Do you experience throbbing pain in your head, neck, or shoulders every morning? Then, it might be time to get rid of your old pillow.
Of the many factors that contribute to a good night’s sleep, your pillow is the most important. We often invest a lot of time while buying mattresses and bed covers but pillows! They are just neglected. We pick up the first pillow that catches our eye and end up using it for years. But this very pillow could be the culprit behind your disturbed night sleep and early morning headaches. Wondering how? Well, here’s how.
Why is it important to choose the right pillow?
Choosing the right pillow is extremely important for the quality of your sleep. An average adult’s head weighs around 4-5 kilos and your neck holds 7 of the spine’s vertebrae. This is why it is extremely important for your pillow to be able to support your back, neck and spine. The right pillow should be able to hold your head in the right alignment with your neck and spine even when you shift positions throughout the night. When your head, neck and spine are aligned the muscles relax causing you to sleep better and wake up fresh. If your pillow cannot keep your head aligned, you might end up twisting or craning some of your muscles leading to severe neck and shoulder pains.
Choosing the right pillow
There are many factors that can make a pillow right for you. This can take a bit of trial and error but when you find the right pillow, it can be your best friend for ages. Here are a few important things you must consider before purchasing a pillow.
1) Your sleeping position
The amount of support you need from your pillow heavily depends on your sleeping position.
- Side sleepers: If you are a side sleeper then your pillow should be able to support your head in a neutral position keeping your neck and head aligned. A thick and firm that can support your neck and take the weight off your shoulders will do the job for you.
- Back Sleepers: If you are a back sleeper, you will need support both for your head and neck. A pillow that is soft and has a medium thickness will be able to do this job for you by supporting your neck just enough.
- Stomach sleepers: If you spend most of your night on your stomach then, a soft and flat pillow will do just fine for you. You can also skip a pillow altogether if you sleep on your stomach. Keep in mind that this is the most stressful position for your body and experts believe that you should avoid sleeping in this position as much as possible.
2) Pillow fill
Pillows come in a variety of fills. You can choose a fill that suits you based on your needs and requirements. The most common fills are latex, cotton, wool, synthetic down and memory foam. Synthetic pillows are extremely soft while the latex ones are firm. Memory foam pillows that are gaining popularity in recent times tend to conform to the shape of your head.
Pillows made of memory foam and latex are quite heavy while synthetic pillows are on the lighter side. If you tend to move and adjust your pillow a lot then, you might want to go for lighter ones. Keep in mind that heavier pillows can be more stable and steady through the night.
Pillows come in standard and king sizes. The standard size suits all and is easily available. King size pillows are better for king-sized mattresses.
5) Your mattress type
Your mattress and pillow usually need to complement each other to improve the quality of your sleep. If you use a firm mattress, you will be better off with a softer pillow and vice versa. This helps create a fine balance between body and head, aligning everything together perfectly.
In the end, all I want to say is don’t neglect your pillow. Investing some time and thought into your pillow purchases, helps improve your quality of sleep considerably. Also, you might finally be able to say good bye to those irritating early morning headaches.