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Memory Foam Pillows: Complete Sleep Benefits & Guide

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Sleeping on memory foam pillows can offer a number of health benefits. Memory foam pillows are unique because of the heat reactive cushioning insulator. This signifies is that when pressure is applied alongside heat, the foam reshapes itself to adapt to the object. That is the reason why memory foam pillows shape to the head and neck better than other pillows.

In regards to comfort and quality sleep, cost shouldn't be a concerning variable. It should be said that while memory foam pillows can cost the same or more than aggressive conventional pillows. Memory foam pillows provide a variety of benefits that conventional pillows don't provide. When you compare costs of different pillows, also consider the price of replacing pillows over the lifetime of the memory foam pillow. If you add this value to the other benefits of sleeping with a memory foam pillow, you may observe how well the benefits begin to stack up.

Soft, cool foam you can literally sink into

What Is Memory Foam?

First made from the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a viscoelastic material. It is equally exceptionally energy absorbent and soft. These materials hold their shape when you quickly apply a pressure to them, but when you apply a pressure slowly like you do when you sit or lay on them, they will gradually change their shape.

Memory foam molds to the body in reaction to pressure and heat, evenly dispersing body weight. It then returns to its original shape as soon as you eliminate the strain applied by the body.

Besides protecting against impact, these properties make memory foam quite comfy. For instance, it was used as cushioning in shoes and helmets. Medicine has found a use for it in prosthetics and objects to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people that are severely handicapped.

After this period, memory foam actually took off. It is now well-known for its use in cushions, mattress pads, and beds, which come in different densities and depths.

Top 5 reasons to use memory foam pillows

  1. Spinal Alignment
    Do you suffer from headaches, neck or back pain? This is typically brought on by poor spinal alignment. The most important health benefits of sleeping on memory foam pillows is spinal distress. As you put your head and neck on thepillow, the warmth and weight of the body permit the foam to reshape itself. This compels the pillow to give greater resistance beneath the heaviest parts of the mind, and equally support the more pressure sensitive neck area. Good spinal alignment helps reduce tossing, turning and distress. It enables your muscles to relax properly offering natural spinal support to your body, adapting to your distinctive shape promoting a deep relaxed sleep.
  2. Pressure Points
    Memory Foam is designed to shape itself to the unique shape of your body to help encourage your head and neck. They supply even support for your throat and head since the memory foam reforms less where it does not have to, and more where the pressure is raised. This allows for uniform strain on every area of the head and neck, getting rid of pressure points.
  3. Hygienic and Hypoallergenic
    Memory foam is a synthetic material. It was originally designed for NASA in 1966 to enhance sleeping states in shuttles. Memory foam products are nontoxic and safe. Memory foam pillows are naturally hypoallergenic inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus and dust mites. This is an advantage for anyone with allergies to dust mites, feathers, or other all-natural pillow materials.
  4. Sleep Apnea
    The precise benefits for all those who have sleep apnea are undetermined. But, it is commonly considered that the spinal alignment also contrasts the airways better permitting easier breathing. The absence of pressure issues with memory foam may also be a benefit to people who have sleep apnea, as there is less tossing and turning. This contributes to sound, restful sleep.
  5. Durability and Aesthetics
    Memory Foam Pillows keep their shape so they will not go flat like traditional pillows. Memory foam conforms to match the neck and head, but as it cools, it reverts to its original shape. Feather and fiber filled pillows develop lumps, go apartment, or just plain wear out over time. Memory foam contributes to its shapereliably, again and again. They outlast other top quality pillows simply by design.

Are memory foam pillows good for your neck?

Sleeping on the wrong pillow may often be the reason behind neck pain when you wake up in the morning, sleep disorders and overall physical distress. Typically, issues like these do result from getting the wrong pillow and even the wrong mattress, but if you begin with your pillow, you're going to be able to resolve many physiological issues on your shoulders and neck for relatively little money. Memory foam pillows, for instance, can actually make a difference in your long-term health.

The human body has a natural alignment that should be maintained to achieve a soothing and deep sleep. For example, when lying on your bed, you should ensure that your neck and shoulder are in suitable positions. Your shoulders should never be in a position that is ninety degrees to the mattress. If you sleep on your side, then your shoulder should not be right beneath the rest of the body. When you side sleep and your arm and shoulder are directly beneath you, you can damage your muscles by impeding blood flow. You could also trigger muscle spasms in your upper back and neck. This can subsequently cause discomfort once you're awake since these critical muscles stabilize the head and need to be at rest when you sleep.

