Find the Perfect Pillow
Sleep has a profound impact on mental and physical health. In the next 10 years I think we will understand the connection better, but already we know it is very important. Risk of heart disease, blood pressure, and mental health problems are all linked to sleep disorders. To find the perfect pillow for you, there are 10 things you need to consider.
If you sleep on your back this isn’t as big of an issue, but for those who rest on their side at night, this is very important. You need to keep proper neck alignment through the night. When on your back or stomach your neck will be in a good place unless you have some extreme pillow thickness or shape. I highly recommend sleeping on your side, which is healthiest, but keeping your neck in the right spot is much harder. If the head is too high it takes the neck out of alignment and can cause neck pain. If the pillow is too thin, the head droops toward the ground. The result is the same in either case, you get neck pain. The right thickness is very important. Most people will find a four-inch thickness works best. This will support the head while sleeping on your side. If you have broad shoulders you may need a five-inch pillow. If you have narrow shoulders look into three-inch thickness. Here’s an easy way to verify if have the right height. When you wake up is your neck stiff? If it is, elevate your pillow slightly by putting a towel underneath. Try again the next night and see how it feels. At no point should you feel like your head tilts up. This is a sign your neck is not properly aligned.
Firmness is the second most important key. If you sleep on your side that means your ear and the side of your head press against the pillow as you sleep. If you have too much firmness, your ear will hurt. If you have too soft a pillow, you will not get the neck support you need. Going back to the first paragraph, your neck needs to stay in a neutral position. You can have four of five inches of thickness, but if it is too soft, you won’t get the support you need and your neck will be out-of-place. I recommend selecting a medium firm pillow. This will give you the support you need, but keep pressure off the ear.
There are some pillows that stay cool better than others. A high quality pillow will almost always give good heat management. Some pillows have special materials and construction to stay cool. Keeping your head cool will help you sleep better, especially in summer. Some natural pillows excel at this, such as buckwheat pillows. If you tend to sweat at night, look for a special pillow designed to keep cool.
Buckwheat isn’t hypoallergenic, synthetic fiber pillows normally are hypoallergenic. Look for a clear label stating hypoallergenic if you have allergies. Also, if you have asthma, avoid memory foam as some memory foam pillows have a distinct smell that can trigger asthma.
Many pillows don’t come with a pillowcase so verify this before you buy. If you have plenty of pillowcases don’t buy the model that comes with a pillowcase. If you are buying a new size of pillow, realize you may need a new set of pillowcases. So, a king size pillow probably won’t work with you queen size pillowcases. If you are getting an extra thick pillow, you’ll want to get the right size pillowcases.
Thread count, material, and personal preference are important when it comes to pillowcases. Pay attention and realize that each person’s preference is different. You don’t want to go below 180 thread count if you are looking for a good finish. Anything above 200 thread count is high quality and the average person can tell that a 400 thread count pillowcase is softer than a 200 thread count pillowcase. You get what you pay.
Expect a pillow to last about a year. After a year many pillows will lose their shape and support including some memory foam pillows. The notable exception is buckwheat. As they age you can buy and add more buckwheat hulls to make it feel like new.
8. Environmental Impact
Everything we buy affects the environment in some way. There are ways to decrease that when you buy a pillow. Buckwheat pillows offer similarly priced organic options. If you opt for a synthetic pillow look for minimal packaging to avoid waste.
9. The Veto
Be sure to talk to talk to that special someone in your life who holds the veto in you house before buying a pillow and pillowcase. If you can’t agree on your first pick of pillows, start discussing number two on your wish list.
While most pillows and pillow cases come in white, there are many other options that can help you add a more personalized feel to your room. See key 9 when picking a wild color. White is great until it’s not white. Darker colors aren’t a bad option.
If you pay attention to these 10 keys you’ll enjoy your pillow more, sleep better, and have less neck pain. Learn more about the best pillow for side sleepers. You can also see a detailed comparison of sleep apnea pillows.
Bestselling Pillow Related Items on Amazon
Prices are accurate as of January 31, 2014 8:23 am. Product prices and available are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon Services LLC. This content is provided ‘AS IS’ and is subject to change or removal at any time.
In a recent study sleep apnea and blood pressure were studied. What the researchers found is that untreated sleep apnea or sleep apnea treated with supplemental oxygen is not nearly as good as treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine.
