There's nothing more satisfying than sinking into your mattress on top of your fluffy, comfortable pillow at the end of a super tiring day. But more than an enjoyable experience, sleeping is necessary for your body.
Medical research shows that sleeping is just as essential as eating and drinking. As a matter of fact, sleeping gives our body the time it needs to repair itself and to process all information. If your quality of sleep decreases, the chances of you getting anxiety and depression add up as well. Furthermore, the lack of proper sleep causes emotional instability that opens the doors to mood and anxiety disorders.
Not only is your mental health greatly affected, but the low quality of sleep may even lead to serious health problems. Your sleep problem may lead to obesity, you developing diabetes or even dangerous heart disease. Moreover, a reduction in sleep may even lower your life expectancy rates.
Therefore, we need a comfortable sleep area to catch our snooze time. Cool sheets, a comfortable mattress, and a supportive, cozy pillow are great rewards at the end of the day. Importance of bed comfort:
- Sleep faster
- Sleep longer
- Relaxes body
Nevertheless, a cozy mattress is important, but a comfortable pillow is essential for a good night's sleep.
Warning Signs Your Pillow is Affecting Your Brain Power
We've already covered why you need a comfortable pillow, but how do you know if the pillow works well for you? As the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and grime, your pillow has many ways to tell you that it's not right for you.
Neck and Spine Issues:
More often than not, when we wake up with neck pain, we chalk it off as 'just pulled a muscle, no biggie.' Your pillow should provide you with the perfect alignment, but if your pillow is either too high or too low, it means your spine isn't getting any rest. And if your spine doesn't get to relax, that means your spine and neck are going to be too stiff. This results in you waking up with your neck hurting almost every day.
Initially, when you're making a purchase, you should check whether your pillow has the right amount of 'spring' to it. If you fold it into half and it returns to its normal state upon being released, that means you won't have to deal with neck and back strain. If not, you can count on some good old backache.
Home to Mites and Ticks:
In general, your pillow is a playground for mites of all sorts and dead skin cells. If you're a side sleeper, your face depresses into the pillow, right where your old pillowcase is acting as a vacation spot for bacteria. By letting your pillow remain dirty, you may get acne, wrinkles, or experience breakouts. These are all because of the mites, dust, and the pressure of your head resting wrongly on the pillow.
Acne isn't the only thing you have to worry about! If you haven't changed your pillowcase in a while or so, your allergies may shoot through the roof. All kinds of bacteria, dust, and dirt end up sitting atop your pillow, and when you lay your face on it and breathe on it during the night, your allergies might just worsen.
Wrong Pillow Size Results in Sore Body
If you thought that was the end of pillows correlating with perfect body alignment, you were pretty off. A wrong pillow pushes your neck far away into oblivion and twists every nerve in the wrong way. This may mean sleep deprivation for you.
This, in turn, means your body can't repair tissues properly and doesn't have adequate time to grow muscles. Moreover, your lack of a proper pillow puts you at risk of serious physical health issues. At the same time, it greatly affects your appetite, emotional stability, and thinking capacity. It may even cause you to feel nauseous throughout the day and/or have a constant, general feeling of tiredness.
The wrong Pillow Affects Mental Health
Besides this, if the pillow you chose isn't the right one for you, you might end up not catching any proper sleep. Ultimately, this lack of sleep causes you to feel extra stressed out and irritable throughout the day. Subsequently, low levels of sleep and high levels of stress means you won't exactly be bouncing around. If anything, you'll be more prone to insomnia and anxiety. Plus, a reduction in quality of sleep means an increase in mood swings. And this worsening of mood takes your hand and walks you down the path of depression.
Pillow, a Leading Reason for Sleep Apnea
If you're someone with sleep apnea, you'll have to keep your eyes wide open for the right pillow. A bad quality pillow will most definitely come in the way of you and your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment. This treatment includes a device and mask that you wear that will probably move away from the ideal position if you sleep in the wrong position.
How to know if a pillow is right for you?
The right pillow will keep the body in alignment, from the knees and hips, through the spine to the chest and shoulders, head and neck.
Since the quality of the pillow is pretty subjective- back, side, and stomach sleepers all prefer different types of pillows- it creates a fine amount of confusion in the buyer's mind. From 'is this fluffy enough' to 'is it too fluffy,' if you step in the market without any know-how, you might end up choosing the wrong pillow. Plus, with the number of options available, it's pretty easy to get confused. Keep scrolling to select the best pillow for yourself.
Pillow needs as per sleep position:
If you're a side sleeper, then what you need is a pillow that offers a high loft and firm support. Moreover, you're going to want a pillow that's a little fluffy. This helps ensure you lay down with ideal alignment.
Since side sleepers sleep, well, on their sides, so they need a pillow; their head won't sink in. Neither would you want someone that's too hard and forces your spine to be tense throughout the night. That's why you need a medium-firm present somewhere between fluffy and firm. On the other hand, the high loft of your pillow ensures your head is propped just the right way to further encourage a neutral position. Another plus is your shoulders won't dig into the mattress; it's a win-win solution!
Last but not least, make sure your pillows can easily shape. This allows you to truly enjoy the side position you love so much without compromising on spinal support.
You've probably heard or read this somewhere before, but experts say sleeping on your stomach extends your upper cervical spine or keeps it rotating. All in all, it means not only is your neck going to hurt, but your lower back and abdomen may feel the pressure as well. Besides this, finding the right pillow can be a little tricky.
