So you’ve finally found the perfect all natural bedding, but one of the worst feelings in the world is when you’re trying to go to sleep at night and feeling your neck strain into a pillow that’s too soft or too hard. A good pillow can be hard to find but if you do your research and determine what kind of sleeper you are, then the decision will be a lot easier to make. We’ve broken down some options for nearly every sleeper out there.
According to the experts at WebMD, “Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge,” says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.
The wrong pillow can do irreversible damage including an increase in headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing, and wheezing, states orthopedic surgeon Andrew Hecht, MD.
“A bad pillow won’t be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms, and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night’s rest,” says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.
An old pillow is the worst offender. It can contain skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus and other things that make you go “eww!” in the night.
So when’s the right time to buy a new pillow? Experts believe a general rule of thumb should be every 12 to 18 months. Don’t pass that two-year mark…(it’s for your own health).
If you’re a stomach sleeper like me, many experts suggest thin and flat cushioned pillows. This allows you to elevate your head without straining your neck. Check out the Select Comfort Nature Preference Pillow for Stomach Sleepers (from $80, selectcomfort.com). This pillow helps to eliminate moisture while you sleep which helps you to avoid the pile of drool in the morning.
For those of you who are sensitive to materials, look into synthetic materials as an alternative to down and feathers, which can cause allergies and are a breeding hotbed for dust mites. Lands’ End Essential PureLoft (from $19.50, landsend.com) has a chemical-free microfiber filling made with neem oil to help naturally repel mites.
If your snoring keeps your partner awake at night, then look into the Sleep Better Medi Comfort Pillow ($35, sleepbetter.org). The hollowed-out area tilts your head back slightly; this keeps your throat open to help reduce snoring. The memory foam conforms to your head for a customized fit.
For the back sleeper, I suggest the Cuddledown Luxury Support Pillow (from $99, cuddledown.com). This very unique pillow combines a firm latex edge to support and relax your neck with a soft down area in the middle that lets your noggin rest in a neutral position.
Side sleepers need a plumper pillow that helps to fill up the space between your neck and your shoulder, keeping your spine perfectly aligned. The Sealy Posturepedic Firm Support Pillow (from $17, sealybedding.com) has enough stuffing to keep your neck from sinking like a PT boat during the night.
So tonight when you hit the sack, check out your pillow…this weekend may be the perfect time to invest in a new one! Let us know if you do and if you are successful. Just think of all the pillow fights the kids can have with your old ones!
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