Sleep is HUGELY important. It is when our body regenerates, replenishes and restores. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine sleep deprivation increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, dementia and cancer — not to mention more immediate consequences like accidents due to over-tiredness.
In short, sleep is serious stuff. Yet we live in a culture that encourages busy-ness, overwork and getting by on as little sleep as possible. And even when we prioritise sleep, there are many small ways it can be sabotaged — starting with our pillows.
Sleep position is incredibly important, as anyone who’s ever woken up with a stiff neck or aching limbs after a night on a sofa or camp-bed can attest.
If you’re sleeping on whatever old pillow you bought a few years back, it’s probably time to assess if it is time to try something new.
Pillows come in all sorts of shapes and materials. Choosing the right one can make the difference between average or even interrupted sleep, and a really peaceful night.
Lots of people use and enjoy memory foam pillows, for example, but I also have friends who suffered mysteriously sore necks for weeks before figuring out an extra-firm foam pillow was pushing their neck out of alignment.
Others love the feel of big, fluffy down pillows — and you have to admit they look fabulous plumped up at the top of the bed. Really, though, the best pillow for you is going to depend on your preferred sleep position: lying on your side, front or back all require different support for correct body alignment.
This Sleep Doctor article is a great guide to choosing your perfect pillow.