Another element in inappropriate shoulder positioning is it will typically prompt an improper neck and head position. For example, sleeping with your shoulders in 90 degrees to your mattress may cause you to lift your head to an unnecessarily large position. This may result in needing to use a larger pillow or an excess firm pillow to prop up your head and this can cause shoulder issues and make your situation worse.

Your head and your shoulders should align because they do whenever you are awake, and need to when you're sleep. Your head and neck ought to rest nicely between your shoulder blades since this alignment will allow your body to return to a comfortable position. If a pillow leaves your head in a downward angle or in an upwards angle you are in fact putting strain on your joints, spine and muscles during sleep, which may lead to muscle fatigue and cervical neck problems after an extended time period.

Specifically, your cervical vertebrae, both the C2 and C3, can be compromised by poor posture over the long-term during sleep if you're a side sleeper. Discs can herniate and bulge when consistently irritated and are poorly positioned. Furthermore, if you sleep on your back and you place too much or too little cushioning under your head, you can irritate your C6 and C7 cervical vertebrae.

Over the long term, any issues with your shoulders and neck will be closely associated with each other. If you develop one issue, another is almost sure to follow unless you address the root cause. Sleeping in proper alignment is critical to your overall health and well being. Choosing the correct pillow, like a memory foam pillow which can properly support your head and neck in the correct position, can mean the difference between continuous pain and a healthy spine and neck.

How to clean a memory foam pillow

Your favorite bed pillow is a very personal choice. Some sleepers enjoy a sturdy, strong pillow. Other people prefer a squishable, soft cushion. However, regardless of your taste, routine cleaning is a must.

Think about it. Your pillow is just one of the most used things in your possession. It deserves, and needs, a fantastic cleaning.

The key to maintaining a clean pillow is knowing which type of material is used inside. Whether you have a pillow made of memory foam, one of latex foam or polyester fiberfill, natural down feathers, the best thing you can do to protect your pillow is to utilize a removable pillow cover that you can wash in a washing machine. The cover should be made from a breathable all-natural fiber such as cotton, bamboo or linen and constantly used in addition to a normal pillowcase. Wash it at least a month with warm water and more often during hot weather or if someone is sick.

If you own a memory foam pillow, then you still have a head start on maintaining a clean pillow because memory foam is naturally sterile resistant to bacterial growth and dust mites. But it should still be cleaned once or twice annually and after any spills. The identical cleaning technique can be used for regular memory foam, gel-infused memory foam or memory foam with gel inserts pillows.

Remove the outer covers of the pillow for cleanup the surface
Once the covers are removed, toss it in the wash.

Sprinkle the pillow with baking soda
Allow the baking soda to sit down for at least an hour and then rinse if off by using the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum along with a handheld vac. This will leave your cushion smelling clean and eliminate any dust or pet hair which may be about the pillow. Flip the pillow over and replicate.

Mix a tiny amount of a gentle detergent like one used for washing wool or silk at a bowl of lukewarm water to remove stains
Dip a clean white fabric to the detergent solution and gently rub in the exterior of the stain toward the center. Keep moving into a clean area of the cloth as the stain is moved. Continue moving to a clean area of the fabric as the blot is moved. Continue moving into a clean area of the fabric as the stain is moved. Once the stain is gone, dip a clean white cloth in plain water and blot to remove any remaining soap.

Allow the pillow to air dry completely
If you need to accelerate the drying process, use a hair dryer set on cool to dry the pillow.

How long does a memory foam pillow last?

The life of your pillow chiefly depends on the substance used in the pillow. Natural cushions made up of feathers or down often last longer and it is normal for them to have a life of 5 to 7 years. Synthetic pillows on the other hand have to replaced sooner as most synthetic cushions don't last longer than two or three decades.

When it comes to replacing a pillow, there is no exact science as there is no commonly accepted definition of a dead pillow. So, a decision to change a cushion frequently comes down to personal choice. Typically, many men and women use a simple fold-over test which involves folding a cushion and then see if it comes into its initial shape instantly or not. Down and feather pillows need to be tossed immediately if the pillow has not come into its initial shape after eliminating the strain.

