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How a New Pillow Can Help You Sleep Well and Feel Better Too

Updated on February 26, 2018

Want to Catch Your Zzs?

Source

Trouble Sleeping?

Do you suffer from a sleep order or two a couple times a week? If yes, you’re one of the 75% of Americans who have the same problem. Does pain make you toss and turn from physical comfort three nights a week? If you answer yes, you could have interrupted rest, based on a poll from the National Sleep Federation. If you don’t sleep well, you could have high blood pressure, stroke or a heart attack, among other troubling symptoms.

Shelf Life

The pillow material shouldn’t be medium firm and not to think, so it aligns your neck. If not, you could have headaches, feel stiff and numb, be in pain and have insomnia.

Good pillows last around four-to-five years; keep in mind, buy a new one after two years. If it’s past its prime, you might find mold and dust mites to name a few to add more to the weight.

Sleep On It

For those who prefer to sleep on their back, you would need the right pillow to support your back. If it isn’t the right strength, you might experience back pain. If you stack your pillows, it could protrude your head forward and make you feel tightness and neck pain.

One option is memory foam pillows, which shapes the neck's natural curve. If you can afford an expensive denser cushion, it would give you more support. Also consider thinner pillows and ones with extra cushioning at the bottom to cradle your neck. These pillows offer reliable support when you change positions when you sleep. Another idea is to place a second pillow under your back like a wedge or a bolster for example. When you change sleeping positions, these types of pillows offers reliable support. Or try sandwiching a second one under your knees to lower pressure off your back like a wedge or a bolster for example.

When sleeping on your left or right side, tuck a pillow between your knees. This will strengthen your spine and keep it straight. Or consider a leg-spacer pillow to set between your knees. It would help relieve pressure from your hips to your ankles. If you experience sciatica pain, it reduces stress on your lumbar vertebrae. As you lie down on your bed, place a medium-firm cushion under your head. It should fill the gap between the ear and an outside shoulder.

Don’t sleep on your stomach. If you do, it could create potential pain in your neck and lower back. Snuggling with a giant body pillow could give you a similar feeling. Your body will feel comfortable with the right support when you sleep on your sides. It’s three times longer than a king-size bed. Or tuck a thin, almost flat pillow under your stomach.

Pillows For Your Ailments

If you’re one of the 35%-80% of the population that suffers from neck pain, consider trying two different types of pillows. Memory foam and water-based pillows are perfect for you and also hypoallergenic. If you choose one that’s made from water, it relieves chronic neck pain, reduces frequency of headaches, and improves sleep.

If you’re sick with allergies or asthma, try synthetic fiber. It might help you feel better. Pillows with feathers can worsen it overnight. Shield yourself from pollen, pet dander, and dust mites by using an anti-allergy cover.

These pillows can make you feel well-rested after a good night’s sleep. Natural dust-bite repellants, such as lamb’s wool and silk also provide relief.

If you or your partner snore, an anti-snoring pillow helps you fall fast asleep. They subtly shift your head to the “sniff” position to give you neck support. You would find it easily to breathe with opened airways. And it also won’t create other issues like neck pain. Due to a recent study in 2005, it showed positive results in some people.

If it doesn’t help you, you might have a dangerous condition called sleep apnea. That’s when you gasp or stop breathing while you sleep. It could raise your blood pressure. It’s also linked to depression and a gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you believe you have GERD, see a physician.

If you’re an expectant mother, back pain is expected for the eighth and ninth month of pregnancy. To encourage blood flow between the two main vessels that pass to lift your belly. That would help remove pressure from your ligaments. To minimize stress from your hips and lower back, have your knees sandwich another pillow. Avoid sleeping on your back. Place a pillow or two under your head and one under your stomach to lift your belly To provide comfort for your lumbar spine, prop another small cushion between the lower back and the bed. Or try a full-body pillow that’s shaped like a giant “U” or “C”.

Stuff It

Down-feather, foam, or polyester fiberfills are the most common stuffing options in pillows. For those who need more support for the neck, memory foam and latex pillows are popular nowadays. Choosing the right pillow depends on how you feel on a given day. It’s recommended you should have more than one type to select. These pillows do serve many purposes. For example, like if your neck hurts one day and then appears fine the following day, that same pillow might not be right for you.

If it’s out of your budget, consider polyester fibers like Primloft that mimic tdown feathers. Other cheaper alternatives might be pure ones, but they won’t last long.

Here’s some types to look for in pillow fillings in these two tables below:

The First Three Types of Pillows Stuffings

Foam
Memory Foam
Latex
Offers more support... w/o getting too soft
Adjusts to body shape at night
Mold and dust mite resistant
Higher Solidity
Reduces pressure points, real popular.
Firmest, assists in back and neck alignment.
Smaller Breakdown
Comes in various shapes like "S" for neck support.
Contoured for neck support.
Pick the right pillow for you and your needs.

