6 Pillow Tips & Tricks For Optimal Sleep

bright bedroom

Taken a trip to your local Bed, Bath & Beyond lately? There are so many different types of pillows on sale that choosing a pillow can often be as hard as choosing a breakfast cereal, without the ease of the brand loyalty aspect. So that means people choose a pillow entirely based on its features, of which there are even more! Check it out, there are memory foam pillows, shredded memory foam pillows, buckwheat pillows, blended fills, pillows with weird slopes on them etc.

Yet choosing a pillow should not be a trivial choice; in fact it is far more important than choosing your favorite breakfast pillow; scientists have linked lack of or non-optimal sleep to higher risk factors for all sorts of health conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes. So if you haven’t been able to find the right pillow for you yet, here are 6 tips and tricks to get the most out of your pillow.

Rotating Pillows May Actually Be Good for You

Just because your current pillow may not be the most comfortable doesn’t mean it’s time to dump it and head to the store for a new one just yet. Often, simply swapping out your pillow for another one (even if that other pillow is not brand new, such as the one in your guest room or something) can help if you have been waking up with a stiff neck in the morning. If you are one of those suffering from a painful neck, try this great pillow for neck pain. It is voted as one of the top pillows for neck pain and I can attest to that! Some people prefer to swap pillows on a regular basis, such as once every two weeks, in order to mitigate their neck pain. This is a similar concept as back pain sufferers who use different types of chairs throughout the day.

multiple pillowsConsider Using Multiple Pillows

While one pillow per person has become a societal norm, there is absolutely no reason that it is appropriate for you. The idea of a pillow is to provide support in such a way that allows you to maintain a neutral spine and posture, and for people with very broad shoulders, large curves in the upper back, or even just those who have very soft mattresses, using multiple pillows might be more suitable. The best is the thick/thin pillow combination or two medium ones.

Try This Butterfly Pillow Trick

This is a little trick if you find your pillow is too skinny. Take your skinny pillow and twist it lengthwise in the middle; it should now resemble the shape of a bowtie or butterfly. This gives your pillow a firmness gradient; firmer in the middle and softer at the edges. Obviously this depends on the type of pillow you have; there’s no way you’re doing this to a memory foam, latex, or buckwheat pillow, for example.

Do You Know How To Make One and a Half Pillows?

Another neat trick you can do to better make your current pillow work better for you, presuming it’s currently just a little too thin for you and insufficiently firm. Find the softest towels in your home and place them on the pillow (under the pillowcase, of course). Adjust the layering until you can get to your desired firmness and thickness.

Ensure You Use the Right Pillow Positioning

Ummm, under your head right? Not so fast! Little do most people know but there is in fact more than just one way to lay your head on the pillow. A pillow needs to occupy the space between your neck and your shoulders while giving your head a little raise, meaning that you may need to adjust your pillow further down the bed or up your headboard depending on your body type.

Your Sleeping Position May Not Be Right For You

sleeping on tummyDepending on your sleeping position, there will be different individual characteristics in a pillow that you will be looking for. For instance, when you sleep on your side (the most common sleeping positions with researchers estimating that 70% of the populace are side sleepers) the distance between your head and the mattress the breadth of one shoulder, meaning you will need a thicker pillow or a specialized side sleeper pillow. Whereas if you are back sleeper you would want a pillow that’s a bit thinner, while if you’re a stomach sleeper (the rarest), you would want the thinnest pillow possible or one to support your stomach. That said, you should consider that your sleeping position itself may not be optimal for you. If you find yourself awakening in awkward positions such as arms twisted underneath your body or randomly splayed over your head, you may want to discipline yourself to change your sleeping position.