Can a problem sleeper ever get a good night’s sleep? Good question.
For some people, it’s easy to go to bed, sleep like a baby, and wake up the next day feeling as fresh as a daisy.
But not you. No, you have to deal with insomnia, or sleep apnea, or cardiac rhythm disorder, or narcolepsy, or idiopathic hypersomnia or restless leg syndrome... Every. Single. Night.
Clearly, sleep disorders warrant medical diagnosis and treatment. But did you know that the right memory foam pillow can significantly contribute to improved sleep, even for problem sleepers?
Keep reading to find how a memory foam pillow can help you sleep better.
What is a Memory Foam Pillow?
Let’s start off with a little bit of history.
In the 1960s NASA-funded researchers were looking for ways to improve their protection in case of an aircraft crash. As a result, they created memory foam.
Fast forward to today and memory foam is being used to make mattresses and pillows for hotels and home consumers. And for good reasons:
- Memory foam is comfortable;
- Memory foam has body conforming capabilities.
Memory foam pillow is made of foamed polyurethane with additional chemicals to improve the pillow’s density and viscosity. It is available in many shapes and sizes that are easily contoured.
Why is a Memory Foam Pillow Good for You?
The perfect pillow is one that keeps your neck and back in neutral alignment, isn’t it?
Therefore, if you’re a problem sleeper and you suffer from any of the issues just mentioned, a memory foam pillow can help by providing that perfect level of support and comfort.
As you read along, you may also discover that you have some other symptoms that a memory foam pillow can help alleviate.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Memory Foam Pillows Help Relieve Sleep Apnoea / Apnea
Sleep apnea (also spelt apnoea) is characterised by loud snoring and restless sleep which leaves you tired during the day. The two categories of Sleep Apnea are:
- Central apnea: Though rare, it occurs when the signals from the brain to regulate breathing are disrupted in some way.
- Obstructive apnea: It’s more common and results from the obstruction of the airway leading from the nose or mouth to the lungs. The obstruction is usually the result of a narrowed airway which becomes partly or completely blocked when the muscles around the airway relax during sleep.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you are suffering from Sleep Apnea, you are most likely to experience the following symptoms:
- Pauses in breathing;
- Waking up at night feeling short of breath;
- Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep;
- Loud and chronic snoring almost every night;
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue, no matter how much time you spend in bed.
For daytime and nighttime symptoms, check out the following infographic:
Image from: sleepapnea
If sleep apnea goes untreated, you’re likely to suffer from the some or all of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat;
- Chronic cough;
- Reduced libido;
- Loss of memory and concentration;
- Increased frequency of urination at night.
How to Diagnose and Treat Sleep Apnea
The only way to diagnose Sleep Apnea is through a sleep study. If you are showing symptoms, you need to see a GP or sleep physician.
Additionally, observe the following bedtime routines to help relieve Sleep Apnea:
- Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back will make your tongue and soft tissues obstruct your airway;
- Open your nasal passages at night: Use a nasal dilator, saline spray, breathing strips, or a nasal irrigation system (neti pot);
- Tighten the muscles that keep the mouth closed: chew gum or hold a pen between your teeth for about 10 minutes before bedtime, or until your jaw starts to ache;
- Prop up your head: elevate your head out of your bed by four to six inches; best done using a memory foam pillow;
Here are some good examples of specially-designed memory foam pillows:
Memory Foam Body Pillow
Use this pillow to comfortably support your whole body while asleep - especially from the waist up so as to better manage sleep Apnea.
Contoured Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow features two ridges on the upper and lower part of the pillow, which leaves a shallow crease in the middle of the pillow for your head. The lower part of the ridge supports your neck which ensures that it remains in line with the rest of your head.
Luxury Collection Soft Fill Pillow
Alternatively, you can use a soft fill pillow. It offers excellent support for your head and neck. It is medium firm, breathable, and versatile. Therefore, a good choice if you are suffering from sleep apnea.
2. Memory Foam Pillows Can Help With Spinal Alignment
Your spine helps support your body muscles and body skeleton - to keep you upright and protect your central nervous system. However, your spine may misalign for some reason, such as:
- Improper lifting;
- Sudden jarring movement;
- Bad posture when sleeping, sitting, walking.
