Hello! Hope your December started off fabulously! Did you catch my 12 for 2012 goal update yesterday? I still cannot believe that 2012 is almost over and it is time to think about 2013 goals, todos, and resolutions.
Today I have a guest post for you about PILLOWS! Yes – pillows. Something we use on a daily basis, pillows are extremely important for a good night’s sleep. I bought a new pillow a while back and LOVE it. Let’s have some healthy pillow talk!
The importance of a good night’s sleep is constantly droned into our heads, along with the essential need for a proper and supportive mattress. Did you know that the right pillow is just as important as the right mattress? Pillows have much more significance and impact than just making us comfortable. They have critical influence on our overall health. If you’ve had your pillow more than two years, chances are it is time for a new one. Knowing how your pillow affects your body should affect your choice when buying a new one.
Allergies and Respiratory Health
If you’ve been noticing your allergies worsening, wake up coughing during the night or you have a stuffy nose or headache when you get up in the morning, it may be partly caused by your bed pillows. Over time, pillows accumulate allergens, mold, mildew, sweat, dead skin, saliva and even dust mites. All of these factors can affect your overall respiratory health. If you generally have problems with allergies or asthma, look for a pillow with breathability, water resistance, non-porous or microfiber. Make sure all of your bedding fits all the way around your mattress and pillow. You can buy allergy-resistant covers for your mattress and pillows for extra prevention.
Neck Support and Overall Alignment
Sleeping on a pillow without proper neck support can also induce headaches and restrict airways, making it difficult to breathe. In addition to neck and head support, the pillow you sleep on can affect the alignment and support of your entire body. An improper or worn-out head sack can throw off your spine and create pain in your neck, shoulders, upper and lower back and even in your legs. If you wake up in the morning with a stiff back it might not be your mattress doing the damage. Depending on how you normally sleep, choose a pillow that will give you the most support for your body.
- Side Sleeper: Sleeping on your side can bend your spine and leave it stiff in the morning. Choose a firmer pillow that holds up your head neck and back and evenly distributes your weight so that your spine is as horizontal as possible.
- Back Sleeper: Choose a pillow with a lower height that supports the natural curvature of your back and cervical spine. Using a special cervical pillow can be very beneficial and help alleviate back pain, but only if you are primarily a back sleeper. Do not use these pillows if you are a side sleeper as they can give you greater neck pain.
- Stomach Sleeper: If you sleep on your stomach, you might not even need a pillow. If you do choose to sleep with a pillow, use one that is relatively flat so it doesn’t crane your neck back. Sleeping with a pillow under your stomach is also a way to balance your spine.
Other Health Benefits
Pillows have come a long way from simple standard bed pillows. Today, they are geared toward specific health benefits. Acupressure pillows may look pointy and uncomfortable, but they are supposed to stimulate blood circulation and oxygen and can help with insomnia. Buckwheat and grain-filled pillows are widely used in Asia and reportedly ideal for problems like neck pain, restlessness and even snoring. Wool-filled pillows are said to improve REM sleep comfort and quality. Wool is naturally moisture-resistant and is not inhabitable by dust mites.
Author Darnell George grew up in New York and has an appreciation for gourmet cuisine. He loves writing almost as much as he loves eating.
When was the last time you got a new pillow? Do you have a favorite brand?
Enjoy your day!