around the Cranberry Township area and are looking for a resource to help. In that case, you can visit us at the Revive Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Our practice is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm; Wednesday from 1 pm to 6 pm. You can also drop by on Fridays between 9 am to 12 noon.
To schedule a consultation with Revive Upper Cervical Chiropractic, call 724-302-3628, or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.
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