The Next Two Types of Pillow Stuffings

Wool/Cotton
Down/Feather
 
Molda and dust bite resitant.
Recommended for a good night's sleep.
 
Real firm.
Soft and Firm, you can move stuffing around.
 
Hypoallergenic.
50/50% combo of each are supportive, spring-like feathers.
 
Consider which pillow is right for you.

Pillow Shopping

When you shop for a new pillow or two, keep these tips in mind, even for specialty pillows:

The Price Isn’t Right. If it’s expensive, it probably isn’t right for your neck. It depends on how it supports you and your neck. Inexpensive ones can last as long, too.

Give it a Test Feel. If you’re shopping for a new pillow and allowed to lie down on the bed, have a test feel. If not, set the pillow against the wall and then get ready for sleep. Lean against it and then ask a sales representative if your neck looks straight or not. Align it with your spine.

Cervical pillows: They add more support in the lower portions to rest the neck. Though it comes in assorted fabrics and forms, they can be of help. A recent study showed it didn’t have enough proof to recommend for or against the pillows.

Water Pillows: It has a base of water sandwiched between the polyester filling. Add water to create your own pillow size. Chiropractors and physical therapists favor it, since you can use water to create your own tailor-made density and support.

Cool pillows: It has a filling of tiny “beads” that soak up and pulls away the head heat. If you experience hot flashes and night sweats, it’s the perfect antidote, since the lower part of the pillow that touches your face will be cool.

Oxygen-Promoting Pillows: Based on a research study, this new technology in pillows from sock fabric has helped diabetes patients with circulation. It can also increase oxygen up to 29% content with tiny blood vessels. From another report, it decreases the pain.

Positional pillows: If you sleep on your sides, back, or stomach, these helpful pillows are designed for you. Make sure it gives you the right comfort and support you need.

Comments

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    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 5 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      So glad it worked out well for you Liz. You just need to find right that's the right fit for your head.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 5 weeks ago from UK

      The pillows looked quite full and high but were deceptively soft, so not too bad after all.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 5 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Eurofile. Yay for new pillows. Hope you have sweet dreams. Thanks for the follow.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 5 weeks ago from UK

      This is a very topical article, as I've just replaced our pillows today. Hoping for a good night's sleep.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 6 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Larry. I prefer semi-firm for my pillows.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 6 weeks ago from Raleigh

      I agree, Kristen that the right pillow is very important for a good night's sleep. I know when I went to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to buy my last pillow they had many to choose from. I saw one advertised on TV that was expensive and to me it appeared terrible. I prefer a firm pillow, it gives me the best sleep, just my preference. The price was also less than 1/3 the price on that bragged about TV pillow. I normally sleep like a log. Good and interesting article, Kristen.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Go for it, Diana. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by to comment. Happy shopping!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 months ago

      There is so much to said for a good pillow. I am going to use this guide as I shop next time. Comfort at my age is needed and the ability to sleep well does relate to having proper support under your head. Thanks for the information.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Peggy, thanks for stopping by to comment. I guess you can't please everyone with the My Pillow. To each their own, right? I'm happy to share what's available to everyone to fit thier sleeping needs.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I just purchased some new pillows at Tuesday Morning which is a discount store. They got the approval of the National Sleep Foundation and were not the most expensive in the store. So far I am happy with them. Some friends of ours purchased the 'My Pillow' and she is happy with it and he is not...so a 50-50 review on that. I did not realize that there was a snore pillow available. Interesting!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Patty, thanks for letting me know. I'm glad it worked better for her and have no complaints this time around. Maybe the company turned things around.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 months ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A friend recently purchased a "My Pillow" off the shelf at the CVS drug store and is very happy with it after a month of use.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Yay Audrey! Good for you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting my friend.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Just what I need! I'm shopping for a new pillow. Your informative hub provides me with some good information. I love Down pillows.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Linda, that's interesting. I did hear about My Pillow being on the news, when people complained about it. Lucky it worked for you, when it didn't for others. I don't know much about that pillow though.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by Chitrangada and commenting on my hub. Hope it helps everyone in the long run.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're welcome CaribTales. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my newest hub.

    • profile image

      Linda Correa 2 months ago

      Not too long ago we purchased the My Pillow. Love that pillow

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Lots of useful information here. Learned the different types of pillows and the reason for the pillow between the knees. Thanks.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent article about pillows! Pillows must be selected carefully. Not only is it important for good sleep, but also for neck and head. Improper pillows can cause pain and discomfort.

      You have provided some very important tips here for selection of pillows, and their stuffings.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish! Go for it! Maybe it's time to swap it out for a better one. I might do the same myself someday soon.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      This was a well organized and reasearched article! It makes me want to get a new pillow. I have a fancy one that has worked well for several years that I swear by but I did see that maybe it’s shelf life is up soon.

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