Why Your Pillow Could Be Providing Comfort For More Than Just You


When it comes to our pillows, did you know that dust mites are often teeming in them if you don’t get new ones at least once every two years?

Unlike things like cat dander, though, the protein that initiates reactions to dust mites isn’t generally airborne– meaning allergy symptoms that are usually more evident when you wake up is a good indicator that the problem could be in your pillow. People with year-long nasal issues may also need to be examined for a dust mite allergy, offers Robert Oexman, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute.

There is good news, though, regarding dust mites. For one, they don’t carry any risks aside from allergic or asthmatic responses, and they don’t give off harmful diseases. That being said, you shouldn’t be wanting to sleep with loads of ‘em every night.

Airtight covers for mattresses and pillows alike can definitely help, while washing bedding consistently can, too. Putting them in the dryer for 30 minutes on low can also help get rid of some of the nasty stuff from your pillows, Oexman indicates.

So, the next time you go searching for a new pillow, remember that the goal is to get one that fully supports the area between your shoulders and your head when lying down. The perfect pillow keeps your head in proper alignment when you’re resting in your normal sleep position, Oexman goes on. Thin pillows are needed for those stomach and back sleepers. Whether you buy a down or a foam or a gel pillow is completely up to you– but when it’s time to invest in a bran new mattress, remember to switch out your pillow at this time as well. The mattress affects the angle your head is at in relation to your shoulders, chaning your pillow will be necessary for proper the time comes for you to get a new mattress, you should also remember to get a new pillow, because the angle between your head and shoulders will have changed. 

And when it comes to the old wives’ tale about measuring your pillow support by folding it in half and placing a shoe on top of it to see if it stays there? Oexman says this is useless; “take a down pillow made for a stomach sleeper,” he continues. In this situation, the down pillow wouldn’t pass this arbitrary test, even though it is the right kind of pillow for that type of sleeper. 

Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Emily May

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