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Pillow Talk

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Framingham Massage | Natick Massage | Turtle Dance BodyworkA pillow is a pillow is a pillow, right? Actually, you might be surprised to find out how many different types of pillows there are! There are foam filled, cotton filled, down, memory foam, buckwheat hull, flat, rolled, contoured, hypoallergenic, water, and the list goes on.

Why so many types? And are there real differences? Simply stated, yes. Each has its unique properties, and many claim to be the ultimate solution for a healthy night’s sleep. The bottom line is that it is quite important to find a pillow that matches the needs of the individual. Every person has their own body shape, sleeping habits and general health, all factors that play into the decision whether to go with softer versus firmer, thicker versus thinner, shaped versus flat.

If we consider that we spend approximately one third of our existence sleeping, it makes sense that what we sleep on (bedding as well as pillows) is incredibly important. Can you imagine walking around for 8 hours tipping your head to one side? Or pulled forward? Just thinking about it gives me a neck ache. When we do that to ourselves night after night, the patterns can get stuck in the musculature, creating soreness, headaches and imbalances which may well show up in other parts of the body.

Ideally, the head wants to be supported in a neutral position, not too much to one side or the other, and not too much forward or back. A person who sleeps on their back, for instance, might use a flatter, softer pillow, which allows the head to remain even with the shoulders. A side sleeper would probably benefit from one that is thicker and denser, which keeps the head from tipping too far to the side, and maintains that position through the night.

The best way to determine what works best for you is to look into options and try them first hand, in the position(s) you are most likely to use them. Many places, retailers and online, allow a trial period of up to 30 days to assure a comfortable fit. It’s worth the effort to sleep better and live healthier. Happy sleeping!

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