Which Pillow Is Right For Me?

- How do I choose the best pillow?

- With so many options for pillows these days, how do I choose the best one?

- I’ve just spent $100+ on a pillow and I hate it, why is this?

- Memory foam? Polyurethane? Rubber latex? What is all of this?

If you have asked these questions before, then you know how frustrating it can be trying to find a “good” pillow. If you are reading this then clearly this post has caught your attention because you struggle with pillow selection. So many options, so much wasted money. Unfortunately I won’t be able to give you the answer you’re looking for. Sorry. But I may be able to help you choose for yourself.

From my years of listening to patients complain about sleep and pillows and mattresses in all different shapes and sizes and prices, I have come to a conclusion. Now this isn’t a scientific experiment that I have done by any means. It is purely based off anecdotal evidence and also my own personal opinion so take from it what you will.

In order to get your pillow selection and ultimately your sleep quality back on track you need to ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Am I someone who will move/wriggle around only a couple times during the night? E.g going from lying on my left, to my right a few times. Or on my back to my side, then to my back.

2. Am I a relentless ‘wriggler’? e.g who rolls over from left, to right, to front, to back and repeat.

3. Is my sleep hygiene on point? E.g. Bed time and wake time similar each time, screen use pre-bed is minimal, no caffeine after 3-4pm, room temperature, room light, room sounds, room smells in check.

If you answered Yes to Question1 – then you would benefit from a ‘soft’ memory foam, polyurethane or rubber latex pillow with or without a contour depending on your body and neck size/shape. This is because you only wriggle about a couple times a night so the structure of the pillow is maintaining the optimal position of your neck. I say ‘soft’ because you still want comfort but with the addition of some structure. I’ve had some brick pillows before and there’s no getting to sleep with them.

If you answered Yes to Question2 - then I hate to break it to you, but no pillow, no matter how much you pay for it will be comfortable and ‘work’ for you. You don’t even give it a chance to work for you because you’re too busy wriggling! Get the old faithful out of the cupboard that’s the softest, most comfortable pillow. Yes even if it’s a feather pillow. Now you might be wriggling about because Question 3 has stumped you. The most important component of sleep quality.

If you aren’t sure where you fit, then maybe Question3 is your answer.

Sleep Hygiene – A term used to describe having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep.

If this term is new to you then it could be the reason for your poor sleep quality.

Use this checklist to make sure you’re meeting most if not all of these items:

  • Set a sleep schedule; have a fixed bed time and wake time, prioritize sleep over work, study, socialising, or exercise.

  • Don’t over-do it with naps during the day

  • Follow a nightly routine; 30 minute wind-down eg. Reading, stretching, meditating, soft music, Dim your lights, 30-60min screen-free buffer before bed

  • Work on healthy daily habits; daylight exposure, exercise, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol, don’t eat too late

  • Optimize your bedroom; Comfortable mattress and pillow (see above), cool and comfortable temperature, reduce light and noise, use calming scents eg. Lavender

Infor source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene

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