When was the last time you purchased a new pillow? If “a long time ago” comes to mind, then maybe it’s time you splash out a little and give your neck the comfort and support its after!
Are you still sleeping on the same pillow you had 10 years ago? Waking up with a sore neck? Or are you constantly folding or fluffing up your pillow just to try and get comfortable?
If this is you, then this is a little hint that its time to go pillow shopping!
However, when it comes to pillow shopping, its not as easy as you think…. With the wide variety of pillows out there it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
Sleep like a baby!
When it comes to sleep there is one thing that we all want, a good, undisturbed and comfortable rest every night. However, that old, flattened, floppy pillow might just be preventing you from sleeping like a baby!
So let’s test out how dead as doornail your pillow is:
Sleep plays an important part of our lives, in fact roughly 30% of our lives we spend sleeping! So yes, sleeping beauty, that’s a long time with your head on the pillow, no wonder they recommend replacing your pillow so soon!
As a general rule the recommendation of replacing your pillow is every 18months to 2 years, however depending on the pillows material this varies, as for memory foam pillows can be replaced every 3 years. Natural pillows have a longer life than those made of a synthetic material. So just like the food we buy, pillows too have an expiry!
So, what does it mean for our health? An old pillow can act like a dust collector- collecting dead skin, mould, fungi and mites, which can trigger allergies and affect our breathing, which is not ideal when sleep is vital for our health!
At the end of the day if the pillow is stained, smells or extremely floppy, unsupportive or past its expiry it should be replaced!
Pillows help to support a healthy sleeping position, more importantly they are designed to help support our neck and back.
As the human body is structured with natural curves along our spine, a pillow assists in providing support for our head and neck to keep the body aligned. If our head, neck or back are supported incorrectly this can lead to pain, stiffness, strain and discomfort within those areas.
Ideally, we want our muscles to relax as soon as our head hits the pillow, however if a pillow is too high or too low, our body is unable to relax, forcing some muscles to be put on stretch and start working overtime- and you’re paying the fines when you wake up with that sore neck!
This one’s too soft, this one’s too hard, this one’s too fluffy….
Sounds like we have just jumped into the fairy-tale Goldilocks and the three bears! Choosing the right pillow can be just as hard as Goldilocks found to pick the porridge that was “just right”!
Let’s start by working out how you sleep- because yes this can help just a little! Although many of us when we sleep toss and turn, flip from our back to side to stomach, it can still be a good starting point to finding that perfect pillow and getting a great night’s sleep!
- Side sleepers: go for a firmer, thicker pillow that is designed to keep our neck straight. A general guide for pillow thickness is by measuring the distance from your ear to the tip of your shoulder (acromion). Now to find that missing puzzle piece.
- Stomach sleepers: go for a very soft pillow or ditch the pillow altogether!
- Back sleepers: go for a flatter or softer pillow with some neck support that keeps the neck in a neutral position without flexing the neck too far forward. Best choice would be a pillow that supports your nature curvature of your neck.
At the end of the day the best pillow for anyone, is on that feels COMFORTABLE! Comfort is key- Because who wants to be the princess and the pea!!
What material to choose? – “I just want milk that tastes like real milk”
High profile, low profile, Memory foam, latex, wool, cotton…. Gee wizz…. it’s starting to sound like that TV commercial we all know far too well, where the guy “just wants milk that tastes like real milk”! if only our pillows were that easy! So, let’s have a look at a few of the types of pillows:
- Memory foam:
- Memory foam fits to you- moulds to your body shape.
- Contours to your head, neck and shoulders.
- Distributes weight evenly across it.
- Responds to your body weight and temperature.
- Memory foam maintains heat which can lead to sweating- however some memory foam pillows are made with ventilation.
- Popular for people who have complaints of head and neck pain or sleep discomfort.
- Occasionally these pillows can have a high chemical smell.
- Resistant to mould and dust mites.
- Typically, they are a firmer pillow.
- Provide extra support to the head and neck and limit movement.
- They tend to hold their shape.
- Naturally Hypo-allergenic.
- Resistant to mould and dust mites.
- Effective at helping to regulate body temperature when sleeping- suitable for each season.
- Typically, they are a firmer type of pillow.
- Naturally hypo-allergenic.
- Resistant to dust mites and mould.
- Typically, they are more of a flat and firm type of pillow.
- Good for people with allergies or sensitivity to chemicals.
How can Bodywell help you?
Are you Still struggling to work out what pillow would be best for you? Your osteo is here to help, they can assist you in finding a pillow suitable for your sleeping posture and to meet your bodies needs! As well as providing osteopathic care to assist you in relieving your pain and stiffness from that old pillow!
Here at Bodywell healthcare we have a range of pillows which are suitable for the whole family!
- Therapeutic pillow Complete Sleeperr (memory foam): this adjustable contoured memory foam pillow is designed for all body types and is suitable for all types of sleepers (back, side and tummy). With its easy removeable and adjustable inserts it allows you to change the shape and height of the pillow to suit your needs!
- Therapeutic pillow- Family junior: suitable for children aged 4-8 years and adults who sleep on their back.
- Therapeutic pillow- Naturelle latex pillow: suitable for ages ages 8+
- Therapeutic pillow- Their first Pillow: suitable for ages 1-3years
- Therapeutic Tranquillow children’s pillow: suitable for ages 3-7 years
- Denton high profile contoured pillow: suitable for medium to large framed people who sleep on their side.
- Denton low profile contoured pillow: Suitable for smaller framed people who sleep on their side.
- Dentons Medi rest Therapeutic pillow: suitable for side sleepers who prefer a medium to high pillow.
Now the ball is in your court, find that perfect pillow and enjoy a good nights sleep!