The Importance of a good pillow and mattress

In our private physiotherapy sessions, we are always asking our patients about their pillow and mattress when assessing injuries and pains. It is suggested, as stated in articles on, that on average you will spend about one third of your life in bed sleeping or attempting to sleep. Therefore, that is one third of your life that you will rely on your mattress and pillow to provide your body the support it needs as you try to relax and more importantly recover.

Many people will, at some point in their lives, wake up and say to themselves “I must have slept in an awkward position because my neck is sore”, sound familiar? If this is you then you may need to look at your sleeping position, consider how supportive your pillow is, ensure that your mattress is giving your body the correct support for you.

A good quality night sleep is important for your daily function for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  1. Neuromuscular recovery – when you sleep the human body produces its own muscle-building hormones. During the night you go through various stages of sleep, when you are in the non-rapid eye movement stage your body increases blood flow to the muscles, which stimulates muscle growth and repair. This is ever more important when you are recovering from injury.
  2. General mood throughout the day – how you feel during the time you spend awake can have a direct correlation to how well you slept, and the time spent in the various stages of sleep the night before.
  3. Improved concentration and productivity – if you are well rested you will have a greater capacity to focus on the task at hand.
  4. Weight control – getting enough quality sleep can help to reduce the bodies need for excessive calorie intake, which in the long run will help with goals such as weight loss.

It has also been identified through numerous scientific studies that you are less at risk of serious health problems if you are able to regularly get a good duration and quality of sleep.

With all of this is mind, sleep is one of the most important natural processes that your body requires in order to maintain good health and well-being. Therefore, it goes without saying that, in order to achieve the best quality sleep possible, you will need a mattress and pillow that provides the best amount of support possible.

Everyone is very different in terms of what they need from a mattress and pillow, some people like to have an extremely soft mattress where others are most comfortable on something a lot firmer. Some like one pillow where other prefer two. You get my drift!

If you have any problems with your back or neck you may find that sleeping aggravates it – if this is you, it is most certainly time to look at getting a different mattress and/or pillow. From a chronic ache and/or pain scenario, spinal position is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing your mattress and pillow, it will help a great deal if you can find something that keeps your spine in a good alignment, whether you are a side sleeper or front/back sleeper.

If you need any help or advice on what to look out for when you are assessing whether your mattress and pillow are right for you then we are happy to help here at Physio Answers, contact us via our contact page today.