Choosing the Right Pillow: How You Can Achieve Better Sleep
A pillow’s purpose is pretty straightforward: aid you in getting a good night’s rest. As we get older, a good night’s sleep gets more and more elusive. According to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults (or about 35% of the population) are not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Gone are the days when we would effortlessly doze-off on our beds after a long day. Now, we have to find the right mattress, the right sheets, the right temperature, and the right type of pillows to be able to sleep comfortably at night.
When was the last time you thought about the pillow you use? Do you even know that there are different kinds of pillows? If you’re like us, then you probably have your eyebrows scrunched up and mouthing, “what?”
Pillows supposedly play an important role in influencing the quality of your sleep and your overall rest. It ensures that your overall well-being is in a good state through quality sleep. Allow us here at TheGetWell to help you find the pillow of your… dreams. (Get it? No? Okay, we’ll see ourselves out.)
Whether you sleep on your side, on your tummy, or on your back, there’s a perfect pillow for you!
Which Pillow is Perfect for Me?
Let’s cut right to the chase. Finding the perfect pillow varies from person to person. Simply put, the purpose of a pillow is to keep your head, neck, and spine as comfortable as possible while you sleep. Start your pillow search by figuring out your dominant sleeping posture.
Do you sleep on your side?
Do you sleep on your stomach?
Do you sleep on your back?
Or do you sleep in a mix of different ways?
Side Sleepers – If you’re a side sleeper, the best pillow for you is medium to thick. Medium to thick pillows should be puffy enough to help align your head and neck to the rest of your body when sleeping sideways. The more aligned your neck is to your spine, the better. This will prevent you from straining your back and, as an added measure, keeping a pillow between your legs will also ensure that your hips aren’t in an awkward position. Side sleepers are considered the most popular sleeping posture.
Stomach Sleepers – The best type of pillow for stomach sleepers are flat but still relatively soft. Having a thick pillow when sleeping on your stomach will not only push your head up uncomfortably when sleeping but also give you a stiff neck when you wake up. In contrast, having a flat pillow will naturally enable your neck to be better aligned with your spine. Stomach sleepers might also need breathable pillows because there’s always a possibility that their airways might get blocked.
Back Sleepers – Sleeping on your back is considered the safest and the most neutral position. However, if you’re not using the appropriate type of pillow, it is still fairly easy to strain your neck or your spine when sleeping on your back. The best pillow for back sleepers ranges from flat to medium thick. Depending on your body type, back sleepers tend to be in a neutral at rest position which means that your body should be aligned by default. Look for a pillow that provides comfort when you rest your head without putting your neck in an awkward position.
Combination Sleepers (also known as Mixed Sleepers) – If you’re a combination sleeper, chances are, you need something thick and soft. Thick enough to be able to support your head and neck when you’re sleeping on your side and soft enough to support your head and your neck when you’re sleeping on your stomach or on your back. This type of sleepers often use a variety of sleeping positions throughout the night and it’s always a good idea to have a pillow that can adapt to any sleeping position.
If you have no idea what type of sleeper you are – we got you! Try out different positions every night for a week. Spend a few minutes either on your back, on your side, or on your stomach before falling asleep and take mental notes on which one works best for you. Sometimes, you may also find yourself in a different sleeping position when you wake up. Take note of that as well! After a week, compare that information you gathered and determine which sleeping position your body’s most comfortable with.
Determining your dominant sleeping position will make it easier for you to find the right pillow. All it takes is some patience and a little bit of data gathering and you’re good to go!
What Makes up a Perfect Pillow?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding the right pillow. What’s perfect for us might not exactly be perfect for you. There are a lot of factors that influence a person’s preference when it comes to the right pillow. Be it in the fabric or the filling, pillow preference will vary.
One of the biggest things to consider when choosing the right pillow is the fabric used. Pillows are made with different types of fabrics that can be used for decoration or for function. You can choose from cotton, nylon, velvet, linen, wool, among others. There are also hypoallergenic selections to choose from if you have an allergy. It may seem like an arduous task, but nothing is more important than the quality of your sleep!
Pillow Filling (or Pillow Stuffing)
Finding the right filling is what makes your pillow perfect. It essentially defines how comfortable or uncomfortable your pillow will be. Remember, there is no one-size-fills-all approach when it comes to pillow stuffing. You have to put in the time and effort to find what works best for you. Check out the list below to know more about the available pillow fillings in the market:
- Latex – Latex pillow fillings are known for being hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and low maintenance.
- Feather – Feather filling is cheap compared to other types of pillow filling. It’s also light and flat, which is perfect for back and stomach sleepers.
- Wool – Wool is a popular choice because it does not contain toxic materials usually found in other types of filling. Wool filling is also breathable.
- Memory Foam – The best thing about shredded memory foam filling is that it provides excellent support for your head and neck. Memory foam is also soft and molds to the pressure and heat that your body gives off when sleeping.
- Cotton – Cotton filling is odorless and breathable. This type of filling is also perfect for back and stomach sleepers. However, cotton filling can feel lumpy and uncomfortable.
If you have trouble picturing these different types of filling, the best thing to do is try them out in stores. Stores often have different types of pillows available on display to give you an idea of how soft, firm, or moldable they are.
The Wonder of Finding the Right Pillow
Now that you have chosen the perfect pillow for your sleeping posture, it’s time to find out what it can do for your overall wellness. Finding the right pillow helps you relax. In an age where more and more people are experiencing sleeping disorders, having a pillow that helps you relax will aid in helping you sleep faster. The right pillow will also help align your whole body when sleeping. It should support your head, neck, and spine when sleeping to ensure that neither of them becomes stiff.
- Choosing the right pillow
- Finding the right pillow