- Support. Your neck and head should be even with the rest of your spine, when sleeping on your side. It should not be tilting up or down. When lying on your back, you cervical spine should be supported while your head is allowed to drop back. We want to rest your neck muscles, not shove them up into our “looking down” position that we commonly do while awake.
- Comfort. The pillow should be soft and comfortable for your ear and head so that you can relax and get into a deep sleep. Like most things in life, not too hard and not too soft.
- Durability. Foam is comfortable, but doesn’t last as long. Gel and buckwheat pillows last longer, but some people think the material is too hard for them.
- One size does not fit all. If you are 250 lbs and your child is 50 lbs, the thickness of your pillows should not be the same. How broad your shoulders are and what position you sleep in must be taken into account. Make sure your pillow is the proper thickness.
Wallets, where do they belong?
Come on guys, this one should be easy. But I am constantly amazed at how many of my patients lay down on my table with a 2 inch “butt lift” in their back pocket! I mean really? How many of you would walk around with a 2 inch lift under only your right shoe and not your left? It doesn’t make sense. So why would you sit on a 2 inch wallet on one side of your pelvis? Take your wallet out of your back pocket! Get a thin wallet and put it in your front pocket. Or take it out and put your wallet with your phone or keys when you sit at your desk or sit in your car. Never add uneven stress to your spine when you don’t have to.
Until next time, be healthy, happy and smart!
I have decided to join the “modern revolution” and communicate more regularly electronically. I will be sending out an email every couple of weeks with a short “health tip” that I think most people will find interesting and helpful. This will also be posted on my website and Facebook page.
My first tip will be about late night snacking. What, I don’t do that! Yeah right, this is one of my biggest weaknesses. So if you are like me, and the “gremlin” comes out in you late at night, here are 3 simple rules to try and follow:
- Avoid carbs: Eating carbs causes the body to release insulin, which helps the body absorb the “carbs” quickly. Therefore, it doesn’t fill us up, and we keep snacking! Insulin also turns off the fat burning “mode” in our metabolism and instead it allows the carbs to be easily stored as fat when we eat too much. So unfortunately that means we should avoid Doritos, cookies, pretzels, and even fruit late at night.
- Choose, slow digesting proteins: “white protein” like turkey and chicken are slow digesting, help us to feel full, and fail to produce an insulin response. Milk protein (casein) is another excellent choice. It coats the stomach, digests slowly and doesn’t produce a lot of insulin. Items like cottage cheese and unsweetened greek yogurt.
- Add fat. Quality, healthy fat like nuts, oils and nut butters are a great addition to a late night snack because they slow digestion and make us feel full, preventing us from snacking all night.
Until next time, I hope you and your family are healthy and happy!