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When It Comes to Sleep, How Important Is a Good Pillow?

Time for some pillow talk.

We spend a third of our lives asleep, so of course, we want to be comfortable, but how important is a good pillow? The answer is very important.

Sleeping with the right pillow can affect your quality of sleep because it supports (or doesn't) the neck and upper body. It’s important to have this support because it can help avoid back and neck problems. Physiotherapist Sammy Margo told The Telegraph, "People underestimate just how much of a difference having the right pillow makes, not only to the quality of their sleep but also to how they feel throughout the day."

Turns out you should also choose your pillow with your sleeping position in mind. According to Clearwater Chiropractic, if you sleep on your side (and according to reports, 75 percent of us do), you need a pillow that keeps your neck straight, but if you sleep on your back, it's beneficial to choose a pillow which supports the natural curve in your neck. However, if you sleep on your stomach, you probably don’t need a pillow at all, or it's best to choose a very thin one.

The Telegraph elaborated on sleeping positions and noted that those who sleep on their side could benefit from a pillow that falls into the gap between the shoulder and neck. While those who are pregnant or have hip pain should reportedly get a long pillow which they can rest their arm and leg on.

Also, remember that natural pillow fillings, like feathers, offer less support, while memory foam pillows and orthopedic pillows are the best options for those who need support, The Joint reports. But besides your sleeping position, factors like body size and preexisting conditions should be taken into consideration when choosing a pillow, as well as personal preference.

Lastly, pillows need to be replaced every twelve months because even if it still provides support, it's likely to be filled with old dead skin cells, mold, fungus and dust mites, Nature Sleep reports. It doesn't hurt to choose antibacterial and hypoallergenic pillows, either.

The takeaway; a pillow is more important than you may realize, and it helps to do research into what pillow will suit you and your sleeping pattern, after all, it truly affects your standard of sleep and even your whole day!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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