But if you really love sleeping on your stomach, the perfect pillow for you should have a low loft and soft support. The former ensures your neck doesn't have to work hard to keep your head on the pillow because if your pillow is a higher loft, you can say goodbye to a good, neutral body alignment. Whereas the latter offers you a layer of softness between the mattress and your head.
That's not all! Stomach sleepers are recommended to find pillows with feathers or down alternatives since they are easily shape-able and can be compressed to an ideal size.
Lastly, if you're someone who prefers to sleep on their back, you'll need to be on the hunt for a pillow with a medium loft and a medium firmness. We can hear you asking, why?
Well, the medium loft serves as the perfect balance as you lay on the bed. If you lay on a super soft pillow, your neck will be propped too high, and your alignment will be thrown right out of the window. On the other hand, if it's not lofty enough, you'll be practically lying on your mattress.
In addition to this, the medium firmness is chosen specifically to help you keep your spine in the optimum alignment. If your pillow is too soft, your head will just sink inside, whereas your head won't align well if it's too firm.
Plus, be on the lookout for pillows that conform to pressure. This is because materials fabricated with the intent to conform to pressure keep your head feeling comfortable in the right, neutral position as you doze away. A bonus point is pillows with a tufted top since these ones give you a little extra cushioning where you can rest all your head, neck, and shoulders.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pillow
Despite the guide above, you're probably still feeling a little confused. You're not alone. Now that we've made you aware of pillows' importance, you'll probably want to buy the pillow that's just perfect.
For this, you need to figure out what works best for you from the following six elements
Pillows are available in a wide array of fills. But, to make it easier for you, we decided to include the most common one.
Down pillows are fabricated from goose or duck fibers, making them super light and soft. Your down pillow is essentially a myriad of down, feathers, and other fillings, all of which means your pillow is going to be expensive.
On the flip side, if you're someone who has allergies, you may want to avoid this option. Or you can find the hypo-allergenic down, which is cleaned to the point your blend becomes pure and causes zilch allergies. On the plus side, these pillows are super sustainable.
Secondly is the synthetic down and polyester fill that is comparatively less expensive than most pillow fills. However, this means you might have to switch them every now and then. Your pillow will flatten pretty fast but is typically softer than down.
Next, wool pillows, with their in-built wicking technology, help keep your body at an optimum temperature through the night. Plus, these firm pillows are naturally hypo-allergenic, say goodbye to your allergies and hello to peaceful sleep! Plus, they are dust-resistant. There's no way you can go wrong with these.
Furthermore, cotton is also naturally hypo-allergenic and resistant to molds and dust. The difference between them and wool ones? Well, these are flatter and firmer than wool.
Moving on to latex pillows, these ones are firmer than down and can hold their shape. In addition, they are dust and mold resistant and can typically contour to ensure ideal neck alignment.
Memory foam pillows perfectly contour against your head, neck, and shoulders, ensuring you feel super comfortable when sleeping. These are the most common pillows, but they are prone to retaining heat.
Lastly Buckwheat and Millet Hull Pillows are an all natural Option for those who need and want a firm pillow that is also fully adjustable. We think Buckwheat Pillows are the Best Pillows you can buy not only due to their long life expectancy, but also due to their history and practicality.
We've already emphasized the importance of the proper spine alignment, so obviously, the height of your pillow is going to play a vital role here.
Back sleepers are recommended to go for a flatter one, while stomach sleepers should choose a softer- or none- pillow. Side sleepers should probably go for a firm yet thick pillow.
This also mainly depends on your preferences. If you feel like you move too much during the night, you can go for heavier options like memory foam or latex. But if you think you like to move your pillow around as you sleep, you can look for lightweight options like down and synthetic pillows.
The size of your pillow is meant to help you keep your body at a neutral spine alignment. No matter if you like a large or thin pillow, just make sure it encourages the right sleeping position.
While there's nothing more fun than giving in to the aesthetic of your room, your pillows need natural, breathable fabrics to add to their longevity. Plus, your pillow needs protection against stains, sweat, dust, and whatnot.
When is the Right Time To Change a Pillow
Yeah, your pillow needs to be replaced. And yes, there is a right time for it. Typically, you should replace your pillow after every 18 months, but it may vary depending on the fill.
Memory foam pillows last up to three years, which is probably the best offer you'll get. As it is for most things, your more expensive pillow will be more durable than the inexpensive pillow. But, also, as it is for humans, we love to make the most of the least. So, the best way to find out if you can still use your pillow is to carefully examine it.
Check for stains from sweat and whether it smells and is torn. If yes, then do we really need to recount? If you still aren't convinced, fold your pillow into half and wait for it to pop back up. If it doesn't, you really need to purchase a new pillow.
Over time, these pillows become the center of dead skin cells, mold, bacteria, and mites. All of which worsen allergies, acne, and wrinkles. We're sure that's the last thing you need, so be sure to switch your pillow when the time comes.
Finding the perfect pillow is the thin line between getting healthy sleep and walking down the road of physical, mental, and emotional health issues.
Finding the right pillow isn't parallel to a walk in the park, but it definitely is as pleasant! So, take some time out of your busy schedule to invest in finding the perfect pillow. Once you've bought yourself a new pillow that ensures a proper sleeping position, you can count on some good, restful sleeping nights that expedite the quality of your life as a whole!