Tahoe health tip: How to choose the right pillow | SierraSun.com

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Tahoe health tip: How to choose the right pillow

Dr. Rodney Shoemaker

Dr. Rodney Shoemaker

If you toss and turn in bed or are not waking up refreshed, you are not getting the rest that you require. Choosing the right pillow is a step in sleeping soundly.

How do you choose the right pillow? There is no one pillow that fits everybody and pillows are a very personal preference item. There are certain criteria for selecting a pillow that will provide a good nights rest.

A good pillow is one that supports the curve of your neck. Our necks have a curve which is convex to the direction we are facing and concave to the back of our necks. Our spines have three curves that provide a slinky-like movement to our spines as we walk or run. This characteristic movement preserves our spines from a ram-rodding dynamic which would eventually destroy our backs.

The side-lying position is an acceptable sleeping position but sleeping on your back is the preferred position. Sleeping on your stomach is a habit that should be changed because that position puts too much stress on your neck for too long of a period of time. You are much more likely to wake up with a stiff neck if you sleep on your tummy.

Look for a contoured pillow that supports your neck in the face up or side-lying position. Contoured pillows work better than rolling up a down or stuffed pillow. Memory foam pillows don’t support the curve in your neck because the memory foam material compresses under the weight of your neck rather than support it.

Rodney Shoemaker, DC, works with Incline Chiropractic Natural Health Center, located at 894 Southwood Blvd. in Incline Village. Learn more at inclinechiropractic.com.