Did you know that 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily activities? And a further 20% reported that they didn't wake up feeling refreshed.
Good sleep is one of the most essential things the human body needs to function, and yet many Americans report they aren't getting enough of it.
One reason you might not be getting enough sleep is because of your sleeping environment.
Keep reading to discover if your pillows are ruining your sleep and if you need to replace them.
Your sleeping environment is crucial to the quality of sleep that you get each night. To make sure you are getting better quality sleep, you need to make sure your room is dark and quiet.
Another determining factor of sleep quality is the comfort and support of your mattress and pillows.
According to The Sleep Council, the average person's head weighs 10-12lbs and your neck contains 7 of the spine's 33 vertebrae. So if you are experiencing neck pain, stiffness, or frequent headaches, then this might be because your pillows aren't offering your neck and head enough support.
If your pillow is too soft then your head will flop, which means your neck will curve. If your pillow is too hard, it will give you a crick in your neck, causing stiffness and pain.
The best pillows offer the correct alignment for your body and head whilst you are sleeping. This alignment is the same posture that your shoulders and spine have when you are standing upright.
As you can see, having the wrong pillow can negatively impact your sleep and can cause you unnecessary pain.
There are a number of signs that your pillows need to be replaced. Here are some common ones to look out for tonight.
Pillows that are old and worn won't give you the proper neck support you need. Polyester pillows sometimes come with an expiration date on them, which can be handy to know when it is time to replace your pillows. Often, the expiration date is between 6 and 24 months.
But if you don't have an expiration date for your pillows, then it is best to research your type of pillow and find out what its typical lifespan is.
For example, down and feather pillows use a fill that is durable and can last between 5 and 10 years. But if you are keeping your pillows for this amount of time, remember to regularly wash them. It is recommended to wash them every 6 months.
Pillows that are starting to give you neck pain or stiffness provide a clear sign that you need to replace your pillows.
Pillows tend to break down, and the longer you have a pillow, the less likely it is to provide your head and neck with enough support.
If you are constantly waking up feeling achy then you definitely need to get some new pillows.
Some pillows provide additional support and comfort for your body and neck, such as side sleeper pillows, which are deep filled to ensure you get extra support for your neck and shoulders.
The filling inside pillows can start to decay, which leaves you with a lumpy and bumpy pillow. This is not comfortable to sleep on and it also doesn't provide you with enough support.
If you lay your pillow flat, without the pillowcase on it, you will be able to tell straight away if it is bumpy.
Alternatively, if you find yourself tossing and turning and trying to position your head around the lumps in your pillow, then you will also be able to tell that it is time for a new, less lumpy pillow.
Wool pillows can be a great investment if you don't want to have to replace your pillows as much. Pillows with wool filling last longer and are more resilient than cotton or latex pillows.
Another way to tell if you need to replace your old pillows is by looking at the color of them.
Pillows which are coming to the end of their lifespan start to discolor. This means that if your pillow is turning a yellowy-brown color, then it is time to replace it.
The discoloration on pillows can be from a whole number of things such as sweat, saliva, and other moisture that gets trapped inside the pillow. This can damage the pillow and make it turn a different color.
Finally, another sign that it is time to replace your old pillows is if they are starting to smell. Over its lifetime, your pillow will collect many nasty things that will make it smell, such as sweat, body oils, dead skin, saliva, and more.
It is important to regularly wash your pillows either by hand or in the washing machine (if the pillow allows it).
However, sometimes, no matter how much you wash something, it still smells. If this is the case with your pillows then you need to get some new ones as soon as possible.
Check out what qualities you need to look for in your next pillow purchase.
Nothing lasts forever and unfortunately, pillows are no exception. If you are finding it hard to sleep, or find that you wake up feeling achy, then it is time to replace your old pillows and treat yourself to some new ones.
If you sleep on your stomach, then you need to get a pillow that can support you and prevent aches and pains, such as The Belly Sleeper Pillow. Find out more about how The Belly Sleeper Pillow can change your night's sleep.