Alaska Sleep Education Center

Types of pillows for different sleep positions

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Jul 17, 2013 5:06:00 PM

The two main functions of pillows are comfort and support. The pillow is designed to keep the spine in natural alignment, and remain comfortable throughout the night with your personal preference of firmness or surface texture. Choosing the right pillow for you could help you get a good night sleep.

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing your next pillow.

  • sleeping on your side. The pillow should offer the most support and able to support your head and neck on a horizontal line.
  • Sleeping on your back. The pillow should support the head and follow the natural curve of the spine to alleviate any back strain; this pillow should be slightly lower than that of the side sleeper pillow.
  • Sleeping on your stomach. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach make sure your pillow is relatively flat, or skip using a pillow all together.

Remember to replace your pillow at least every two years and washing it at least once a year - and more often if you are prone to allergies.

There are many options that go into the perfect night sleep especially when you need to reevaluate restless nights. The mattress is one of the staples to a restful sleep, but for many who still toss and turn, a new pillow could be the inexpensive change needed in the bedroom. Considering each year you lay your head on your pillow 3,000 hours, it is important to get it right. Today we will look at different pillow options along with pillowcases to try.

According to Sleep Doctor, “pillows collect dead skin cells, mildew, mold, fungus, and dust mites” so think about the last time you purchased a new pillow. Do you have stains or noticeable odor on your pillow?

How to choose a perfect pillow (4)“Over time, as much as half the weight of a pillow can be attributed to these unwelcome organisms, which can trigger allergies, interfere with breathing during sleep, and put out odors that make it harder to sleep well.”

First the pillow itself is an important decision so it is best to think about what options you are looking for in a new pillow. Not certain the last time you purchased a pillow? Try this simple test: fold the pillow in half. It lays folded without popping out to its original form, it is too old for use.

With the amount of options, it is helpful to read reviews online to see what is on the market that year. Most pillows bought from a traditional retail store cannot be returned so choosing wisely is key to not break the budget.

Though no pillowcase is the wrong choice, think about your sleep positions. Cotton is the most breathable and luxurious choices due to the thread count options. Flannel could be a good option in the cold winter months along with your flannel sheets. For some, silk is a good pillowcase that also keeps your hair in place during any type of restless sleep.

For some, silk means more trips to purchase pillow cases as they stain easily from oils and are less breathable than cotton's natural materials.

How often should you change your pillow? Many argue every 18 months while others state finding a machine-washable option provides more life to the pillow. Look at the label and try washing your pillow on hot throughout its relationship with your body.

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