Is Your Pillow Helping or Hurting Your Health?
Do you have a certain pillow that you prefer sleeping with every night? When you find the best pillow for your sleeping style, it’s easy to see why you won’t leave home without it. Whether you are trying to avoid neck pain or improve your comfort – there’s no doubt that the right pillow is an important factor that will affect how well you sleep each night.
The truth is that comfort isn’t the only factor you need to consider when choosing a pillow. Look at other health factors, such as the type of material, firmness, and body position. When you are spending 8 hours a night using this pillow, there’s no question that it can impact your health and wellness.
Neck Positioning and Pain
When you are sleeping, it’s important that your neck is in a neutral position to reduce the risk of pain. Pillows that are too firm or too soft can cause the neck to be bent for extended periods of time while you are sleeping. For example, a firm pillow can cause over extension because the neck is pushed too far backward or forward (depending on if you are sleeping on your stomach or back).
Many pillows are made of synthetic materials, which means that you might be breathing harmful chemicals while sleeping. Synthetic pillows might contain one or more of the following ingredients:
- Petroleum derivatives
Before 1950, pillows were made of natural materials, such as feathers, cotton, and wool. Then, manufacturers switched to cheaper, synthetic materials. Now, the natural pillow trend is becoming more popular. People are choosing all-natural solutions, such as a buckwheat pillow or a millet pillow because they are concerned about the health implications of sleeping on synthetic materials.
If you are uncomfortable at night, this loss of sleep can have a domino effect on many other aspects of your life. While you are sleeping, the body works on tissue repair, muscle growth, and other essential health functions. An uncomfortable, unhealthy pillow can result in chronic sleep deprivation, which increases the risk of a variety of severe health conditions: heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, mood, thinking skills, and more.
Additionally, the quality of sleep can be hindered for people with sleep apnea. Certain types of pillows can interfere with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
Improve Your Pillow, Improve Your Sleep
Finding the right pillow is like shopping for the perfect pair of pants; it’s a personal decision. When choosing the best pillow, it’s essential to consider how this small item will have a noticeable impact on your overall health and wellness. There are options to align your neck and head more effectively, helping you get quality sleep every night.