When was the last time you slept on a brand new pillow? If you can’t answer right away, the answer is probably too long ago. Statistics point that on average people keep their pillows for over three years, and just about half change their bedding and pillow when they realize it’s starting to wear out.
So, how often should you change your pillows? The Sleep to Live Institute in America suggests replacing them periodically, somewhere around six months. Granted, this sounds like a bit much and the Institute does have ties with the industry; regardless, the question still stands.
Perhaps a more practical approach would be using the famous folding test: take your pillow and fold it in half, release it and if the pillow stays folded and it doesn’t spring back again to it’s regular shape, you definitely need to change it. If, however, you would rather use pass of time as criteria, The Sleep Council advises replacing them about every 2 years.
Keeping a pillow too long
In order for neck pain to be avoided, the pillow ideally should suffice the void between the shoulders and your head the moment you lie down. If you were to maintain the same pillow for way too long, it will become flatter, and no longer be able to appropriately support your neck and head every single night. This can lead to pain in your neck and sleepless nights.
Another issue that can arise from allowing yourself to keep the same pillow for too long is infestation by dust-mite. Dust… what? Dust-mites, these microscopic creatures are bugs which feed off dead skin cells and absolutely love warm and very humid environments. Sound familiar? That’s right, your pillow is the perfect place for this creatures to thrive. It is not as terrifying as it sounds, you will never feel them and they’re not the cause or spread of diseases. However, they are one of the most regular elements found in household dust and causes for irritations and allergic reactions.
A world of spores
You are probably now wondering, if that lives in my pillow, what else can? Well, everything fungal spore related, including, but not limited to, the Aspergillus Fumigatus. This spore can cause Aspergillosis, which is an infection that starts with your lungs and can spread to many more parts of your body, even your brain.
When samples of pillows,ranging in use from one and a half years to two years, were brought in for testing by researchers, they found thousands upon thousands of fungus spores per gram of pillow, this indicated that just about any one’s pillow may contain over one million of these spores.
So much as 16 unique fungus species, from fungus that can be found in food like bread; to ones that can be very common in places like showers, were found in singular samples. It was concluded that pillows fabricated out of synthetic materials presented on average higher levels; yet another reason to go for natural wool pillows. It’s very recommended that, if there’s a pregnant woman in the house, change all pillows that are close or over the one year mark, to prevent any potential damage to her and the baby due to fluctuating levels of defenses and just overall more fragile state of the body in the different stages of pregnancy.
The combination of a good sleeping position plus the correct pillow is key for a good night sleep.
If you are waking up with back or neck pain try adjusting your position. Ideally you should sleep on your back with a fluffy pillow that can support you but is relatively thin. For side sleepers, this position is good to keep your spine neutral and avoid snoring problems, this type of sleeper requires a firm pillow that can fill the void between your ear and shoulder; some people with backside problems or pain can try sleeping in their side and put a pillow between their knees, this will help in minimizing said pains.
Letting pillows overstay their welcome can be a serious problem, that’s why there’s no room for negligence; keep present when you buy them, set up a future event alarm in your digital calendar to remind you when it starts being advisable to change them; clean them regularly to avoid malicious bacterias and be mindful of your sleeping position to know what type to buy.
Is there anything that we missed? What has been your experience when it comes to replacing pillows? Share your experience and sound off in the comments below!