Choosing the right pillow is such a personal purchase as there isn’t one pillow that is perfect for everyone.
The first thing to recognize is what position you sleep in. Do you sleep on your stomach, back, or side? That will determine whether or not you need a soft, medium, or firm pillow.
The best sleep position you can sleep in. It supports your spine and it’s the perfect position to sleep to fight wrinkles. As we get older the collagen in our skin breaks down. Sleeping on your back will not only eliminate the morning puffiness, but you’ll also avoid those sleep lines from your pillow, which can take longer to fade as you age.
Medium pillows work for back sleepers at it provides proper head support and not let your head fall too far back or lift it too high.
This is the worst sleep position you can sleep in but such a popular one because it can be so comfortable to some. This positon means little to no support for your neck and spine and crease city for your face. Soft pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers, so not to strain their necks.
Probably the most common sleep position though it may place strain on your spine so you want to look for a firm pillow as they provide the right amount of support to the neck and spine as it fills in the gap between your head and shoulders allowing your neck to rest.
You also need to determine if you are a night sweater or have any medical conditions or chronic pain like degenerative conditions, reflux, breathing issues like snoring or sleep apnea, and nerve inflammation.
Types of Pillows for Specific Conditions:
Memory foam pillows – Becoming a popular choice as they work for both back and side sleepers as they help you stay comfortable because they mold to your individual shape and allows your shoulder, neck, and head to rest in a natural position. Memory foam is hypoallergenic, it provides support to individuals suffering from neck, upper back pain, or degenerative conditions. Things to keep in mind is they can become hot and are not machine washable.
Gel cool pillows – Recommended for night sweats as it will absorb the heat from your head and neck. The gel keeps the pillow cool and firm and typically you’ll see memory foam pillows with a layer of gel around them. This will give you the cooling feature but they won’t adjust as much as just a memory foam pillow would.
Buckwheat Pillows – If you are looking for a natural solution look into a buckwheat pillows. Great for night sweats associated with chronic sweaters, or menopause. The triangular shape of the buckwheat hulls allow air to pass through easily making it very breathable. It’s also great for chronic pain as it keeps its shape once you are in position.
Water Pillow – It almost works as a waterbed for your head and neck. This pillow is perfect for any type of sleep position and many are chiropractor approved as the firmness provides the support for head neck and spine alignment that will help individuals with chronic pain. The comfort level is dependent upon the amount of water you add to the pillow and since the water pillow has some weight to it, it will stay put keeping head and neck from moving.
Sleep Positioner – This is a device that helps someone control what position their bodies are in when they sleep to add extra comfort or due to certain medical conditions.
- Back Relief Bed Wedges: This inclines the upper body, which can aid in digestion, it can reduce reflux, it can ease up breathing, which can help better soring or sleep apnea.
- Alignment Relief Knee Wedges: Alleviates discomfort by promoting proper alignment of spine, knees and hips; and is ideal for people with lower back or sciatica nerve pain, or women who are pregnant.
Types of Bedding and Pillow Casings:
Be selective when it comes to your bedding material. If you do run hot you want more breathable fabrics like bamboo, cotton, wicking fabric, performance material like lycra, etc.
- Bamboo Sheets: For individuals who suffer from skin sensitivities or are night sweaters or going through menopause, bamboo bedding or pillow casings provide a cool and moisture absorbent fabric and is extremely breathable and lightweight.
- Flax Bedding: Helps to keep customer cool. This fabric will aid in inflammatory conditions and helps with allergic disorders. The material is very absorbent as well.
For those who run cold, flannel sheets may be the best option.
- Flannel Sheets: Are soft, warm, and cozy. They are perfect for the winter months as they trap in heat for a longer period of time keeping you warm throughout the night and possibly helping you save on electricity. This bedding is a popular choice with those who suffer from with fibromyalgia and other skin sensitivity issues as they are made of cotton and provide a soft comfort.
The Bay – Distinctly Home Flannel Sheet Set
- Weighted Blankets: Weighted blankets have become a popular choice for people struggling with insomnia, anxiety, and sensory issues. The heaviness provides a firm, deep pressure stimulation that affects the nervous system and raises our serotonin levels, which allows us to calm down and relax, and have a decrease in anxiety.
- For a child, a weighted blanket should be between 5 to 10 percent of their body weight.
- For an adult, a weighted blanket should be 10 to 25 percent of their body weight.
Endy Weighted Blanket – 15 pounds, even distribution of glass beads with its quilted design.
Freshen up Your Bedding
- Wash sheets and pillow cases weekly.
- Replace your pillowcase and pillow every 6 months to a year.
- Within 24 months (or less) your pillow can double its weight in allergens and…dust mites! Avoid dust mites by seasonally washing your pillow and vacuuming your mattress.
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Alanna McGinn is a Certified Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime.