Updated: Jun 27, 2019
You have a great supportive mattress, you've blocked out all light, you have your lavender aromatherapy activated and you have your soothing ambient background music on loop - but YOU STILL CAN'T SLEEP!!
The reason might be right under your nose, or under your head to be more exact.
While people often will spend thousands on a good quality mattress, they often neglect to complete the process with a good quality pillow that suits their individual needs.
Lets look at 3 reasons why you should consider buying a new pillow:
We shed millions of dead skin cells everyday, and a lot of them end up in our pillow. While dead skin cells are harmless, the dust-mites that feed on them are not.
Dust-mite excrement can cause havoc with people who have allergies and make them feel like they constantly have a cold. So basically these microscopic critters' poo can leave you feeling all blocked up when you wake up in the morning.
But I know what you're thinking, ""these creatures are so small, surely they can't be that bad!" Right? Wrong. Actually, according to one study, by the time your pillow is two years old, 10 PERCENT OF ITS TOTAL WEIGHT is dust-mites and dead skin cells. In a word - GROSS!
Apart from renewing your pillow every two years, buying a pillow protector and washing it regularly can help to control these issues.
Depending on your sleeping position, the pillow you have might not be the best fit for you.
Here's a general guide to finding the perfect pillow for your sleeping position:
Side sleepers require a pillow that’s firm enough to support the head and neck’s alignment with the spine, while still comfortable enough to fall asleep on. Good options include firm or extra firm pillows made of memory foam or natural latex foam that provide sufficient give and sink in response to the weight and pressure of your head. Alternately, an orthopedic or contour pillow with a depression for the head area and extra padding under the neck can provide proper support.
Combination sleepers that transition between the side and back should choose pillows with a dent in the middle, like a contour or hi-loft option
Stomach sleepers need a thin, soft pillow. However, even with the right pillow, stomach sleepers may still (and often do) experience neck pain because they’re moving their head to the side and out of alignment with the spine. Some experts argue that stomach sleepers shouldn't use pillows at all.
If your pillow has you sleeping in the wrong position this can cause many issues like neck pain, difficulty breathing and restlessness. Make sure your spine and neck are aligned and you don't feel any pressure build up in your neck or shoulder muscles.
There's a reason why people use the saying "as cool as the other side of the pillow"- we enjoy a cool feeling pillow because our body naturally cools down as we progress through it's sleep cycles.
If you can hack that system by ensuring your body temperature is lowered, you will drift off to sleep faster. Nowhere is temperature fluctuation felt more keenly than in your pillow. The biggest reason is that your face is one of the most sensitive parts of your body.
So in other words, if your pillow is cool - you will sleep better. There are many temperature regulating materials now available on the market and in recent years we have seen these applied to pillow making. These include - The traditional Feather & Down, Pure Wool, Ventilated Latex and Gel Infused Memory Foam.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
The best way to find out if a pillow is right for you is to try one out. Most bed and mattress retailers have a range of pillows available to try in store. Make sure you if you are buying a new bed that you try out a few different pillows with the bed so that you can be sure that the feel is right for you.
Take your time to test them out, as a couple of seconds won't let you know if pressure will build up in the night and cause neck pain or discomfort.
With a bit of research and some rigorous testing you can win the pillow fight once and for all!