This fold-test is somewhat tricky when it comes to memory foam pillows, but most experts recommend putting a weight of 400 to 600 grams after folding the pillow for about 5 minutes and see in how long the pillow returns to its original shape when the weight was lifted from the pillow. If it takes a very long time for your memory foam pillow to return in its original shape, then it is time to replace the cushion using a brand new one.
There are some other factors as well that can guide you when it comes to swapping out your old memory foam pillow for a new one such as the elasticity and temperature sensitivity.

Memory foam pillow manufacturers use a high quality memory foam for building memory foam cushions as these are deemed essential for the health of your shoulders and neck. However, like other kinds of cushions, memory foam pillows will also lose their shape and other features with continued usage. Temperature sensitivity of memory foam is also influenced by this and time frequently functions as the perfect reminder for when you have to change your memory foam pillow.

Most people notice the difference when their memory foam pillow is no longer adjusting each the body shape and isn't absorbing heat from the body and surroundings. This frequently contributes to a coldness and lack of warmth that is often connected with memory foam cushions and mattresses.

Regardless of those changes most health consultants and medical practitioners advocate changing the memory foam cushions after two to three decades of continuous use. Some memory foam cushions may last somewhat longer but those are generally of very large quality and quite expensive.

What is the correct way to use a memory foam pillow?

Place the flat side of your pillow facing down on your mattress and orient the pillow together, with the larger of the two curves toward the foot of your bed. This will provide maximum support for your neck and head, regardless of whether you sleep on your side or your back.

Settle into your pillow and allow your mind sink in. Even if the pillow seems too hard for you at first, stay with it. In a couple of minutes, you will feel that the pillow adjust to your head, neck, and shoulders on account of your body heat. It will take a few moments for the foam to change position when you do. Know that as the foam cools, it becomes stiffer. The time it takes to warm up is an ideal time to take a few relaxing breaths or to meditate to get a couple minutes to prompt your body and brain to have a deep and sleep.

Memory Foam cushions not ideal for stomach sleepers - it's recommended you don't sleep on your stomach with one of these. The cushion's unique shape can put a stomach sleeper's head and neck at odd angles, which can increase neck pain and headaches.

Sleeping on your stomach, whatever the kind of pillow you use, may cause you to awaken with a stiff neck and may negatively affect your shoulders, upper back, jaw, and essential organs. Employing a contoured pillow may prevent sleeping on your stomach as a result of overall discomfort.

Regardless of your preferred place of sleep, memory foam pillows are able to help you have a better rest every night, even if it means teaching your body to not sleep on your tummy. And better sleep assists in reducing stress and increasing alertness.

Which is better gel or memory foam pillows?

Gel-infused memory foam is very similar to regular memory foam. That is because, in its most common form, it is simply memory foam which has had gel microbeads mixed into it.

The gel notion, it seems, really kicked off after Serta released their iComfort gel memory foam mattress. As a result of the addition of this science, gel-infused memory foam will do a much better job of maintaining your temperature during sleep and may increase the density of the pillow.

There are two types of gel that may be used this way. One is thermally conductive, which can feel cool to the touch, much like a stone countertop. Another is a phase-changing material, which is a little more complex, since this substance can store and release heat over a specific temperature range. In this way, it helps control the temperature of your body as it cools off during sleep.

The gel microbeads manage to create a material like the aforementioned open hole memory foam. Since this material has extra space for allowoing air to flow through the memory foam, it will help increase the amount of heat which can be transferred away from your body. Additionally, the gel works to absorb some of that heat, making it cooler yet.

All of this, of course, depends significantly on the amount of gel that has been infused into the pillow, as well as the quality of the material used. These are things to look for when you’re thinking about what to pick up.

The Benefits of Gel-Infused Memory Foam
In many ways, the general feel of this material is quite similar to regular memory foam. The material generally retains its shape, but you also now have countless gel beads infused into the pillow, designed to wick away heat and keep you cool through the night.

The foam density plays a role in gel-infused materials, but a gel-infused pillow has one big benefit: The gel microbeads add to the density of the pillow. This means you’ll experience some added durability along with the additional comfort of the pillow.

Negatives of Gel-Infused Memory Foam
One particular downside of note is the fact the gel beads can lead to more rapid degradation of your pillow. This point relies heavily on the size of the gel beads that are mixed in with the memory foam, since larger beads can cause the cellular structure of the pillow to break down over time, rather than strengthening it.

Another problem people have run into with gel-infused memory foam is that, while it does initially keep heat away, it isn’t a permanent feature. Given enough time, you will ultimately find yourself warming up. Overall, this is less of an issue though as our bodies cool down when we sleep, anyway.