One in all my main objectives as we began the New Yr was to enhance the general high quality and size of my sleep.
I do know full-well the advantages of high quality sleep with regards to my coaching, restoration and my general well-being.
However, like lots of you, getting sufficient high quality sleep isn’t at all times simple.
One thing at all times appears to get in the best way of excellent sleep; attending to mattress late due to household or work, needing to stand up tremendous early to slot in coaching, or generally 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 right way to enhance sleep high quality.
Over the following few weeks you’ll see a whole lot of content material on our finish about the right way to get higher sleep, from podcasts to movies and articles. I’ve already began implementing a whole lot of what I’ve discovered from analysis research in addition to our skilled podcast friends and it’s made an enormous distinction.
At this time, we’re going to begin by trying 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 instances 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 received’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 influence your pillow makes on restful sleep.
Actually, 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 1 matched to her sleep profile.
So, I began digging into the analysis about what elements of a pillow are most vital and the way a lot influence they’ll have on sleep high quality.
In brief, the analysis persistently confirmed 4 “traits” of pillows take advantage of influence 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 typically 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 with regards to sleep high quality and luxury. For instance, this 2011 paper concluded that “feather pillow customers offered persistently low experiences of pillow consolation and sleep high quality.”
This was attributed to lack of cervical (neck) help and the shortcoming to control temperature (extra on this beneath).
However, most research agree that reminiscence foam filling provides the most effective 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 capability to control your physique temperature performs a essential 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 most effective when in comparison with the commonest varieties of pillow filling.
One other consideration to pillow temperature I discovered within the analysis was “head to pillow contact space”. Principally, 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, finally growing the temperature of the pillow.”
To fight this, researchers suggest pillow filling that’s breathable and likewise 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 aspect 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 typically 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 aspect sleepers, however the pillow ought 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 aspect 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 completely shocked after I started actually digging into the analysis on pillows.
I clearly knew a top quality pillow may 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 most suitable choice is to decide on a pillow produced from increased high quality supplies and one you’ll be able to alter to your sleep place, particularly the choice so as to add and take away fill.
Probably the greatest choices I discovered available on the market is from Lagoon.
Lagoon focuses on making pillows designed particularly for runners and athletes to assist them optimize their sleep and restoration.
What I favored most is that they have you ever take a sleep quiz that helps pair you with the proper pillow for you based mostly on sleep place, physique measurement 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 may make on my sleep high quality. So, I bought to testing with my apple watch.
Utilizing my previous pillow, my apple watch knowledge confirmed that I wakened a mean of 6 instances every evening and spent 2 hours in deep sleep.
After I switched to the Lagoon pillow matched for me my common variety of instances waking dropped to 2 per evening and my deep sleep elevated by 45 minutes.
Each “experiments” had been performed in two week blocks so I may guarantee any outlier knowledge didn’t throw off the numbers. In my view, this can be a large consequence contemplating an additional 45 minutes of deep sleep per evening 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 alternative and ensuring you could have the optimum filling, firmness and top on your sleeping preferences.