Sleep is one of our most important activities. Without adequate sleep, our bodies and minds can suffer. As a result, many of us are on a journey to improve our quality of sleep. When we think about factors affecting our sleep quality, pillows might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, these fluffy clouds play a vital role in determining how well we rest each night.
What are Pillows For?
Of course, pillows are a soft place to put our heads at night. But, pillows are not just about comfort. A proper pillow provides needed support to your head, neck, and spine while you sleep. This may not seem important, but your body alignment is a big deal. The proper alignment of your body can actually affect your sleep quality. In addition, it can affect your body in your waking hours. Without proper alignment, you could suffer from body aches, joint pain, or headaches.
As a result, your pillow is important to your sleep health. Part of your pillow’s job is to support your neck. When choosing the right pillow, you should look for one with the proper height and firmness for your needs. An ill-suited pillow can actually contribute to neck pain and discomfort.
Types of Pillows and Sleepers
There are several types of pillows available for your sleeping position and needs.
Memory foam pillows conform to your shape.These are the types of pillows that leave an imprint if you press on them. With memory foam pillows, you will feel support and reduce pressure points.
Feather pillows are incredibly popular pillows due to their softness. In fact, they are common in hotels for a luxury feel. However, they may require frequent fluffing for optimal support.
Another type of pillow is a latex pillow. These are durable and provide a balance of support and comfort.
You may not know which type of pillow is best for you. It may depend on your sleep position. On the other hand, you may need to use trial and error. Finding the perfect pillow often involves trying different options to discover what suits your comfort needs.
Those who sleep on their back often benefit from pillows that support the natural curve of their spine. If you sleep on your side, you need a pillow that will help maintain the alignment between your head and spine. For stomach sleepers, you may need a flatter pillow to prevent strain on the neck and spine.
The right pillow can help your body feel better and improve your sleep health.
Pillow Lifespan and Care
Another part to remember about your pillows is how to care for them and when to get rid of them. Pillows don’t last forever. In fact, you should replace your pillows about every 1-2 years. This is because they lose their shape and support over time. Additionally, your pillows will collect sweat, dust mites, and allergens over time. This can eventually affect your sleep quality if you have allergies.
While you can wash your pillows, you should still replace them regularly. You can also use a hypoallergenic pillow cover to reduce your exposure to allergens. Otherwise, you should wash your pillow covers and use pillow protectors. This can help maintain a cleaner sleep environment.
Signs that it is time to change your pillow include flatness, lumps, or general discomfort.