When you are too tired, you don’t get to pay much attention to your sleep that much. Sometimes, you’re just too tired to be bothered by the softness or stiffness of your pillow. I bet you can’t even remember when was the last time you washed your pillow!
You may not give pillows much attention, but you know what? Pillows affect the quality of sleep you get. That’s why you must put a lot of thought into choosing your pillows. This article will help you with that.
The Effect Of Pillow on a Good Night Sleep
You may not notice it, but pillow has significant effects on your sleep. This is because the function of a pillow is to help you maintain proper sleeping posture. The right pillow bridges the gap between the mattress and your neck, putting your head and spine in proper alignment.
Having the right sleeping posture can improve your sleep in several ways. Since there’s no unnecessary pressure on your spine, it also helps prevent or address back pain. It can also help with the management and prevention of certain medical conditions like acid reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea. Last but not the least, it minimizes sleep disruptions so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
How to Choose the Right Pillow for You
Bigger and softer isn’t always better when we talk about the right pillow for you. It’s not that complicated, but it involves a few details to find the right fit. Read below to know more.
Consider your sleeping position when determining the right pillow firmness and height.
Pillow height is one key factor in determining a suitable pillow that fits you. It dictates the angle and alignment of your spine while you sleep. Naturally, having your neck and spine parallel to the bed is what you want to achieve.
Choosing your pillow height should be relative to your sleeping position.
Generally, side sleepers need a higher pillow to fill the gap between the head and the shoulder to keep the neck and spine parallel to the bed. This is usually between 5 and 7 inches. Taller and shorter people may need to adjust accordingly to keep the neck and spine straight.
People who sleep lying flat on their backs would benefit most from 4-5 inches in height. This height is enough to catch the head without lifting the head too much. A high pillow for a back sleeper pushes the head upward, putting a strain on the neck up to the shoulder.
Among the different types of sleepers, belly sleepers may prefer the thinnest pillow. Belly sleepers may require pillows lower than 4 inches to accommodate their sleeping position. If you are a belly sleeper, you may find high pillows uncomfortable as it pushes your head and tilts it upward.
If you have a medical condition, put it into consideration.
Snoring is a symptom of a mechanical obstruction problem that may cause sleep apnea. If you snore and find yourself feeling like you didn’t get enough sleep, it may mean that you are not getting a good night’s sleep.
Mild snoring can be easily corrected by using a special pillow for sleep apnea. Some of these special pillows come in unusual shapes sizes. Often, they are inclined and extend up to the shoulders for support. Elevating the head prevents the tongue from lodging into the airway. This optimizes airway patency and helps resolve snoring problems giving you better sleep quality.
Know what pillow filling is suitable for your personal preference.
Softness and stiffness of the pillow is a matter of preference. Some people like the feeling of their heads sinking in their pillows while some don’t. This is determined by the materials you use as filling. Traditionally, feathers and downs are the most common and readily available pillow filling material that you can choose. But aside from that, there are other options, especially if you have allergies.
If you have allergies, polyester pillow filling is a safe choice. This material is lightweight but not that breathable. It retains body heat, and the pillow may feel ward during hot days. However, it’s affordable and can be easily sourced almost anywhere. One downside of polyester is that it clumps and compresses easily.
Cotton is firmer and more breathable than polyester. It weighs a little more and free from allergen too. The same with polyester, you don’t have to spend a lot on a high-quality cotton fill. However, cotton tends to lump easily and may need frequent fluffing.
Buckwheat hull is an excellent choice if you feel hot at night. They are light, breathable, and malleable. It follows your body contour and prevents strain. This material holds its shape well and is perfect for side sleepers. If you want your pillow soft, you may not find buckwheat a good choice. Also, note that buckwheat produces a soft rustling sound when shifting.
Wool is a breathable pillow filling that holds its shape well. It’s perfect for side sleepers who like their pillows a little stiff. This material is also machine washable and would last for years, even with frequent washing. However, it’s quite expensive and tends to absorb moisture. It may start to smell if not washed regularly.
Cover your pillow
Pillowcases come in different materials and sizes. The first thing you want to make sure is that the cover matches the size of the pillow. Fitting a pillow in a smaller case would overly plump your pillow. An oversized pillowcase would be loose, and your pillow might slip out at night while you sleep. The correct size would ensure that your sleep would not be interrupted.
Also, a moisture-wicking protective pillow cover will make sure that stains and sweat would not be bothering you while you sleep.
There will always be days that you wouldn’t get enough sleep. In fact, that would be our situation most days. Since it’s more difficult for us to hit the right hours of sleep, the next best thing you can do is improve your sleep quality. Choosing the right pillow can help you do that!