The CPAP machine keeps the airway open at night and allows the sleeper to maintain normal blood oxygen levels throughout the night and have normal sleep patterns. This is important because more and more research points to a lack of sleep contributing to mental and physical disorders. In order to see if it was the blood oxygen bubbles that were contributing to the high blood pressure in many studies patients were given supplemental oxygen at night or CPAP. Those with the supplemental oxygen did not receive the same benefits as those with the CPAP.
What does this mean for you? This means if you have sleep apnea you need to seek treatment. The first step should be seeing your physician and getting a consult for a sleep study. The sleep study will examine sleeping and breathing patterns throughout the night. It will be able to diagnose if you have sleep apnea. You will then have a second sleep study to see what level of air pressure you need from your CPAP. At the end of that second sleep study you will be given a consult to go to a medical provider to pick up your CPAP and associated gear. Take the time to properly fit the skier as it will save you a lot of pain and discomfort in the long run.
Once you have all this gear you will sleep with your CPAP on through the night. Your CPAP will keep your airway open while you sleep. This will keep your blood oxygen models at normal levels and will also contribute to decreased blood pressure, if what the study suggests is true. The bottom-line is that if you have sleep apnea there is only one option, treatment. There are many promising alternatives to a CPAP but none that are as reliable or effective as a CPAP today.
Don’t wait for your symptoms to get any worse or for your daytime drowsiness to affect you anymore before you seek medical attention for your sleep apnea. You can even get a battery for your CPAP which will allow you to use it wherever you go. There is no reason anymore you shouldn’t have and use your CPAP. It may just be the best thing you do for your health this year. As if you didn’t need more reason to use a CPAP, it will also silence your snoring.
Life is busy and we have less time than ever. Every generation probably thinks that and ours is no different. Most people find themselves exhausted and some are always exhausted. If this is you, there are four easy things you can do right now to help.
Get Outside To Avoid Being Exhausted
1. Get outside. Each day make a point to get outside and walk while enjoying nature. Sunshine and a bit of activity can be extremely effective if you are always tired.
2. Go to bed at the same time each night. Try to keep it to keep it within one hour if you can. Your body will learn your bedtime and you will fall asleep faster and easier.
3. Talk to people you care about. It sounds strange but positive interaction with those you care about (who likely care about you) can work wonders.
Control Your Room
4. Sleep in a clean, dark, cool room. This can greatly improve your sleep and make you feel rested and refreshed each morning. You can do this easily. Clean your room – every day. Make your room as dark as you can and look where any light is coming in. Reduce the biggest light offenders and search again. Finally adjust your heating/cool to get your room to a cool and comfortable temperature. Cooler is better than warmer.
If you are doing all this but are still exhausted you should see your doctor. There are a number of serious issues that could be causing you to feel tired all the time. Most can be effectively treated but all should be treated seriously. The more we learn about sleep the more important we discover it is.
You don’t have to settle for feeling exhausted all the time, take these four simple steps and listen to your body.
A lack of sleep ages the brain faster researches from Duke have determined. Here’s what they did. They measured the brain volume from MRI scans as people aged and they also tracked how much sleep they got. Can you guess what they found?
Lack of sleep ages brain faster
While it is no surprise that sleep improves athletic performance, cognitive performance, and health – now you can add anti-brain aging to the list of things sleep helps.
So, what does that mean for you?
Get Enough Sleep To Protect Your Brain
It’s that simple, get enough sleep. What does that mean though? It means getting at least seven hours per night. Interestingly, they have also found that getting too much sleep – say nine hours or more, may be harmful also. Those who sleep too long don’t get extra benefits of sleep, they start to see negative trends over people who get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
What should you do?
- Go to bed consistently
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Practice active relaxation before bed
- Control your room’s temperature
- Have good bedding
That’s It Right? Nothing Else?
Wrong, if you do all this but you drink alcohol right before bed guess what? Poor sleep… I’m all for a drink each night (so is the science it appears, but that’s still being worked out). Just don’t drink say two or three hours before bed. If you need a drink to get to bed substitute deep breathing. Deep breaths in for three seconds, hold for five, exhale for five. If that doesn’t feel right adjust it as required. Just concentrate on breathing for a 20 minutes before bed. You’ll have an easier time getting to rest each night.
What About My Spouse?
