Why Is It Important To Have the Right Pillow?

Learn why having the right pillow shape and material is important for supporting the body, hygiene, getting sleep, and eliminating pain.

Why Is It Important To Have the Right Pillow?

We all need to sleep, but doing it improperly can take a toll on the body. Waking up, you might get head or neck pain depending on how you slept the night prior. It's important to keep the body comfortable while resting, considering the different sleeping positions people assume. According to Harvard Health Publishing, sleeping on your side or back are the two positions that work best for your neck. Still, this wouldn't be the ideal setup if you don't have the right pillow under you. Ideally, it would be designed with spinal support, hygiene, durability, and cushioning in mind. Here's a closer look at the importance of having the right pillow for you.

Supporting The Back

The spine has its natural curvature that needs support from pillows. NMD Wellness of Scottsdale physician Alissia Zenhausern recommends rounded pillows for this. Memory foam and feather pillows are also shown to provide spinal support, but Zenhausern cautions that some memory foams might be too hard. Experts also recommend pillows that keep your neck elevated comfortably so that your sleep won't get disrupted by pain from fatigue. Just like how chairs at work need to be ergonomic, so should pillows. This way, your body won't suffer from staying put for long hours, be it at work or during sleep.

Maintaining Hygiene

Hygiene also plays a part in finding the ideal pillow. Taking regular pillows for cleaning would incur costs when you could be using a pillow that is made of more hygienic material. Sealy explains that such materials help prevent organisms or particles from compromising a person's health. Pillows that are made of hypoallergenic material can obstruct bacterial growth, as well as guard against dust mites. This explains the role of hypoallergenic pillows in preventing allergies from occurring.

Related: Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Remedying Breathing Problems

Those who suffer from existing health conditions would do well to use the right pillow, too. Sleep apnea, which happens when breathing temporarily stops due to an airway obstruction or brain disturbance, may also be attributed to poor sleeping positions and using sub-par pillows. According to research, using wedge pillows can help align the airways better, thereby letting the sleeping person breathe easier. Such pillows raise the upper body while it is reclined, which can also make it remedial for snoring and heartburn conditions.

Relieving Body Pains

People with existing body pains need the right pillow to ease the aching, be it their shoulders or back. This would prevent them from unconsciously hurting certain body parts, which would have otherwise reset the healing process. According to Sleep Sherpa, orthopedic pillows are designed to help people who have difficulty cop. These pillows ensure the correct placement of body parts while supporting them, leaving the person free to safely and healthily sleep. For people recuperating from sprains or orthopedic treatments, using these pillows would make their situation more bearable.

Aiding Digestion

Because digestion happens whether you're awake or asleep, it might get disrupted without you knowing. This could bring about repercussions, considering the relationship between sleep and gastrointestinal problems. This is one reason experts recommend sleeping on your left side, as this has been shown to aid in digestion. In doing so, using pillows that can support you as you rest in this position will enable you to get accustomed to sleeping on your side, thereby aiding your stomach in digesting as you sleep. People who are overweight would benefit from this, as well as anyone who is at risk of waking up from chest pains or acid reflux during sleep.

Ensuring Durability

Another reason why the right pillow matters is durability. Sub-par pillows would not only lack the ergonomic or orthopedic features of ideal pillows; they would also be more likely to show wear and tear sooner. This would mean unnecessary costs for you, since you wouldn't need to spend on repairs or replacements if you had durable ones. Memory foam pillows, which work by contouring the body and supporting the spine, rely on the strength of their material to last long. The same goes for feather pillows, water pillows, and other such products made of distinct materials.

The Takeaway

To sum things up, there are factors to check in order to make sure you're sleeping properly. One major factor would be finding the right pillow, since these objects are what the body rests on during sleep. Using the ideal pillow would ensure that your body won't suffer fatigue, and body conditions like apnea would get relieved. Using such pillows would also ensure that their quality materials help you with hygiene and durability. Buying the right pillow is therefore an investment worth making.

Resources— Harvard Health Publishing, Sealy, Tuck, Forbes, Sleep Sherpa