Which Pillow Do You Need For Healthy Sleep
To pillow or not to pillow – that is the question. This question has caused debate; thankfully not of the heated sort that comes from discussing religion or politics, but it is in all seriousness an important topic. After all, we spend around one-third of our lives…asleep! So it’s a high priority to get it right. It’s literally a pain in the neck and worse if you get it wrong.
1. Sleeping Positions
If you tend to sleep on your back then you’ll need to ensure that your head is level with your shoulders; thus, a slightly thinner and more contoured pillow is perfect for you; not too thin, mind you, or your head may position itself too far back. But not too thick, either, or the head will be too far forward, resulting in lower back or neck strain. Side sleepers will need a slightly thicker, more supportive pillow in order to maintain the position of the head; there is obviously a larger gap there due to the distance of your head to each of your shoulders.
Front sleepers, on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish. They might be better off going pillow-free, in order to reduce the strain on the lower back. The more the head is angled down, the greater the natural process of spinal relaxation and natural elongation will be. There are some back sleepers who could also benefit from going pillow-free. It can help naturally stretch out your spine, particularly if you have quite a firm mattress. It can be slightly harder for people who are broader and more well-built, in which case some sort of thin pillow might be needed.
2. Mattress Types
Memory foam mattresses accommodate themselves to the body’s shape, due to their unique material and structure. Your pressure points and muscle aches are thus spread out and reduced. Latex mattresses provide the same function but are a bit firmer; too firm for some. Air mattresses can be useful because you can instantly make them softer or harder simply by inflating or deflating; however, if you don’t have one with multiple chambers it can pop up on one side when someone is on the other. Mattresses are of course an important factor, but let’s get back to pillows.
3. Pillow Contents
It’s not just what kind of pillow or mattress but what’s inside your pillow that counts. Synthetic down or polyester provide a medium softness to your pillow but tend to wear out more quickly than other materials. Pillows filled with siliconized fiber and shredded foams create a supportive yet soft pillow, particularly good for those who are front sleepers and suffer from allergies. Memory foam pillows exist, as well, although might not be so good for those with a high body temperature since they can generate a bit of heat. Pillows filled with latex, cotton, or wool offer firmness, ideal for side sleepers; they also keep the temperature consistent. They are hypoallergenic, too, so would seem to be a good choice for a number of reasons; the price will tend to reflect this.
Overall, it’s important to consider what kind of sleeping position you tend to favor at night, what kind of mattress is going to work in your particular situation, ie. do you sleep alone or with someone, and finally what choice of pillow material you’re going to invest in. You know within yourself how much a poor night’s sleep can affect your performance and mood throughout the next day. Therefore, it is surely worth ensuring that these three elements are right for you, remembering just how much of your earthly existence you actually spend asleep.