Pillow buying is almost as important as picking your mattress. Andrew Hecht, MD, says if you're waking up with headaches, neck pains, shoulder and arm numbness, or discomfort -- sometimes even sneezing and wheezing -- your pillow may be playing a role.
"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms, and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.
"The goal of using a pillow is to help keep your head in what is called a 'neutral alignment,' meaning your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders without bending back too far or reaching too far forward," says Kammi Bernard, PT, a physical therapist at the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas.
Many experts say: If you sleep on your: If you sleep on your.
Back, choose a thinner pillow.
Stomach, your pillow should be almost flat.
Side, a fluffier pillow will align your body better.
Although pillows can be filled with almost anything, by far the most commonly used ones are down-feather combinations, foam, or a polyester fiberfill. All have pros and cons.
Synthetic Fiber Fill Pillow - Uses polyester fiber, easy to wash. Allergy and odor free. Generally lower in price. Soft to medium firm. Ideal for cuddling as it can be easily squished
Foam-The higher the density, the less breakdown, and the more support you will have without getting too soft. Viscose or memory foam pillows can add that extra layer of cushy comfort you're seeking, if you like to sleep cool, take extra care in making your selection.
Foam- The higher the density, the less breakdown, and the more support you will have without getting too soft. Viscose or memory foam pillows can add that extra layer of cushy comfort you're seeking, if you like to sleep cool, take extra care in making your selection.Some of these pillows can make your head very hot -- and some can emit an unpleasant odor -- plus if you sleep in a very cool room, some get hard and feel very uncomfortable
Latex Pillow - Latex, an extract from rubber trees, is a natural material. Hypoallergenic , dustmite free, anti bacterial. Ideal for asthma and allergies sufferers. Latex pillow do not sag and can last for a long time. With the pin hole technology that is used to manufacture this pillow, it breathes, keeping you cool and dry. For back and side sleeper.
Down/feather: Many sleep experts recommend these as one of the best pillows for a good night's rest.
Water pillows: A favorite of some physical therapists and many chiropractors, the goal is to use water to create your own customized level of density and support. A published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in February 1997 showed the pillows did work well to relieve neck pain, but no large-scale trials have duplicated the results.
Cervical pillows: Available in various materials and shapes, the goal is to add extra cushioning in the lower portion of the pillow to support the neck. While doctors say that occasionally they can be of some help, at least one meta-analysis conducted by the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability in 2007 found there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of these pillows.
Anti-Snore Pillows: There is limited research showing that any particular pillow design has a specific impact on snoring. That said, individual patient reports, along with one study on the Sona anti-snore pillow published in the journal Sleep and Breathing in 2005, did show relief is possible in some people.
Cool Pillows: These are touted as an antidote to hot flashes and night sweats. Most work by adding a core of chilled water somewhere deep within the pillow. The newest technology includes a filling of tiny "beads" designed to absorb head heat and whisk it away, leaving the part of the pillow that touches your face perpetually cool.
. Anti-Snore Pillows: There is limited research showing that any particular pillow design has a specific impact on snoring. That said, individual patient reports, along with one study on the Sona anti-snore pillow published in the journal Sleep and Breathing in 2005, did show relief is possible in some people
If you sleep on a very soft mattress, you may want to opt for no pillow at all
Higher density foam pillows will not break down as easily and will give firmer support
Higher density foam pillows will not break down as easily and will give firmer support.
Pillows come with care instructions on the package. Read them and tape them up inside your linen or laundry closet door as a reminder. Pillows are best protected from dust and dirt by using quality pillow protectors and pillow cases.
Machine wash your pillows in warm water, using a small amount of washing detergent. Any
mild detergent will work, however, any specially formulated down detergent is best, as it contains no wax or oil type agents. We recommend using a non-agitating commercial size machine and a gentle cycle.
DO NOT use bleach or fabric softener, it leaves a sticky residue. After
the wash cycle is finished, be sure to run your pillows through at least 2 rinse cycles.This will guarantee all the soap residue is removed.
DO NOT LINE DRY! Tumble dry on high heat for about an hour. Add a couple of tennis balls or clean tennis shoes to help break up the large clumps of down and fluff it up. After an hour,
remove pillow and fluff it up! If it still feels damp, return it to the dryer until completely dry. Drying will usually take a good hour depending on the density of the pillow.
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