Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


A Great Nightís Sleep: Choosing a Pillow

Avoid being a pain in the neck and choose a pillow that will not only support your neck but also your head and upper spine. Your choice of pillow is an essential part of that plan to get a great nightís sleep and wake up feeling refreshed instead of tired and groggy. Do you have a sense of what kind of pillow would work best for your needs? When you set foot into the linen and bedding section of a department store to look for pillows, you might as well be reading hieroglyphics because the array of choices can be dizzying and confusing. The optimal scenario in selecting the best pillow would be to break down the choices into more manageable, understandable parts so you can get a clear picture of your options. Read on below for some valuable insight into what should be considered in your pillow selection.

1. Determine how you sleep. Are you a back sleep? Maybe you are more comfortable lying on your side. Of course, there is a portion of the population that sleeps on their stomachs. The pillow you choose should reflect your main sleeping style because each position needs a different level of pillow support.

Stomach sleepers, you only need a relatively flat pillow for support, just enough to keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine.

Side sleepers, you require a pillow that will support your neck and head to ensure that your spine is relaxed in a horizontal position. If just your head or neck is tilted and not in line with the spine, you could suffer from headaches and other problems

Back sleepers need a pillow that will support the head, neck, shoulders and spine. Your cervical spine has a natural curve in it and the pillow should conform to that curve for maximum comfort and protection.

2. Firm or squishy, that is the question. Your personal preference guides you on this particular portion of choosing the right pillow for your needs. Stomach sleepers typically want a softer pillow whereas back or side sleepers need a firmer choice of pillow. What constitutes firm is the amount of filling in the pillow, whether is be foam, feathers or other material. The more material you have, obviously the firmer the pillow.

3. Fillers are important in the pillow choosing process. If you have allergies, then you want to consider any pillow that is deemed hypoallergenic. In the old days, that meant you couldnít even consider having a goose down or feather pillow. These days, with ultra-cleaning techniques, this option is absolutely possible for allergy sufferers. Latex pillows are also available. Latex offers up a contoured pillow that works for supporting the neck and head, thus avoiding undue pressure on the spine. Additional options abound for pillow fillers. Here are but a few more options to think about:

  • Cotton and wool pillows
  • Memory foam pillows
  • Water-filled pillows
  • Buckwheat pillows

4. Size does matter, at least in pillows. Usually there are two main sizes Ė a standard and a king size. Keep the size of your bed into account when shopping for pillows, but donít rule out your personal preference for size either. Some side sleepers like the long pillows, also known as body pillows. They will sleep hugged up against the pillow with a leg thrown over it for comfort.

5. Taking cover with your pillows. What your pillow is encased in is also of importance. Some people prefer a zipped up casing that protects the pillow itself from stains and protects the user from any errant feathers sticking out or faint fumes from foam pillows. These enclosed casings also help allergy sufferers as well by protecting them from any dust mites harboring in the pillow. Others will use a regular old pillow case to cover their pillows, in a variety of materials like flannel or cotton.

Some people will skimp on their pillow after taking a gander at some of the prices. The problem with buying a cheaper pillow is that is will not last. What is the use of buying a twenty dollar pillow if you are going to have to buy a new one a year from now? Spend the extra money, not only for the quality, but also for your own comfort as well. We spend a third of our lives in bed, might as well be comfortable!

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