What is the most important thing human have to do for their survival? Aside from breathing, you might say food or water. Most people think that human can’t survive without food. But did you know that? Sleeping is more important than food? Studies have shown that sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation. Did you know that human spends their 1/3 of their life sleeping? Prof. Mathew Walker, the author of “Why We Sleep”, a New York Times Bestseller, said that within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It re-calibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Knowing how much important sleep in our life, you must know how to achieve good sleep quality, and one of the things we can do is, by having the right pillows and cushions.
What Is Sleep
Sleep is a state when our body reduced awareness, movement, and responsiveness. When human sleep our eyes are usually closed, our nervous system is relatively inactive, our muscles relaxed, and our consciousness practically suspended.
Why Do We Need Sleep
Sleeping affects human mental and physical health. It affects our daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and weight.
According to the Global Healing Center (GHC), sleep offers many health benefits, such as:
- Improving concentration
- Improving the immune system
- improving athletic performance
- Improving metabolism
Sleep Quality vs Sleep Quantity
You probably wonder, which one is more important? How much sleep you have or how good is it? Sleep quality refers to how well you sleep. While sleep quantity refers to how long you sleep.While the sleep quantity of each person is different based on their age and health conditions, sleep quality can be measured to:
- How much time do you need to fall asleep? If you fall asleep in 30 minutes or less, it is considered as good sleep quality.
- How many times did you wake up at night after you sleep? If you woke up less than 1 time, it is considered good sleep quality.
- If you wake up at night, how long do you need to get back to sleep? If you need less than 20 minutes, it is considered good sleep quality.
Sleep quality can be considered bad if:
- You have trouble falling asleep
- You have trouble staying asleep
- You are restless
- You awaken early
On the other side, the recommended sleep quantity for human categorized by their age as stated by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- baby: 16 to 18 hours per day
- toddler: 11-14 hours per night
- children: 9-13 hours per night
- teenager: 8-10 hours per night
- young adults: 7 – 9 hours per night
- adults: 7 – 9 hours per night
- elder (>65): 7-8 hours per night
As stated by the National Sleep Foundation(NSF), both quantity and quality have the same level of importance. If you don’t sleep enough, your body will be harder to function. If you have bad quality sleep, you will feel tired the next day. However, having good quality sleep may improve your mood more than quantity. Because uninterrupted sleep allows you to get the optimal amount of restorative sleep.
Pillows and Cushions Roles During Sleep
Having the right pillows/cushions that fill our need is one of the key factors to achieve good sleep. Do you ever feel tired or having neck aches in the morning after a long sleep? This could mean you are sleeping on the wrong pillow.
Provide support for the user’s neck Provide support for the upper back. Because of the natural alignment of the human spine is curved, human need support to maintain proper alignment. When you sleep without adequate support, it may impact negatively on sleep quality and result in stiffness in the neck and back.
Why You Need The Right Pillow?
Here are some reasons why you need to choose the right pillow and not just any pillow:
- Choosing the wrong pillow can worsen your health conditions. If you neck pain, it can worsen it.
- Using an old and dirty pillow is not healthy. If you never change the cover or wash it, you should consider saying goodbye to your old pillow. That pillow could contain dust mites, fungus or even other bacteria. It could lead to allergies.
- Using the wrong pillow might put your spine at risk. If your pillow can’t support the supine position, it could lead to serious disrepair.
- It makes your sleep quality go bad, or worse. Using a bad and wrong pillow could disturb your sleep.
Types of Pillows
There are several types of pillows that can be categorized based on material:
- Memory Foam
- Buckwheat Hulls
Or they can be categorized based on the softness:
How To Choose The Right Pillow
First, you need to know what is your dominant sleep position. There are 4 types of sleep positions, based on Consumer Reports: Side sleepers: this position consists of its user sleeping on their side of the body. For this type of sleeper, the recommended is to use firm or extra firm. Using memory foam can support your head at a proper angle compared with polyester down pillow. Back sleeper: this position consists of its user sleeping lying flat with their pillow straight on the back of their head. Use a pillow that supports your head without changing the natural curve of the neck. Using medium models that is flat/thin or memory foam is recommended. Stomach sleepers: this position consists of its user sleeping very close to the mattress. Do use a thin foam pillow to keep your neck natural curve. Using high or firm pillow can lead to a sore neck Combination sleeper: this position consists of its user sleeping in multiposition. The recommended pillow is a soft and firm pillow. You can also use a cushion that is lower in the center or higher on the sides.