Symptoms of Spinal Misalignment
To tell whether your spine is misaligned, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Always feeling tired;
- Poor general health;
- Poor immune response;
- Shoe heels wearing out unevenly;
- Difficulty in turning your head or hips;
- Headaches, back pain, or joint pains;
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;
- Neck, back, and other joints feeling stiff often;
- Frequent crack of your neck, back, and other joints.
How to deal with spinal misalignment issues:
- Consult a chiropractor: who will examine your spine, apply gentle pressure to return your spine to its natural position;
- Do stretching exercises: to keep your back and core muscles strong and flexible, such as yoga;
- Sleeping on a memory foam pillow: offers excellent support to your head and neck which in turn supports the spinal curve.
P.S. Memory foam pillows are available in many shapes. So find one that suits your sleeping position.
Image from: pisapain
3. Memory Foam Pillows Can Help With Pressure Point Relief
If you are suffering from neck and back pain, you will love sleeping on a memory foam pillow. That’s because the pillow provides you with comfort by easing your pressure points so you have a more restful sleep.
You are likely to exert undue pressure on your back and neck via:
- Poor posture while working from a computer;
- Repeated turning of your head from side to side;
- Awkward sleeping position that strains your neck;
- Sudden impact that pushes your head to the side;
- Holding your neck in an abnormal position for a long period;
- Excessive anxiety and stress that builds tension in your neck;
- Looking down at your mobile phone for prolonged periods of time.
Along with the medical treatment that you may be receiving, try one of the following memory foam pillows to offer relief to pressure points:
Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
It is more like a normal pillow but contains shredded memory foam bits and pieces. It’s very comfortable to sleep on.
Wedge Memory Foam Pillow
It’s a versatile wedge-shaped pillow that you can use to prop up your back while reading or working from your bed.
Also, you can use the wedge memory foam pillow to prop up a particular part of your body when injured to aid in injury recovery.
Memory Foam Neck Pillow
It's a contoured or wedge-shaped neck pillow that helps reduce neck pain.
Memory Foam Travel Pillow
It’s a doughnut-shaped pillow meant to fit around your neck. This pillow offers you better comfort while sitting for long hours - such as plane rides, long journeys by road, etc.
Memory Foam Pillow Alternatives
You may prefer an alternative pillow to memory foam for various reasons - some just find them too hard, for example. And that’s totally fine because there are good quality pillow alternatives will help with pressure point relieve as you sleep.
4. Memory Foam Pillows are Hygienic / Hypoallergenic
A good pillow should be easy to clean; everyone wants to sleep in fresh, crisp bedding every night.
Lucky for you, memory foam pillows do not require an elaborate cleaning process. This video shows you how to clean your memory foam pillow the easy way.
Memory foam pillows are also kind to people with respiratory and skin allergies.
Memory foam pillows tend to retain less dust because of the materials they are made from (polyeutherine). They are also skin-friendly. Therefore, when you sleep on a memory foam pillow, you are less likely to experience:
- Scratchy throat;
- Nasal congestion;
- Watery or itchy eyes;
- Itchy red spots on the skin (hives).
In a nutshell, memory foam pillows are hypoallergenic. And again, if memory foam’s not your cup of tea, there are other hypoallergenic pillow options, including:
When to Replace Your Memory Foam Pillow
Although you may love your memory foam pillow, like any other pillow, there comes a time when you need to change it. You see, over time dust mites, oils, human hair, and dead skin collect on your pillow. Even with proper cleaning and care, your pillow will get too old at some point.
So, how can you tell that it’s time to buy a new pillow? Here are the tell-tale signs:
- Your pillows have lost shape due to continued usage;
- The pillow no longer adjusts as per your body contour;
- You have used your pillow continuously for about 2-3 years;
- Your pillow doesn't absorb heat from your body and surroundings;
- The pillow fails the folding test; doesn’t spring back to its original shape after folding.
Looking for high-quality alternatives to memory foam? Maybe something softer but just as supportive? Or even waterproof? Australia’s best hotels trust Australian Linen Supply’s range of luxury pillows for their durability and comfort at an affordable price.