8 Signs You Need New Bed Pillows
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It’s well known that quality pillows can make a significant difference to how well you sleep. To maximize their effectiveness, it is wise to replace them every one or two years.
However, some materials may last longer than others and there are a few indicators you should watch out for when it’s time to invest in a new pillow.
1. You’re waking up with a sore neck
Many reasons can contribute to neck pain in the morning, but one common factor is sleeping in an uncomfortable position. This can cause muscles, joints and ligaments to become strained or sprained overnight.
Usually, this isn’t a major concern and the pain will subside after some time. Nonetheless, it’s worth investigating why you’re experiencing such discomfort in the morning. If it persists, this could be indicative of something more serious; thus, seeking medical help is recommended.
A supportive pillow for back sleepers or those with high loft may help maintain proper alignment of your neck and spine. Pillows with high loft (ideal for back sleepers) or a soft, moulded shape may aid in this endeavor.
2. You’re waking up with a headache
Waking up with a headache is never an ideal start to the day. Not only is it painful, but it also prevents you from getting enough rest to be at your best.
If you’re frequently suffering from a headache, there could be deeper-seated issues at play. Consulting a doctor is the best way to determine what’s causing your discomfort and get the appropriate treatment if required.
Many times, if you wake up with a headache it’s likely because either you haven’t gotten enough sleep or your natural sleep cycle has been disrupted due to health conditions or other causes. That is why it is so essential for individuals to create good sleeping habits for optimal rest.
For example, avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime as it can dehydrate you and worsen any existing sleep disorders. Also, ask your dentist about wearing a mouth guard to prevent grinding teeth at night (known as “sleep bruxism”), and ensure you’re getting enough water daily in order to stay hydrated.
3. You’re waking up with a rash
If you find that your bed pillows aren’t providing adequate support, it could be an indication of an infection, blood clotting issue or autoimmune condition. When this occurs, it’s wise to visit a doctor immediately – particularly if the condition is affecting your quality of life.
A rash that looks like hives, which are red or skin-colored welts, may indicate your body is reacting to something it came into contact with such as pollen or pet dander. For an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan, it’s best to consult a board-certified dermatologist.
Pillows collect skin, hair and body oil which can lead to breakouts or stains. Over time, this buildup may leave your pillow with an unappealing smell as well. Most pillows can be washed to eliminate the scent; however if it has been around for some time then perhaps a new pillow is in order – after all, you spend eight hours each night resting on them so make sure they’re in tiptop condition!
4. You’re waking up with a bad smell
Have you noticed a change in your sleep pattern recently? Perhaps you are snoring more or waking up with sore neck? Whatever it may be, these could all be signs that something needs to change.
You might also detect a persistent smell in your room that won’t go away. This could be caused by food spills, leftovers or crumbs stuck to your bed sheets.
When trying to decide if it’s time for a replacement pillow, your pillow can be an excellent starting point. If it’s difficult to fluff it up or it deflates rapidly, chances are it’s time for replacement.
Your tongue can also be a source of bad breath odor. As bacteria digest food particles on the back of your tongue, they release volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). VSCs are believed to be responsible for that morning mouth smell. To eliminate lingering bacteria, try using a tongue scraper before bed. If you suffer from chronic halitosis (bad breath), dental appointments may be necessary to identify its cause.
5. You’re waking up with a discoloration
Pillows play an integral role in your health. Not only do they support your head and neck, but they create a barrier between you and the mattress. Furthermore, pillows absorb body oils, hair, and dead skin cells which can lead to odors or allergies.
Karen Yu, marketing manager at Zinus UK, suggests replacing your pillow if it appears discolored or smells unpleasant. This could indicate that it has become worn out and no longer provides adequate support.
No matter how often you wash your pillow, it can still accumulate sweat and moisture stains over time. These spots are permanent and unsightly, so be sure to replace your pillows soon.
Eventually, these stains and spots can lead to the growth of fungi. Furthermore, these spores attract dust mites – a common allergen.
6. You’re waking up with a lump
If you’re finding that your pillow is becoming lumpy in the mornings, it may be time for new bed pillows. With today’s advanced pillow technology featuring anti-microbial fabrics and foams that help repel germs, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade?
Your doctor’s office might be able to help you sort this one out. They’ll conduct a physical exam and review your medical history in order to assess whether a lump should be monitored over time or biopsied for further evaluation.
You might also notice your current pillow is either too tight or fluffy, which could contribute to neck and back discomfort.
A common sign that it’s time for a pillow replacement is when it doesn’t feel quite right. This could be a sagging neck or an overstuffed head, or it could simply be due to a mattress being too hard for your body type.
If your pillow has an unpleasant odor, you may want to consider replacing it. This usually indicates a buildup of sweat and body oils in the pillow; however, it could also signify that you’re not using it as intended.
7. You’re waking up with a sagging neck
No matter how youthful-looking your neckline appears, it’s no denying that it is more vulnerable to signs of aging than other parts of the face. With thin skin and low oil gland count, it is more vulnerable to sun damage, photo sensitisation from fragrances, and repetitive motion such as looking down at a phone.
The good news is that you can reduce the appearance of sagging neck skin with lifestyle modifications and anti-aging products. These include moisturizing your neck and decolletage, drinking plenty of water, limiting sun exposure, and getting quality sleep.
You don’t have to live with a sagging neck forever – medical help is available! Botox injections, neck lift surgery (platyplasty), and Botox are just two examples of treatments available that can smooth away fine lines and creases caused by aging. Best of all? These treatments are relatively safe and effective if taken seriously for your wellbeing. To find out if you could benefit from some TLC, book an appointment with one of our highly-trained physicians today!
8. You’re waking up with a sore back
If you’re finding that you’re waking up with a sore back, it may be time for new bed pillows. Whether you’re a back sleeper or side sleeper, having a pillow that supports your neck and spine is essential for getting enough rest each night.
A pillow that is too high or stiff can cause your neck to flex overnight, leading to soreness in the morning. Conversely, keeping your spine in its natural curve with the correct pillow can reduce neck pain and stiffness.
No matter your sleeping position, use a pillow that is thick enough and slightly higher than your head to support your neck and maintain the natural curve of your spine. It doesn’t have to be memory foam–traditionally shaped pillows can provide similar advantages.
If your pillow becomes discolored from sweat, body oils and drool, it could be a sign that it’s time for replacement. Not only are the stains embarrassing but they attract other bugs into your bed which could trigger allergies or other respiratory issues.