Little Things that Matter on Your Sleeping Quality
Choosing a pillow
A head pillow should maintain the natural posture of the neck and help support the spine. Ideally, it should be comfortable, adaptable to different positions, and keep its overall shape after use.
Pillows should be changed every 12–18 months.
Someone who sleeps on their back may be better suited to a thinner pillow. Raising the head too much can place a strain on the neck and back.
There are also thin pillows specifically designed to help the neck, such as those available here. These pillows are also ideal for placing under the hips if a person sleeps on their front.
Memory foam is a good option as it is firm but also molds to the shape of the head and neck.
People who prefer to sleep on their sides may want to consider a thicker pillow. For best support, it should fill space between the neck and mattress completely. A gusseted pillow is an excellent choice for this, and there are many options available to purchase here.
People who sleep on their stomach should use a thin pillow or no pillow at all. Pushing the head backward can put pressure on the neck.
Alternatively, they may wish to try sleeping face down with a small but firm pillow propping up only the forehead. This leaves enough room to breathe but allows a person to keep their neck straight.
Choosing a mattress
Doctors used to always recommend firm mattresses, but research has shown that people with low back pain actually sleep worse on very hard mattresses when compared to other kinds. But soft mattresses can cause problems, too. You may sink in too deep and your joints may twist and cause you more pain.
Body shape, size, and proportions can help determine how much support is needed. Wide hips may be better suited to a softer mattress and slim hips to a firmer one to keep the spine properly aligned.
Although they can seem more comfortable, softer mattresses provide less support. Sinking too deep can cause joints to twist and the spine to come out of its natural alignment.
A foam mattress topper can be used to provide additional support to a spring mattress. Alternatively, a plywood board can be placed underneath the mattress to increase firmness.
Ideally, mattresses should be replaced every 10 years.