Did you sleep well last night? If not, maybe it’s time to reconsider not only your daily routine but even the pillow you use. It is surprising how a little piece of material, can drastically impact your ability to sleep. Having the right one under your head can make nights more comfortable and restful.
Most people spend at least one-third of their lives with their head on a pillow. The older you get, the more you realise it. Not only does the pillow need to be a good one, but it needs to be one that is suited to your body, your health, and the way that you sleep. A bad one can disrupt your sleep, even if you do not remember waking up in the night or tossing and turning. It can eventually cause low-grade exhaustion or semisomnia.
Selecting a pillow is a very individual process
When it comes to picking the right one, there really is no one pillow-size, shape, or material that fits all. The best way to find the pillow that is right for you is to determine your individual criteria. In general, comfort and support are both important factors including the fillings they are made with. Natural pillows are usually the best choice for improving our overall wellness: those ones filled with grains or seeds, such as spelt, millet, Swiss stone pine and buckwheat, have been proved to be very effective.
Pillows made of Swiss pine shavings, a refined material derived from the Pinus Cembra wood, has many beneficial properties, with positive effects on psychological well-being, health, blood circulation, sleep and heartbeat. In addition, the essential oil contained in Swiss pine improves sleep alleviating problems affecting the upper airways such as sinusitis and cough.
Firm but comfortable, pillows filled with buckwheat hulls are great especially during hot summer as they improve air circulation, leaving our heads less sweaty. In Asia, these pillows are recommended for sufferers of headaches, back pain, snoring, neck pain, migraine headaches, tension, muscle pain, stress, and other problems associated with sleep apnea.
Millet hulls are rich in silicic acid: the compound soothes muscle pain, stimulate the metabolism and improve the immune system. What’s notable about this option is that many manufacturers provide the option to refill the millet inside for customizable sizing, and the millet hulls might be preferable for those who find the buckwheat too loud.
Much appreciated by physical therapists and health farms because of their medicinal properties, organic spelt husk pillows are ideal for a peaceful, relaxing sleep. Due to the thermoregulating properties of spelt husk, these pillows absorb and releases heat gradually, so that they are warm in winter and cool in summer. The little casings wrapped inside the pillow produce a soothing massaging effect, which is beneficial to the health of the spine and muscles.
Alternative natural fillings that might also improve your sleep
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is used as both a pillow stuffing and as a cover. As a filling, hemp pillows can feel like cotton, soft, durable, and yet not too lofty. It’s great for back and side sleepers and its hollow core helps it to regulate airflow and body temperature as you sleep. Hemp is also extremely durable, breathable, and naturally resistant to mould, mildew, and insects (including dust mites).
Kapok stuffing is made from the fibres of a kapok tree. Kapok pillows are similar to those filled with down feathers but made only from plants. They are super plush and compress easily. Kapok is also a good choice for anyone who must avoid allergens in their bedding.
Called dream or comfort pillows, they are filled with relaxing herbs or flowers (such as Calendula, Chamomile or Lavender) and are well known for the ability to ease stress, soothe, and relax.
Once you have chosen your fillings, remember to optimise your bedroom environment, minimising external noise, light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place. Good night.