How To Use Pillows
- For back sleeper. Place the pillow under your knees to keep pressure off the lower back
- For side sleeper. Place the pillow between your knees to keep the spine in a neutral position
- For stomach sleeper. Place a flat pillow under the stomach
What Is Memory Foam
Memory Foam pillow is an innovative pillow design to offer more proper support, contour the user’s head and soothe neck sore. Originally it was developed for NASA. It is made by ultra-soft microfiber called polyurethane foam.
Type of Memory Foam and How To Use it
- Designed to support the spine while seating. Put it up the back, or sit on it.
- Designed to support neck while sleep. Suitable to used in bed
- Designed to support neck while sleep. Suitable to use in a seat on plane rides, or car.
- Suitable to use while relaxing, side sleeping, or sleeping upfront. Can be used to fill in waist gap, or put under the thigh
- U Shape. Designed to support the body while seating. It distributes weight equally
What is The Different Between Memory Foam Compared with Traditional Foam
The traditional pillow is usually filled with feathers. Some of the brands also use polyester. This makes it lighter than memory foam Memory foam pillow is heavier because they have a dense material.
What Makes Memory Foam So Special
Memory foam has special technology that the traditional pillow don’t have. It is made of open cells that will react to body heat, resulting in contour the user head shape. Thus it has the ability to distribute weight across its surface evenly. Making it better to support the user head, neck and shoulder muscles. Studies at The Join Chiropractic have shown that memory foam pillows are better than feather pillows.
Memory Foam Benefit
- Relieve pressure
- Reduce the risk of bed sores
- Relieve discomfort
- Cushions joints
- Keep the user body in proper alignments
- Molds the shape of the user’s head
- Reduce snoring. Because of it contours the user’s neck, it will allow the air passages to remain open, thus it will reduce snoring
- It is made of different material and retains less dust
Who Should Use Memory Foam
Someone who is after additional neck and spine support
How To Maintain Pillows and Cushion
Use a pillow cover to prevent dust Wash the pillow and cushion cover every week. For Memory foam pillow. To clean memory foam pillow, take a look at its condition first If you notice a spot, use a rag with detergent and warm water. If you notice it’s dirty and needs to be cleaned more, put it in the sink full of water and detergent, and use a rag to clean off the surface Hang it or place it to dry the pillow
When Is The Good Time to Replace Pillow
Try a simple test to determine it. First, fold the pillow in half and squeeze it out. Second, release it to allow it spring back to its original shape Last, see if the pillow still looks squished and deflated. If yes, it is a sign to replace your old pillow with a new one
Tips How To Sleep Better
Here are several tips from NSF and Soundproof Panda:
- Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
- If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon
- Exercise daily.
- Evaluate your room.
- Sleep on a comfortable foam mattress and pillows.
- Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and a heavy meal in the evening.
- Wind down.
- Try playing white/pink or brown noise to drown out other noises
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or sleep professional.
Memory foam can’t be washed in a washing machine. Don’t use a dryer too. If you decide to replace the pillow, you can replace it once a decade. Memory foam doesn’t require any adjustments like a regular pillow. It will retain its shape and size
If you have spinal problems or disorder, it is recommended to consult with your doctor or chiropractor to find the right pillow for you. If you have any skin allergic, using memory foam pillow or cushion could lead to rash
Selecting the right pillow is crucial to achieving good sleep quality. By getting the right pillow, it will improve the quality of sleep and avoid neck and back problems. Memory foam is a foam that is specially made to contour the shape of its user neck. By choosing memory foam you don’t need to worry waking up with neck sores or any discomfort. Say goodbye to bad sleep quality! Check out some of the different memory foam pillows and cushion we carry to sooth you into a deep sleep.
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