What should you do if your spouse can’t get on the program? You have a few options:
- Different beds
- Different rooms
- Sleeping masks
- Stern discussion
My advice is talk with your spouse about your need for rest, how it puts you in such a good mood. How your good mood translates to such a happier life (for both of you). Simply going to bed at a reasonable hour the same time each night would really show his/her love for you.
Who wouldn’t go for that talk? I’d adjust my bedtime based on that request.
Adjusting that bedtime could make all the difference. Remember, sleep is a marathon not a sprint. Remember, this study was on older people – you want healthy sleep habits your entire life.
You set your alarm every morning to wake up, why not set another alarm to tell you to go to sleep? We all have alarms in our pockets these days.
It’s no secret we love good pillows, that’s what this site is about. You can learn more about CPAP pillows on our homepage. If you want help winding down in the evening you could check out our friend’s blog on yoga.
According to Dr. Andrew Varga of NYU Sleep Disorders Center who recently appeared on NBC’s Today Show, woman are sleep deprived. Surprised? You should be. I know that I always thought of men staying up late to do things like watch movies or play games. Not the case, apparently women are having their own late nights.
According to the segment a quarter of Today Show viewers who are woman got five or fewer hours of sleep. That’s shocking and here’s why, sleep is more important than we previously knew. In what ways? Continue reading A Closer Look at Womans Sleep Health
You might not think a drink ( like Neuro Sleep) or sleep supplement can help you sleep. That’s what I thought so I decided to try it out. By the end of this post I’ll show you actual sleep data that shows Neuro Sleep did help me have better deep sleep and REM sleep as well as sleep longer. I’d been under lots of stress and sleeping poorly and was willing to try Neuro Sleep. Everyone has had an occasional sleepless night. After a while you can even predict when it is going to happen. There’s a big test tomorrow and I’m super nervous, I’m not going to sleep well. I meet my in-laws tomorrow, I’m not going to sleep well tonight.
I’ve got a big report to give the boss tomorrow and I can’t seem to settle down. Tomorrow the families are all coming for the holidays, there goes my night of sleep. You get the idea, we’ve all been there and had an occasional, terrible night of sleep. We toss and turn, we can’t settle down, our minds are racing, and we spend the night staring at the dark ceiling. We wake up the next day tired and ready for a nap and spend the day dragging until we try to relax and enjoy a good night of sleep. Well, Neuro Sleep, a drink claims it can and I think I believe it after collecting sleep data I’ll share in a moment. Continue reading Neuro Sleep Review – Does it work?
If you have sleep apnea and you want to sleep through the night with your CPAP lean how a CPAP pillow could help. Find reviews, buy, and browse to find the best to help you sleep through the night even if you have apnea sleep and hate your CPAP. You’ll find the right model to fit your needs by clicking “shop” at the top of the screen. Watch the movie later in this page to see if one of these specialty items is right for you. You can browse, compare, shop, and buy the best at our shop.
We explain how to avoid the most common mistake people make (and regret) when they buy before researching. I’m not shy to mention that I think the Core CPAP 280 (the one I personally use) is the top model and you’ll find a complete review and helpful video if you click the banner at the bottom of the page. If you are ready to buy you can visit our shop by clicking on “shop” in the menu at the top of the screen. You’ll find a great selection and free shipping. We also stand behind our products unlike other places that don’t offer returns or refunds.
What you can expect if you buy a CPAP pillow
Expect your CPAP to stay out of the way more, expect a thicker pillow, expect your pillow to fit around your shoulders when you sleep, and expect to toss and turn less. Overall, it will take a night or two to adjust to, but most people (myself included) find it a very comfortable.
The first thing you will notice is that they are thicker than normal pillows. most pillows are actually too thin to support your head when you sleep on your side. These are specially designed to properly support your head while side sleeping. It is actually so comfortable for that that I have to fight my family away at night to use mine. It’s not uncommon for people without sleep apnea to purchase a one because they are one of the only pillows made for side sleepers. Here is a picture of me my pillow to give you an idea of the size.
As you can see, the normal one is on the left and the CPAP pillow is on the right. The CPAP pillow is not as wide, but it is much thicker. You can see it is almost twice as thick. That will take a night or two to get used to, but after you do you will probably find it to be more comfortable.
It is so comfortable most people no longer toss from side to side at night. That usually happens when your pillow makes your ear or neck hurt and you have to turn to get comfortable. With upgrade, that will stop. If you don’t toss and turn your hose will be less likely to get wrapped around you.
