Surprising Ways Your Pillow Could Be Affecting Your Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for our physical well-being. It can help alleviate neck pain, relieve pressure on certain points of the spine and body, and even stave off facial wrinkles.

Having the right pillow is crucial for a good night’s sleep. If you’re constantly adjusting your pillow throughout the night or waking up with back or neck pain, it may be time to get a new one.

You’re Sleeping on the Wrong Side

If you are a stomach sleeper, your pillow could be causing or worsening your neck pain and stiffness. This sleeping position can strain your neck because your head is tilted and stretched to one side, creating an awkward angle that puts a lot of pressure on the muscles and joints in your neck, hips, and lower back.

It’s also not ideal if you have lower back problems, since it can compress the discs and pinch nerves in your spine. If you have a tummy sleep style, consider trying to sleep on your back or on the right side, as this can relieve some of these issues.

In general, the best type of pillows for side sleepers are firm and long enough to support the curve of the neck. If you have a pillow that is too short, it can cause your neck to bend away from the neutral spine position, leading to pain and discomfort. If you are having trouble finding a pillow that is just the right height, try asking for a return policy at your mattress store. This way, you can lay on your bed with the pillow and see if it is in a position that will be comfortable for you.

Besides being uncomfortable, a bad pillow can also make you look older! Recent studies show that mechanical forces of the head during sleep can create crow’s feet and wrinkles around the mouth (called the nasolabial folds). To avoid these issues, consider using a clean pillowcase every night and flipping your pillow halfway through the week to alternate which side you are sleeping on. Also, if you have allergies, you may want to wash your pillowcase regularly to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.

You’re Sleeping on the Wrong Pillow

A pillow is a simple invention, but it’s one of the most important tools for a good night’s rest. The right pillow encourages proper spinal alignment, which helps alleviate neck pain and headaches. Plus, consistent high-quality sleep has significant health benefits including boosted immune function and better thinking skills.

However, if you’re sleeping on the wrong pillow, it can cause your neck and spine to feel sore or lead to other problems like snoring and back pain. This is because sleeping on a pillow that is too low or too flat can throw your spine out of alignment, leading to stiffness and other symptoms.

If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to reposition your pillow, it’s likely time for a new one. Also, if your pillow is stained or smells bad, it’s probably time to retire it. Old pillows contain a lot of debris, like skin cells, mildew, mold, and fungus—and they can trigger allergies during sleep and create bad odors.

The type of pillow you choose depends on personal factors, such as your preferred sleeping position and posture, your body weight and size, and your needs for pain relief or temperature regulation. For example, people with neck pain may need a firmer pillow while those who snore should look for a high-loft or orthopedic style.

It’s also a good idea to wash your pillow regularly to get rid of any dust and grime, especially if it’s older than two years. Also, consider replacing your pillow every 12 to 18 months. That’s a general rule of thumb that’s based on the fact that old pillows are usually infested with mold, mildew, and fungus and can be home to a host of other critters.

You’re Sleeping on the Wrong Firmness

Many people blame their sleep issues on a bad mattress, but the truth is that pillows can also be the culprit. In fact, a poorly chosen pillow can lead to neck pain and poor alignment in the head and spine, which can cause fatigue throughout the day. Down pillows worth trying are listed in the hyperlink for you to check and try to solve your problem.

The best pillow for you depends on your sleeping position and the amount of support you need. For example, side sleepers typically need a higher pillow that can lift their heads and align them with the rest of their bodies to relieve stress on the neck and spine. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, prefer a soft or flat pillow that will lift their legs and keep their body in proper alignment.

A pillow that is too high can put strain on the neck and cause it to bend in an awkward direction, leading to stiffness and pain when you wake up. A pillow that is too low can also cause the neck to bend in an awkward direction, leading to strain and stiffness.

While shopping for a new pillow it’s important to consider all of these factors and look beyond the marketing hype that may be thrown at you by different companies. It’s also helpful to learn about the different types of pillows and what they are made from so you can evaluate whether or not they are a good fit for your needs.

Some of the most common pillow materials include memory foam, down alternatives, buckwheat hulls and natural materials like cotton. Each of these pillows has unique characteristics such as loft, firmness, cooling properties and temperature regulation that will help you decide if it is the best pillow for you. For example, down alternatives often contain a cooling gel that helps to disperse heat and make it more comfortable, while cotton has a luxuriously plush feel that’s perfect for back and side sleepers.

You’re Sleeping on the Wrong Height

Pillow height is a huge factor in neck and back health. It determines how well your head lines up with your spine, which can prevent a variety of sleep issues. For example, if your pillow is too high, it can cause a spinal misalignment, leading to a crick in your neck or even cervical spine problems. The ideal pillow height is the one that allows your ear to line up level with your shoulder. But, there are many factors that determine the right height for each person. For example, recent health changes (like weight fluctuation or new aches and pains) can change your needs, as can age.

Likewise, different body types require different pillows, with larger frames needing a taller pillow and smaller ones needing something flatter. And, depending on your sleep position, you may also need a higher or lower pillow.

A good pillow is also important for preventing allergies, which can affect the quality of your sleep. It’s recommended that you wash your pillow every week or two to keep it clean and free from dust mites. A dirty pillow can lead to a variety of symptoms, including itchy eyes, headaches, and even a stuffy nose.

Additionally, some pillows have innovative specifications that can benefit your sleep in specific ways. For example, cooling pillows with temperature-regulating properties can be a great choice if you tend to overheat during the night, while adjustable pillows allow you to personalize firmness and height for a more comfortable sleep.

You’re Sleeping on the Wrong Material

If you wake up with a sore neck and have ruled out sleep apnea or another serious medical condition, your pillow might be to blame. A pillow that’s too old or the wrong type of pillow for your head, body, and sleep position could be causing neck strain. It’s important to change out your pillow as soon as you notice it starts to deflate, lose its shape or comfort, or if you can’t easily move around in bed without hitting your face on the pillowcase (gross, we know).

Your skin comes into contact with your pillowcase every night while you sleep. So, it’s no wonder that your pillowcase is a hot spot for acne and rashes to develop—especially if you sleep on the side or stomach. It’s essential to change your pillowcase frequently, especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies. And while washing your pillowcase can help, it’s also worth investing in a new one made from organic materials like silk, buckwheat and kapok (silky fiber from ceiba trees) which are more gentle to the skin.

The best pillows are designed to support your head, neck and spine in the most comfortable way possible so you can get a good night’s rest. They’re available in a variety of heights and sizes, ranging from firm to super soft. They can be infused with special specifications based on your preference, like cooling properties to keep you cool and wick away moisture, or adjustable features that let you customize firmness and height. They can even include technology that tracks your sleeping habits and wakes you with soothing music. But before you start shopping, take a look at our tips for picking the perfect pillow that’s right for you.