The Big Connection Between Sleep Pillows and a Great Night’s Rest
Could you ever imagine trying to go to sleep at night without a pillow? Of course you couldn’t and we’ll bet you actually have a favourite pillow too. Most people do. However, if you struggle to get to sleep at night – or staying asleep is a challenge – what you may not realise is that good old pillow may just be one of the problems. And that by swapping it for a specialist sleep pillow you may be able to solve at least some of your insomnia woes.
Research actually backs this up as well. According to a study conducted by the international Better Sleep Council people are really rather bad at letting go of their old pillows. They found that only one in three people who purchased a new mattress (which is as we know, never cheap) actually bothered to buy new pillows to go along with it.
So that simple fact alone may mean that the hundreds spent on a new mattress is almost a waste, as without a great pillow you may still struggle to sleep.
How Long Should a Pillow Last?
The general expert recommendation is that a pillow – even a very high-quality one – should be replaced every two years. However, the BSC research found that not only do most people hang onto a pillow for an average of 3-4 years they rarely put much thought into the purchase when they do buy a new one, as ‘low price’ topped the list of things consumers were looking for in such a purchase when asked.
Older pillows are not just bad because their fluffy innards flatten and no longer support your body well though. According to one research study conducted at the University of Manchester the average three-year-old pillow often contains mildew, fungus, dust mites and mite feces!
How do you know if your pillow needs to be retired? Try the Fold Test. Fold your pillow in half. If it just lies there folded, rather than springing back to its original shape, that is a dead pillow and needs to be replaced.
What the Right Pillow Can Actually Do For You
So, let’s say we’ve managed to gross you out a little and you are at least thinking about purchasing new pillows. What could the possible benefits be?
Good pillows give your head and neck the support they need throughout the night, and by supporting your head, they promote healthy spine alignment. They also aid with temperature control. The fabric, or combination of fabrics, in a well-made pillow, keeps you cool and dry. It regulates temperature and prevents moisture from piling between your pillow and your face.
For those of us who complain about snoring, pillows may be one of the sources of our woes. Snoring can be decreased significantly if your airways are kept open in the right way, and that is something a good pillow can help with, meaning that as an anti-snoring aid specialist sleep pillows have a lot to offer.
For most people, a standard-size pillow is sufficiently large. If you prefer a larger pillow, that’s fine, provided you can keep your sleep posture in alignment. The thickness or thinness of your pillow should enable you to sleep with your head, neck, and shoulders aligned with your spine, as well as provide you comfort. Make sure the pillow cover and pillowcase fit properly. Don’t stuff a big pillow into an undersized cover, or let a standard-size pillow swim in an extra-large pillowcase.
Even when you do make that important new pillow purchase though it’s still very important to stick to that two-year rule in order to get the best night’s sleep. Fortunately, even specialist sleep pillows are far more inexpensive than you might imagine, so replacing one when the time comes won’t break the bank.