Pillows are an inevitable part of your sleep every night. They can make or break your sleep life while affecting your overall mood in more ways than one. Given that pillows are used every day and are perceived to be highly durable, they might not be talked about, or even thought about, as much. However, they still play an essential role in the quality of sleep you experience every time you lie down to recharge.
Choosing the right pillow might not sound like something important, but can affect your sleep for the better or worse. Given that each person sleeps differently, the assumption that one type of pillow can suit all individuals is not only irrational but can also cause injury over a long period.
Picking up a soft pillow will rarely help. There are many factors to consider while buying a pillow, such as material, firmness, and your sleeping position too.
Based on the sleeping position, the body requires your neck and spine to be in a particular posture to get good sleep and avoid aches. Before we delve into material and firmness, let’s figure what kind of pillow you need based on your sleeping position.
- Back-sleepers– If you are someone who spends most of the time sleeping on your back, you need a pillow that supports the upper part of your spine. Thin and flat pillows help your body maintain the natural curvature of your head, neck, shoulders and spine. This kind of pillow supports your body to relax in a good position and ensures you get great sleep without compromising on spine health and posture.
- Stomach-sleepers– Those who love sleeping with their anterior body facing the bed are called stomach-sleepers. A relatively flat and soft pillow is recommended for such sleepers as the pillow will ensure your neck and head don’t turn unnaturally to either side. It also prevents the head from rising too high, which in turn doesn’t add unnecessary pressure on the neck.
- Side-sleepers– If you are a side snoozer, you have to watch your spine! It is essential to keep the spine horizontal to avoid morning pains. A more contoured pillow is recommended for side-sleepers. The right pillow should evenly distribute the body weight and maintain the neck and head in line with the spine.
Now that you have an idea about what kind of pillow you might need let’s go further into other qualities you have to look for in a pillow.
1. Firmness- The firmness of a pillow plays a role in both comfort and health. Getting the right firmness is an experimental process. Whichever degree of firmness gives you the best sleep is most likely the right pillow for you. There are three types of firm pillows; extra soft, medium and extra firm pillows. Extra soft is recommended for stomach sleepers, and the extra firm is recommended for side sleepers. The medium firmness gives people the best of both worlds and is more suitable for back sleepers.
2. Material- Out of all the pillows, the ones made from memory foam are the most recommended. This is because of their ability to adapt to the shape of your body. Viscoelastic or memory foam pillows are made by adding particular chemicals to polyurethane which increase its viscosity level and result in more density. These pillows operate on the science of pressure sensitivity. The most significant advantage of memory foam pillows is that they help achieve neutral spinal alignment comfortably because of their shape moulding capabilities. Next time you’re looking for a pillow, be sure to try out the memory foam pillows.
In conclusion, the most crucial factor to consider while buying a pillow is to see whether the pillow helps your neck and spine be in natural alignment. Firmness and material should also be considered while deciding on a pillow as both factors play a huge role in helping you sleep comfortably. Another critical thing to remember is to change your pillow once every 18 to 36 months to get the maximum benefits from it. This may feel like an increased investment, but will significantly improve your quality of sleep and keep you ache-free. In the long term, it will also reduce the risk of spine and neck problems. So don’t compromise your health and sleep, buy the right pillow for yourself today.