416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm

416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

The Importance Of A Good Pillow And How It Can Affect Your Sleep And Health

Published by Better Health Osteopathy on 7 March 2023, Pillows

We spend a third of our lives sleeping, and many underestimate the impact a good-quality pillow has on our quality of sleep and overall health. Our patients constantly seek our advice on choosing the right pillow as they often struggle to find one to suit their needs.

Many of our patients report restless nights, pain in their neck upon waking, shoulder pain and headaches. Some even wake up a few times at night and have to ‘fluff up’ the pillow they use! We often hear stories of our patients using numerous pillows in an attempt to get a comfortable night’s sleep.

Others purchase expensive mattresses and beds without knowing that a properly fitted pillow will add 30% to the overall comfort experienced from sleeping in their new bed. Therefore if you spend time and money on a mattress and bed, you should do the same and choose an adequately fitted pillow.

The perfect pillow can make a world of difference when it comes to getting the restful night’s sleep you deserve. Investing in a quality pillow is worth it if you want the best health benefits from your night’s sleep.

Why Investing in a Good Pillow is Worth It!

When looking for the perfect pillow to help improve sleep and overall health, it is essential to invest in one that suits your needs. Here are five reasons why a good pillow should be on your list of must-haves:

  1. Comfort: The right pillow should provide adequate comfort and support while allowing the head and neck to remain in a comfortable position as you sleep. You should be able to lay your head on the pillow and go straight to sleep without thinking about its position or firmness or having to wake up and fluff it up!
  2. Aligns the Spine: The right pillow will help to maintain the alignment of your neck in a neutral position while you sleep, but not too high or too low that it causes strain to your joints and muscles in your neck, which can cause neck pain and maybe contribute to headaches.
  3. Reduced Snoring: The wrong type of pillow can cause the neck muscles to become strained, which may contribute to snoring. The right pillow should support the natural curve of your neck while keeping the airways open, reducing snoring and improving sleep quality.
  4. Spinal Pressure Relief: The right type of pillow will help relieve tension throughout the body, as it helps distribute weight more evenly. A good pillow can also help reduce pressure on your hips, shoulders, neck, and back, resulting in better quality sleep.
  5. Improved health: if you struggle to get a good night’s sleep due to your pillow, then this will impact your quality of sleep, how well you function the following day, and your overall vitality. Therefore, the correct type of pillow is essential for maintaining general health and ensuring a good night’s sleep.

How Often Should I Change My Pillow?

It is important to change your pillow regularly to ensure it remains supportive and clean from allergens such as dust mites, fungus, mould and pet dander.

Your head can weigh approximately 5 kg, so this weight will inevitably break down the fibres in your pillow over time. A cheaper pillow made of polyester filling will break down much quicker than a high-quality memory foam pillow. You could replace a cheaper polyester pillow every six months or approximately three years with a higher-quality pillow made of better materials.

Again, It’s common for our patients to tell us that they have had the same pillow for over ten years! If this is the case, it might be time to consider replacing it.

How to Choose a Pillow For Your Sleep Patterns?

The importance of finding the right pillow cannot be overstated. And the key to selecting the perfect pillow is considering your individual needs and preferences in terms of size, shape, position of sleep, material and overall support.

People are often side sleepers, tummy sleepers, or back sleepers, and some of our patients will change position numerous times a night.

In our experience as Osteopaths, it is challenging to find the right pillow by blindly purchasing off the shelves in retail stores. Our patients often tell us about the number of pillows they have purchased and the vast amounts of money they have spent on them but have yet to find the right pillow. We also often hear stories of couples battling it out for the one good pillow they own!

So it is very important to recognise that even if you have spent a lot of money on a pillow, that does not guarantee it is right for you!

An old rule of thumb was that a slim person and female would require a thin pillow, and a stocky well-built male would need a larger and thicker pillow. This is far from correct, as evident in every pillow fitting we do in our clinic! Different physiques will always require different support from a pillow.

So we highly recommend that you get a specialist, such as one of our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy, to do a pillow fitting for you so that you can find the best pillow that suits your needs.

So please don’t spend your night tossing and turning, and getting an awful night’s sleep, reach out to your Osteopath, who will gladly do a pillow fitting for you and help you find the right pillow from our wide range of stock right here in our clinic. You can book a free 10-minute pillow fitting service with one of our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy by Clicking Here.

Better Health Osteopathy

Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible. Lorraine is also a clinic tutor on the Osteopathic Course in Ara and relishes the opportunity to teach the next generation of osteopaths.