"Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of ‘Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.’
Just as a good pillow can help your health, using the wrong one can make you miserable. A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can worsen headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, and induce sneezing, and wheezing. All of which can keep you from getting a good night's rest.
Don’t forget that if your pillow is old, it is more than likely overflowing with dead skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites. Just the thought of this can keep you up at night! LOL! So, when is it time to buy a new pillow? Experts say the general rule is to buy a pillow every 12 to 18 months - definitely replace it after two years.
Before you buy a new pillow, consider your sleeping position. A “good” pillow will help keep your head in what is called a 'neutral alignment.' This means your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders without bending back too far or reaching too far forward. Consider the following:
If you sleep on your back:
Use thinner pillows, so your head is not thrust too far forward, and you should look for a pillow with extra loft in the bottom third of the pillow to cradle your neck.
If you sleep on your side:
You need a firmer pillow, one that fills in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.
If you're a stomach sleeper:
Stomach sleepers should use a very thin, almost flat pillow. You may not even need a pillow for your head, but is you suffer from lower back pain, consider tucking one under your stomach.
For more information on getting better sleep, visit Dr. Michael Breus’s official website – TheSleepDoctor.com.
As always – Enjoy Your Life!
John Aaron Villarreal
Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.