Expect your hose to stay out of the way
The CPAP pillow will keep your CPAP out of the way. It does this in three ways:
- It keeps your hose away from you
- It keeps your mask in place
- It keeps you from tossing and turning
Keeping your hose away is important for a number of reasons:
- Keeps it from getting under you
- Keeps it from getting wrapped around you
- Keeps it from getting pulled off your face
Many problems are because the hose gets in the way. When it gets underneath you, your hose just became your mattress since you are laying on it. Sound comfortable? No, it’s not – not at all. It use to wake me up all the time until I figured out how to keep my hose out of the way.
The other way your hose can mess up your sleep is by getting wrapped around you. This is where you wake up in the middle of your dream that you’re a rodeo bull getting roped by a cowboy to find yourself wrapped in your hose.
maybe it even made it all the way around you as you turned 360 degrees in bed. That’s a terrible feeling as you unwind yourself and your mask slips out of place. Finally, having your hose lay across your face is a sure way to wakeup at night.
The reason is because your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. If you take a feather and run it gently across someones face while they are sleeping the odds are good you will wake them up. Now run the same feather across their arm and I bet you won’t disturb them.
Faces are sensitive, there is no getting around it. If you turn while you sleep your hose has a good chance of laying across your face. I know that my hose does that routinely. I’m here to tell you, if a feather across your face will wake you up, a CPAP hose across your face will definitely wake you up. You have to adjust the hose again, maybe turn over a time or two to settle down and get back to sleep. It’s uncomfortable to say the least.
How to use it
It’s actually not to hard, use it like any other pillow – there are a few tips that will help you get more out of it
- Make sure your hose is place in the middle of the pillow
- Wedge it under your head so it touches your shoulder
Here’s a picture of me and the CPAP pillow showing the proper placement of the CPAP hose. The hose should go off to the side of the pillow and above it. The bottom part of the pillow is shaped to prevent the CPAP hose from sneaking under your arm. This only works if you have the hose above the bottom lobe of the pillow as shown in the picture.
If you put the hose below the pillow as shown in the picture below the CPAP pillow won’t keep your hose from getting wrapped around you or getting under you while you sleep. Put the hose above the pillow while you sleep to keep it out of the way.
Expect a thicker pillow
It is almost twice as thick as it’s traditional cousins. This is intentional because most pillows don’t properly support your head and neck if you sleep on your side. Before I got mine I had to stack two pillows on top of each other when I slept.
During the night the top one would normally slide of the bottom pillow or slide out of place waking me up or giving me a stiff neck in the morning. The CPAP pillow on the other hand is four inches thick (if you get the Core 280 CPAP pillow, which is my personal favorite).
This will be a little bit strange for a night or two. Even using two stacked on top of each other I wasn’t ready for the feel of my new Core 280 when I got it. It feels firmer and more put together, if that makes sense.
It doesn’t squish out when you lay down on it like my other pillows did so it kept it’s shape better. At first I was worried it would hurt my left ear since I have sensitive ears and sleep on my left side. Surprisingly, though it was more supportive, I haven’t had one night where I woke up due to ear pain.
This was an welcome surprise because I have had several nights in the past where I did have ear pain that would wake me up at night. The thickness of the pillow is really not an issue after the first night or two – it’s easy to adjust to and I find it more comfortable than two normal pillows stacked to the same height.
Just make sure you get the right thickness based on your shoulder width. Three inches for narrow shoulders, four inches for normal shoulders, five inches is best for thick shoulders. As a point of reference I’m 6′ 4″ 195lbs and find the four inch Core 280 to fit well.
Expect a form-fitting pillow
It is designed to snug up against your shoulders. It’s a very different feel from a normal pillow that doesn’t mold to your bodies contours. The best analogy I can think of here is switching from normal (baggy) t-shirts to a tailored or form-fitting shirt (not tight, but not loose).
Once you go to tailored or “custom cut” shirts that fit you better, it’s hard to go back. They just feel better when you move around. It’s the same with this pillow. you have to sort of wedge it under your shoulder when you go to bed, but the contours of the pillow just fit your shoulders and neck better than a normal pillow. The picture below shows the shape of the Core 280 again.
Click here to buy the Core 280
You can see from the image above that it has contours designed to fit the shoulders. The head fits right in the middle. If you do toss from side to side some people think the pillow isn’t wide enough. The issue is, you need to keep your head in the center of the pillow so they intentionally make the pillow narrow. If they made it wider, they would have to take away the contours.
