Is Your Pillow Ruining Your Sleep?

Quality sleep is the great white whale of modern America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 33% of adults in the United States don’t get the recommended amount of sleep on a daily basis. If we were to factor in sleep quality, we could reasonably expect to see that percentage increase even further. So, is your pillow ruining your sleep?

Is Your Pillow Ruining Your Sleep?

The reasoning behind widespread sleep deficits in the United States is complex. Lifestyle habits, a lack of free time, and regular exposure to blue light all play their role in making it difficult for American adults to get the sleep they need. However, far more direct causes often get ignored, especially the quality of your pillow and mattress.

Assessing Sleep Quality

For people suffering from insomnia, it’s fairly easy to identify poor sleep quality. Insomnia tends to be chronic, and makes it difficult for people to fall asleep when they first go to bed. A severe case may leave a person lying awake for hours, but it may cause a person to wake up in the middle of the night with no apparent cause. With that said, if you don’t have a serious case of insomnia, poor sleep quality can be a little more insidious.

In some cases, people don’t struggle to fall asleep initially, and they don’t actually wake up in the middle of the night. Instead, their sleep cycles simply fail to stay in deep sleep for the normal period of time. This failure to achieve deep sleep causes people to wake up feeling tired and groggy. This is not a normal experience and suggests that something is preventing you from getting restful sleep.

Examining Potential Causes

Addressing sleep hygiene is always the first step when it comes to improving your sleep quality. Good sleep hygiene generally includes:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule every day of the week
  • Avoiding screen time for an hour before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine late in the day
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Washing your sheets at least once per week

In addition to improving your general sleep hygiene, you should also evaluate the condition of your current pillow and mattress before talking to your sleep deprivation doctor in NYC.

For the best effect, pillows should be replaced every 1 to 2 years. We don’t always track how old our pillows are, but some easy signs indicate your pillow is past its expiration date. The first, and most important, sign is your comfort. If you’re waking up with a sore neck or feel that your pillow isn’t providing adequate support, then it’s time for a change. Other signs include lumps, sagginess, and yellowing. Similar rules apply to your mattress, but its lifespan is closer to 10 years.

Treating Sleep Disorders

Once you’ve eliminated the most common causes of sleep disturbance, you can safely assume that you need professional guidance. Your sleep doctor in NYC will talk you through your medical history as well as your symptoms during your initial visit to help provide context for your treatment. You will likely need a sleep study to confirm your diagnosis.

With a confirmed diagnosis, you and your doctor can begin to explore the best treatment options for your condition. Once you have a treatment that works, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel getting eight hours of sleep every night. Sleep is absolutely vital to our health. If it takes a new pillow or a sleep-assisting device to get the sleep you need, then it’s always worth it to feel well-rested.

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