Whether you are a solid eight hours per night person, or you average less (or more!), one thing is true for all sleepers – the importance of finding that perfect pillow. This is a complex journey for many, but it’s not a myth, there is a perfect pillow out there for you! Either you have not been looking in the right place to find it, or maybe you are not searching for the right attributes to discover it.
There are a lot of different types of pillows out there, and sleep technology is improving by leaps and bounds each year. Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution that reduces the impact of your purchase on the environment, or a pillow that keeps you cooler at night, there are options out there to help you get the best night’s sleep – and to learn to love your pillow again!
Common sleep challenges and how to combat them
Two of the most common sleep challenges that people share with me are sleeping hot and waking up feeling stiff and unrested. There are different factors that contribute to each of these challenges. For hot sleepers, consider lowering the temperature in your home before bed (which can help lower your heating bill too), and take a look at the pre-bed activities you are doing that could be raising your body temperature. Try to reduce caffeine intake, minimize stress, and move exercising earlier in the day to lower your body temperature before bed.
Another thing that impacts hot sleepers is what you are sleeping in and sleeping on. Different fabrics retain more heat, and just like thicker bedding traps heat, so do thicker pajamas. Changing to natural cotton fabrics over polyester can help. This goes for your bedding materials as well, including pillows. It’s important to understand what materials the bedding you sleep on and under is made out of. This includes everything from your mattress pad, up. When possible, it’s best for everyone, including hot sleepers, to choose bedding made from cotton.
For instance, SleepSmart™ bedding is designed to help maintain the ideal temperature of 37.5° Celsius all night long. The down-wrapped pillows also deliver firm support, helping you wake up rested and refreshed. As you sleep, temperature and humidity can build-up, trapped in your sleeping space. New sleep technology uses naturally derived fibers to evaporate excess humidity and reduce sweat, keeping you cool and dry all night long.
Natural cotton fabrics sleep cooler than polyester ones. In addition, cotton sheets and pillows are softer, more breathable, and lighter. Breathable fabric lets more air in and out, helping you keep your body temperature down and absorbing moisture. For those suffering from allergies, cotton is known for its anti-allergen properties as well.
Is it time to replace your favorite pillow?
If you are one of the many people around the world who wake up feeling stiff and unrested, it may be time to choose a new pillow. Pillows help support the spine, keeping it in a more natural and comfortable position. Since we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and getting a good night’s sleep is important to your physical and mental health, it’s important to find the right pillow. Once you’ve found it, it’s a good idea to give your favorite pillow a quick inspection every few months to make sure it’s still doing the job.
Here are a few tricks I recommend to help you decide when it’s time to replace your pillow, and what to look out for when shopping for a new one:
1) Does it lay flat? Perform a quick pillow test. Lay your pillow flat across your hand, with it balanced in the center of your palm. Is it drooping, or does it lay straight and flat? Your pillow should not be frowning at you – it should remain straight and firm in this position. If it is frowning, it’s time to treat yourself to a new pillow! This test is also a good one when evaluating a new pillow.
2) Dog ears? Look at the corners of your pillow.
Does your pillow’s filling fill all the way up and into each of the four corners, or is there empty space? If you see droopy corners, called dog ears, it’s time for an upgrade. When looking for a new pillow, use this test to find one completely filled with high-quality filling.
3) Loose threads? Lumpy or misshapen?
If any of these descriptors can be used on your current pillow, it’s time for a shopping trip. Make sure to look for products with high-quality materials and cotton fabrics. The higher quality the product, the better and longer it will help support your spine and a restful night’s sleep.
About Tracy Miller, Sleep Innovator and Inventor of Products for the Home
Tracy Miller is a trusted inventor and innovator of dynamic, technology driven, and comfortable products for the home, and founder of Inventive Sleep®. Her engaging brands are found in millions of homes and hotels across the country. As a Sleep Products Innovator, Tracy is dedicated to helping people realize their dreams and goals starting with a great night’s sleep. Her reputation for combining proven and modern materials in everyday products including sheets, pillows, comforters, blankets, and mattress pads, adds exciting new comfort and performance qualities consumers love to incorporate into their homes. Tracy is also the author of the weekly sleep blog Sleep Secrets and Inspirations. In it, she shares her expertise on materials research and design, and demystifies the sleep experience with an informative and fun-filled conversation on how sleep helps people with daily living, as well as some of her tips and tricks on picking your favorite products. For more information, visit www.tracymilellersleep.com. Sleep Tonight. Create Tomorrow.™