How Our Sleep Is Affected by Our Choice of Pillows
Many factors can affect the quality of our sleep, including lifestyle, food habits, stress, certain medical conditions, and even the quality of our bedding.
On that last note, mattresses rightly get a lot of attention. But pillows make a difference too. Sleeping on a worn-out pillow, though it might not be visibly tattered, can be a reason for discomfort. It can cause headaches, as well as neck and shoulder tension.
Why Does Your Choice of Pillow Matter?
Good posture, proper lighting, quality mattresses and pillows – all play a role in getting good sleep.
If your neck and shoulders aren’t aligned, or are positioned at an angle that causes crunching and twisting, this can lead to back strain and sleeplessness. As with mattresses, the ideal pillow doesn’t just feel comfortable but also supports your head, neck and shoulders. A relaxed sleeping posture encourages easy breathing and better circulation, meaning you wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
How to Choose the Perfect Pillow
Choosing a pillow is a very individual process. There’s no one-style-fits-all pillow shape, size or material. However, there are a few factors you should consider when buying.
Choose the Right Fill/Fiber
There’s a wide range of fill options to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Wool pillows are hypo-allergenic and resistant to mould and dust mites. They can regulate body temperature during sleep by absorbing sweat from your head and neck. This latter capacity keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. They also tend to be quite firm, which is great for your neck and shoulders. If you don’t want a woolen pillows that’s too firm, choose alpaca wool instead of cashmere.
Like wool, cotton pillows are naturally hypo-allergenic and resistant to dust mites and mould, making them perfect for those with dust allergies or chemical sensitivities.
Latex pillows are usually firmer than wool or cotton but still quite comfortable. These pillows retain their shape so you can’t squish them to your desire. They’re also resistant to mould and dust mites. Contoured latex pillows give extra head and neck support and decrease movement during sleep.
- Memory foam
Memory foam pillows have become increasingly popular in the last few years, particularly because of their ability to conform to your sleeping posture.
As you lay on the pillow, your weight and temperature cause the foam to soften and contour to the lines of your head, neck and shoulders. This ability makes these pillows the perfect choice for people suffering from pain and disturbed sleep. While some memory foam pillows have an unpleasant smell caused by VOC emission, this is not the case with organic pillows.
Consider Your Sleeping Posture
Your sleeping posture is one of the main factors to take into account when choosing your pillow. You can determine this by paying attention to how you go to sleep and how you wake up. Your pillow should help your spine stay in a neutral position, with your hips, back and neck perfectly aligned.
- Stomach Sleepers – Stomach sleepers usually have more back and neck pain issues than other types. This is because they often twist their necks to one side while sleeping. Over time, their neck becomes twisted and their spine is out of line. The right pillow for a stomach sleeper should be neither too thin nor too thick. If too thick, it can make your neck stiff and sore; if super-thin, you might have to use your arms to support your neck.
- Side Sleepers – Side sleepers need a slightly firmer pillow than stomach sleepers. The thickness can be determined by how broad your shoulders are. The centre of your neck and nose should form a perfect line, and be completely supported by the pillow. If you need your arm to further support your head or neck, it means your pillow is too thin.
- Back Sleeper – In order to maintain a healthy posture and avoid back pain, back sleepers need a pillow with medium loft and firmness. Additionally, they must go for fill materials that can conform to body pressure, like memory foam. A pillow that’s too thin or soft can make your head lean back further, while a thicker pillow can push your head forward. Both can cause back and neck pain.
Now that you know what to look for, choosing the perfect pillow shouldn’t be quite so difficult. That said, the experts at Dormio Organic Beds are here to guide you if you require a little more help.