Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Sleep allows the body to recover from the day’s exertions and it is one of the key components of staying healthy. There are many different things that contribute to getting a good night’s rest. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, the reason for it could be anything from the remains of the day’s stress to the blue light of your phone screen.
It could even be that it has to do with the quality of your mattress or bedding. While getting a new ergonomic mattress or bed springs can be quite pricey, one simple hack would be changing your pillows. Knowing how to choose a perfect pillow for yourself can make all the difference.
The Importance of Sleep
Getting the obligatory seven to eight hours of sleep is often the first thing we do away with in the name of some other more important activities. However, experts have long emphasized the importance of sleep for our overall health and well-being.
After revisiting these health benefits of regular sleeping patterns, it will be clear to you how important it is to know how to pick the perfect pillow for a good night of sleep.
- Irregular sleep or sleep deprivation can negatively affect our cardiovascular health, leading to hypertension and irregular heartbeat.
- Quality sleep is vital for our immune system. Losing sleep can make us more prone to different diseases.
- You have probably noticed improvements to your mood when you are well-rested as well.
- Sleeping regularly can help with deterring weight gain.
- Resting the right amount also helps with learning and memory.
How to Choose the Perfect Bed Pillow
Knowing how to choose the right pillow can greatly improve your quality of sleep. Pillows are key in determining your sleep posture, which in turn determines whether you will sleep soundly. Having the right posture during sleep is also what will help you avoid soreness in your neck and back. Much like your mattress, you want your pillow or pillows to provide you with both support and comfort.
When to Get a New Pillow
Experts suggest pillows should generally be replaced after an 18-month use. However, the amount of time your pillow is viable depends on what kind of pillow it is.
If you haven’t used one lately, you may want to try a memory foam pillow, as they are typically good to use for up to three years. Pillows made from natural materials last longer than those made from synthetics.
One good way of knowing it is time to replace your pillow is examining it a little bit more closely. If there are tears, sweat stains or a whiff of an unpleasant smell, it is time to change it.
In case your pillow is still in good shape upon first inspection, you can try folding it in half. If it springs back to its original shape, it is still viable. If not, you will want to change it right away. This is also one of the good tricks you can use for knowing how to choose the perfect pillow.
One of the great moments in life for replacing your pillow is when you are moving. If you’re starting over somewhere new, you can use it as a great excuse for switching pillows and buying something more appropriate.
While professionals can move your bulky or fragile items so you won’t lose sleep over moving, a brand new comfortable pillow will ensure your sleep is of the highest quality.
Types of pillows
Surely, you have already found that there are many different types of pillows. Being familiar with what different kinds of pillows there are will empower you to know how to pick the right pillow for you.
There are several different kinds of fill. Down pillows are pillows stuffed with goose or duck fibers. They are very soft, so they are perfect for you if you love a soft pillow. These pillows sometimes get a bad rep as people have been known to develop allergic reactions to the fill. This often happens when the filling isn’t sufficiently clean. However, if you think this is the pillow for you, there is such a thing as hypoallergenic down. It’s a little bit pricier but it is a good investment if this is the kind of pillow you like.
Synthetic down pillows are also soft, though a bit tougher than natural down. They are cheaper, but also flatten more quickly, so they require replacement more often.
Wool and cotton pillows
Wool pillows are quite popular as they are hypoallergenic. They are resistant to mold and dust mites. These pillows are also quite good with temperature regulation – a wool pillow will keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They are also perfect for people who love a tougher pillow, as they are pretty firm.
Another benefit of a wool pillow is its longevity. Cotton pillows share most of the characteristics of wool pillows. The one difference is that cotton pillows can be quite flat while firm.
These pillows are quite popular because they retain their shape. They are almost as comfy as down pillows, but they don’t have a lot of give. You won’t be able to contort them into whatever shape you wish. They are resistant to mold and dust mites and they can often provide the sleeper with additional support for their shoulders and neck.
Memory foam pillows are becoming increasingly popular because of their ability to fit individual sleepers really well. They are particularly sought after by people who need special support for their neck and head. Their main drawback is that they don’t regulate temperature very well. They get warm quickly and can make you to sweat.
The Perfect Pillow Size
Most people will be happy with a standard-sized pillow. Some people like to go a bit larger, which is fine as long as you can sleep comfortably on it.
Bear in mind that your head, neck and shoulders should be aligned with your spine. As for bedding, always pick comfort over design. Even if you really like a particular pattern, if the bedding is not made from a breathable fabric, it is bound to cause some discomfort and make you lose sleep.
Considering all aspects of pleasant rest is important to know how to pick a perfect pillow.
Sometimes the right bed, pillow, bedding and atmosphere are not the answer to your sleep problems. When that is the case, you need to get to the source to improve both your sleep and overall health.
You are not alone here. Talk with your Primary Care doctor or contact us here at Alaska Sleep Clinic for your free sleep assessment,