The second problem with a wider pillow is that it would interfere with your mask. Because the pillow is narrow, the CPAP mask can hang over the side thus keeping it from being pushed out of place.
This is important because having your pillow push on your face will hurt your nose, create air leaks, and make you tighter your head straps. You don’t want any of those things. So, a narrow, form fitting pillow is the best solution for sleeping with your CPAP. Many people (myself included) find they don’t toss or turn anymore if they switch to a CPAP pillow.
A CPAP pillow isn’t for everyone. It will help if:
- You have sleep apnea
- You wake up at night because of your CPAP
- Your CPAP hose wakes you up
- Your CPAP mask is pushed around by your pillow
- You get air leaks during the night because your mask pushed around by your pillow
Do You Have Problems Falling Asleep?
If you do you may not need one. These pillows won’t help you go to sleep. Here’s some advice I can offer to help you go to sleep faster though:
- Take a warm to hot shower 1-2 hours before bed
- Unplug all your digital devices and stop watching TV or playing games 30 minutes before bed
- Concentrate on deep breathing, reading, or gentle stretching before bed.
- If you are not tired don’t go to bed. Decrease your sleep until you start feeling tired at bedtime.
- Need some help? Checkout some helpful yoga advice from our friend Erin on her yoga site
There could be a number of things waking you up at night. If you wake up because of your CPAP you could either use a CPAP pillow or a CPAP hose stand. If you only have problems with your hose a CPAP hose stand may do the trick. If it is a combination of mask and hose problems then you could benefit from a CPAP pillow.
You could feel tired during the day for a few reasons:
- Poor quality of sleep
- Other health issues
If you suffer from a poor quality of sleep you could:
- Decrease caffeine
- Decrease alcohol
- Exercise during the day
- Get 15 minutes of sunlight during the day
These should all help you sleep better at night.
Find Your Perfect Model
Stop struggling with your search for the best CPAP pillow. We’ve researched and compared them all for you. Hi, I’m Jonathan. I struggled for a year to cope with my CPAP. I don’t want you to have to repeat my mistakes. I’m passionate about coping with sleep apnea and mastering your CPAP and I write about this regularly.
The video below should help you understand CPAP pillows and how to find the right CPAP pillow to fit you. Each person is different and if you understand what to look for, you’ll find your perfect fit. Sound too good to be true? Watch the video below and then find your perfect CPAP pillow.
Thickness is the most important part of finding your best pillow. If you have normal width shoulders, a 4″ pillow thickness will work best. If you have narrow shoulders look for a thinner pillow and if your shoulders are wide you may like a 5″ pillow best.
While some people have sensitive ears and need a soft pillow, I think you will find a medium to medium firm pillow will work best for you. This should support your neck and head and let you wake up without neck pain.
Many people have purchased less expensive pillows to find that in a year they need to replace them. A quality pillow will provide a better experience over time. We like Core pillows best and we think they are the finest pillow in terms of quality and customer care.
Worried You May Have Sleep Apnea?
If you have
- Daytime drowsiness
- Gasping while sleeping
- Your breathing stops while sleeping
You should see you doctor.
If you are always tired and don’t sleep well your diet may be the culprit. There are five simple things you can do to improve your sleep, lose weight, and improve your health. While some of these suggestions may seem unappealing, the long-term benefits you will get for your sleep, weight, and health are worth it. Make these changes gradually, start implementing them one day a month (first of each month perhaps). Do that for two months then implement them for two days a month (1st and 15th). Continue reading Tips for better sleeping
Time to learn about finding the best pillow for side sleepers and stop hating your pillow each night. Your neck shouldn’t be sore when you wake up each morning. Getting the the right pillow for side sleeping will keep you from needing to use two pillows or from getting neck pain while you sleep.
The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.
– W. C. Fields
Best Pillow For Side Sleepers: Sore Neck
Side sleepers are in a tough spot when shopping for a pillow. As a side sleeper you need to get a few things just right in order to enjoy your pillow and find your best pillow for side sleeping. If you don’t, you could toss and turn all night or have a sore neck in the morning. Continue reading Best Pillow For Side Sleepers Pillow Matrix
hi, welcome to my blog
i will write any cpap pillow post that i think will be useful to many people
usually side sleepers, because cpap pillow was made because of them ( i think)