One in every of my main objectives as we began the New 12 months was to enhance the general high quality and size of my sleep.
I do know full-well the advantages of high quality sleep relating to my coaching, restoration and my general well-being.
However, like lots of you, getting sufficient high quality sleep isn’t all the time simple.
One thing all the time appears to get in the way in which of excellent sleep; attending to mattress late due to household or work, needing to stand up tremendous early to slot in coaching, or typically simply tossing and turning all occur on a far-too-consistent foundation.
So I wished to look at getting higher sleep from all angles; pre-bed routines, dietary supplements, greatest practices, and the way to enhance sleep high quality.
Over the subsequent few weeks you’ll see lots of content material on our finish about the way to get higher sleep, from podcasts to movies and articles. I’ve already began implementing lots of what I’ve discovered from analysis research in addition to our professional podcast visitors and it’s made an enormous distinction.
Right this moment, we’re going to begin by wanting on the analysis research on pillow choice and dig into the info on how little issues like pillow fill, contour, and top can have a huge effect in your high quality of sleep.
How A lot Does a Pillow Affect Your Sleep?
I knew for me, that one of many first issues I wanted to work on was sleep high quality.
Not solely have I felt at occasions that even after 8 hours of sleep I didn’t get up well-rested, I do know that attending to mattress earlier, and so forth gained’t matter a lot if I’m not getting restful, deep sleep.
One factor that saved popping up as I started my analysis on sleep high quality was how a lot of an affect your pillow makes on restful sleep.
In actual fact, one elite runner, Caitlin Eager, posted the info from her Whoop that confirmed her deep, restorative sleep elevated by 52 minutes after she switched her pillow to at least one matched to her sleep profile.
So, I began digging into the analysis about what facets of a pillow are most vital and the way a lot affect they’ll have on sleep high quality.
In brief, the analysis constantly confirmed 4 “traits” of pillows take advantage of affect on sleep high quality: (1) the kind of filling used; (2) temperature regulation; (3) sleep place; and (4) pillow top.
That can assist you dive in additional, let’s check out the analysis on every of those traits.
What’s Your Pillow Made Of?
Pillows are usually made out of three supplies: feather, microfiber/polyethylene, or reminiscence foam.
Fortunately, there have been a couple of research performed on which sort of filling is greatest.
Most research have discovered that pillows with a feather filling are the worst relating to sleep high quality and luxury. For instance, this 2011 paper concluded that “feather pillow customers supplied constantly low experiences of pillow consolation and sleep high quality.”
This was attributed to lack of cervical (neck) help and the lack to control temperature (extra on this beneath).
However, most research agree that reminiscence foam filling gives the perfect and most constant neck help and temperature regulation, thus resulting in essentially the most optimum sleep high quality.
Thus, when selecting your subsequent pillow, search for one thing with reminiscence foam to extend your consolation.
Associated to filling, your pillow’s potential to control your physique temperature performs a important position throughout sleep.
It’s because your sympathetic nervous system is much less excited and calmer in cooler situations, particularly throughout sleep. This results in deeper sleep.
As talked about above, the filling of your pillow can have an effect on head temperature when sleeping.
Feather pillows carried out the worst and reminiscence foam pillows carried out the perfect when in comparison with the commonest forms of pillow filling.
One other consideration to pillow temperature I discovered within the analysis was “head to pillow contact space”. Mainly, air flow and cooling are slowed when extra of your head is touching the pillow.
Researchers posit that pillows that mildew across the head and neck space might really feel extra snug initially, however result in impaired sleep as a result of they “lower the air circulation and prevents thermal dissipation to the environment, in the end rising the temperature of the pillow.”
To fight this, researchers suggest pillow filling that’s breathable and in addition one which contours to your sleeping place.
Sleep Place and Pillow Peak
One factor I undoubtedly didn’t understand earlier than embarking on my pillow-research rabbit gap is that facet sleepers and again sleepers want completely different pillows.
This has to do with how the pillow must help the neck whereas sleeping.
Individuals who sleep on their sides usually want a thicker pillow to fill the area between their heads and shoulders.
Again sleepers don’t want as a lot loft (pillow thickness) as facet sleepers, however the pillow needs to be thick sufficient to maintain the top elevated. In any other case, you could be extra more likely to snore or develop neck ache.
Most analysis factors to facet sleepers discovering a pillow loft of 5 inches or extra to be optimum whereas again sleepers normally discover optimum consolation with a pillow loft of three to five inches.
I used to be totally shocked once I started actually digging into the analysis on pillows.
I clearly knew a top quality pillow might make an enormous distinction in sleep high quality (as does anybody who has ever slept on a poor high quality pillow in a resort), however I didn’t understand how individualized a pillow might be to completely different sleep positions and preferences.
After reviewing the analysis, it appears the best choice is to decide on a pillow created from greater high quality supplies and one you may regulate to your sleep place, particularly the choice so as to add and take away fill.
Among the best choices I discovered in the marketplace is from Lagoon.
Lagoon makes a speciality of making pillows designed particularly for runners and athletes to assist them optimize their sleep and restoration.
What I appreciated most is that they have you ever take a sleep quiz that helps pair you with the right pillow for you primarily based on sleep place, physique dimension and extra.
Being the info nerd I’m, I additionally wished to check to see how a lot of a distinction a top quality pillow might make on my sleep high quality. So, I obtained to testing with my apple watch.
Utilizing my outdated pillow, my apple watch information confirmed that I awakened a mean of 6 occasions every night time and spent 2 hours in deep sleep.
Once I switched to the Lagoon pillow matched for me my common variety of occasions waking dropped to 2 per night time and my deep sleep elevated by 45 minutes.
Each “experiments” have been performed in two week blocks so I might guarantee any outlier information didn’t throw off the numbers. For my part, this can be a big end result contemplating an additional 45 minutes of deep sleep per night time provides up, particularly over the course of weeks and months.
I for one am undoubtedly glad I dig into the analysis. I hope this deep dive additionally has you analyzing your pillow selection and ensuring you’ve gotten the optimum filling, firmness and top in your sleeping preferences.