When did you last thought about your bed pillow? Its quality and its cleanliness? Well, if your answer is “it’s been a long time”, don’t worry, you are not alone. When you think about quality sleep, what directly comes to your mind is a quality mattress. We pay attention to the mattress we sleep on and it’s the biggest investment we make when it comes to sleeping. But guess what, your pillow is as important as your mattress. So, how does your pillow affect the quality of your sleep? Let’s discuss.
Why Does it Matter?
For you to sleep soundly, you should sleep in a good posture. If your neck and shoulders do not get enough support to maintain an aligned position, it will lead to discomfort in your shoulders, neck and will finally result in sleeplessness. Here are a few more reasons why your pillow matters.
Pain – the wrong choice of pillow can cause pain in your neck, head and lower back. Also, too fluffy or too flat pillows can harm the structure of your spine. If your neck bends for an extended period of time, it will result in neck pain. Whatever the sleeping position you sleep in, your pillow matters. If you sleep on your side and your pillow doesn’t give you support under your neck, then your head has to extend sideways in order to meet the pillow. If you are a stomach sleeper, a firm pillow pushes your head even further.
Interruptions – have you ever woken up feeling all tired? Well, constantly adjusting your pillow which results in frequent turning and tossing makes it harder for your brain to relax at night and it makes you fatigued in the morning. Also, you have less time to function on tissue repair, muscle growth, etc. that happens during your sleep.
Your spine – pillows are not just for your head and neck. Extra pillows can keep your spine in a proper position. Your pillow should support you to maintain the natural curve of the neck and reduce soreness and neck pain by offering restorative sleep.
Now you know how your pillow affects the quality of your sleep. To overcome these issues, you should know how to choose the best pillow for you.
How to Choose the Best Pillow?
The comfort of your mattress, as well as your pillow, is crucial for quality sleep. Selecting a pillow is really an individual choice which depends on you. There’s no shape, size or a material that can align with all our preferences.
Bird down feathers – the softness of a down feather pillow will make you want to sleep more and more. These are durable and popular in the market but known as pillows which do not offer good support for your neck. Therefore, you might wake up with a stiff neck and the noise the pillow makes when you change your sleep position can be interruptive.
Cotton – cotton pillows provide you with good neck support. They’re not too soft and very easy to maintain. One of the best-known pillows is Hamuq MicroGel Pillow which is a cotton pillow infused with the powerful self-cleaning effects of Silver Technology.
Wool – wool pillows last longer but most wool pillows are too firm and will result in a stiff neck.
Memory foam – memory foam pillows give you proper neck support. Memory foam adjusts to your shape and allows your head, neck and shoulders to rest in an aligned position. They are also soft and free of noise.
Sleep apnea – sleep apnea pillows are made of polyester fiber fill or foam and are designed to accommodate the octopus tubes and cords of the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.
Lumbar pillows – lumbar pillows might be a solution for you if you are suffering from lower back pain. They provide you with support above the lumbar area and allow your lower back to relax naturally.
Wedge pillows – wedge pillows are triangular shaped pillows and can be used to support different parts of your body. Usually, wedge pillows are made of polyester fiber fill, foam or both. These pillows are great for propping your upper body.
There are many other types of pillows out there, so make sure you make the right choice. Make sure you invest in the right kind of pillow and remember to replace it every 2-3 years. When your pillow loses its height, misshapen and discoloured, know that it’s definitely the time to go for a new one. If you wake up with a stiff neck, breathing problems, headache, neck pain or arm numbness, sometimes the answer is as simple as changing your pillow. An outdated pillow can cause severe damage to your spinal structure as well. Pillows are also magnets for dirt and dead skin cells. So, make sure your pillows are clean as well as they are comfortable. There are pillows marketed as solutions for snoring and other sleep disorders. But it’s recommended you talk to your physician, get diagnosed and get proper treatments.
After all, we sleep for one third of our lives, so let’s do it right!