We’ve all been there, right – waking up after a night spent tossing and turning with a massive crick in the neck that we try to pop or stretch out while we wait for the coffee to brew? Brutal, right? It’s horrible, not sleeping and waking up in pain. And sure, it could be stress, or the mattress – but it could be the pillow. And how, precisely, can pillows ruin lives?
- They contain allergens
Allergies can be a huge contributing factor when it comes to sleep. The most common allergy pertaining to pillows is goose down, but pillows can also trap dust and skin cells that can aggravate the average allergy as well. So, switching to a hypoallergenic pillow and making sure it’s washed regularly may increase the quality of sleep one gets. Congestion caused by allergies can make getting to sleep and staying asleep difficult, and if the pillow is the culprit, it’s a rather easy route to better rest.
- They’re the wrong size
When it comes to pillows, size matters. Making sure that the pillow is an appropriate size for the person sleeping on it (and not necessarily the size of the bed) can be paramount. Smaller people with slimmer shoulders probably don’t want massive pillows, because that can cause misalignment and lead to sleeping issues. The same holds true for larger people whose shoulders are broader – a bigger pillow will probably be more comfortable.
- They’re the wrong shape
Another important factor to consider when evaluating the pillow is its shape. Most pillows are rectangular, and they have various levels of puffiness. However, in today’s world, pillows are being manufactured so that they are more ergonomic and mimic the natural shape of the spine, providing better support for the head and neck.
- They’re made of the wrong stuff
Again, the rise in technology has been kind to the humble pillow. Between memory foam pillows (such as the kind available from Nature’s Sleep) to synthetic down pillows, there is a lot of variety in pillow material.
- It’s too old
We certainly value youth in this country, and the pillow is no exception – and it’s impossible to give a pillow a facelift. As a general rule, replacing pillows every twelve to eighteen months is a good way to ensure that every night’s sleep is as good as it can be.
- It’s wrong for the position
Everyone has a particular position that is most comfortable for us to sleep in (I’m a back sleeper). Making sure that the pillow is most suited to our “best” sleeping position can help us fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. For example, back sleepers need thinner pillows to help keep the neck and spine aligned.
- It’s not suited for pregnancy
It sounds silly, but it’s true. Women who are pregnant need to make sure they are getting adequate sleep, and companies have designed pillows specifically to help women who are expecting get the rest they need.
- It’s not helping sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition where people stop breathing for short periods of time while they sleep. It can be mild to severe, and some cases even require breathing masks that are worn while the patient sleeps. However, if the case is mild (and only leads to symptoms like snoring) a “sleep apnea pillow” can help reduce the condition and lead to better sleep.