It nearly goes without saying that finding the right mattress is crucial to ensuring a healthy, comfortable sleep.
Even if most of us don't get enough sleep, the sleep that we do get should be good quality shuteye. Sleeping issues involve more than just not sleeping enough. Other common complaints include snoring, restless leg syndrome, and night waking, just to name a few. People have different sleep needs and, based on the fact that most of our mattresses last an average of ten years, it is an important decision and investment that should not be taken lightly.
By the same token, your pillow choice is just as important. Buying new pillows should go hand in hand with your mattress purchase. Each age and stage of life presents unique sleep needs and changes to your sleep habits.
While most babies can sleep practically anywhere, the right mattress provides a safe, healthy sleeping environment. A baby needs a small, firm mattress for a comfortable night's sleep. Pediatricians strongly recommend that there not be any pillows (or other objects) in a baby's crib. They need to sleep on a flat surface, and a pillow in the bed presents a suffocation risk.
As they grow older, children start to sleep with pillows. Small lightweight pillows usually work best for young kids. What's important at any age is good support for the head and neck. It's best to think about this issue early, rather than experiencing pains later in life due to sleeping on the wrong pillows. Poor sleep positioning is responsible for a number of aches and pains, not just limited to your head, neck, shoulders, and back. You can also face circulation issues with your arms and legs.
How do I begin to compare pillows?
Shopping for pillows, you have a variety of factors to consider, including size, shape, and material. In the end, your health and comfort should be the two most important considerations. Your sleep style and positioning should also influence your purchase decisions.
1) Back Sleepers
The main objective for back sleepers is to avoid having the head raised too high and putting pressure on the neck. Choose a thin, flat pillow, perhaps made of memory foam for extra support.
2) Side Sleepers
The most important consideration for side sleepers is to keep the neck and spine aligned. Contoured pillows for your head, either standard fill or memory foam, are recommended for maintaining alignment. There are also larger body pillows that provide even more support for your head, neck, and back.
3) Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers can safely sleep on thinner pillows than back sleepers, or with no pillow at all. You want to avoid sleeping in a position that puts pressure on your lower back.
Protect your health with mattress and pillow protectors
No one wants to think about the unhealthy things lurking in their beds, like bacteria, pet dander, and dust mites. Prevention is key and, with the right protection, you can rest easy and not worry about allergies and discomfort. Remember to:
- Look for machine-washable waterproof pillow and mattress protectors.
- Replace your mattress every eight to ten years, and your pillows every two years.
- Wash your mattress and pillow protectors at least every six months.
- Choose organic materials and avoid chemical flame retardants.
While there may not be a "right" pillow for each mattress, there is an ideal pillow for you. It's commonly known that people spend one-third of their lives in bed. You and your family deserve a sleeping environment that will provide you with the most comfort and protection.