When is the last time you replaced your pillow?
If you’re like me, it’s been a while. The only time I think about my pillow is when I’m slinking down into it for the night, and by the time I think about it again I’m back in bed. It’s one of those shopping list items that we often forget about, even though it’s something we use every single day.
It goes without saying that sleep is an important component of self-care. In 2015, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society reviewed 5,314 scientific articles and released a joint consensus statement recommending that adults aged 18 to 60 get at least 7 hours of sleep per night for optimal health. They also point out that healthy sleep requires “adequate duration, good quality, appropriate timing and regularity.”
While there doesn’t appear to be a consensus on how often pillows should be replaced, general recommendations seem to vary from every 6 months to once a year. That’s probably because it depends on many factors, such as whether a pillow protector is being used or if seasonal allergies are a concern.
I couldn’t remember the last time I replaced my pillow, but in recent weeks I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of tossing and turning at night, and I’ve had trouble getting comfortable. With this in mind, my self-care activity du jour was to buy a new pillow. It seemed like a pretty simple experiment (and much less expensive than buying a new mattress).
The pillow aisle reminded me a lot of the yogurt aisle: endless varieties lined the shelves, and choosing one was much more difficult than you might expect. There were down pillows, hypoallergenic pillows, and even special pillows for side-sleepers. Then I had to decide if I wanted firm, medium-firm, or extra-firm. And once I narrowed that down, I had to decide which size: standard, king, or body.
All I know is, last night I slept like a baby. I can’t remember when I’ve had so many dreams, an indication that I entered a deep state of sleep.
And to further prove that health behaviors are contagious, guess what happened after I bought a new pillow? Yep, my husband bought one too.
Is it time to replace your pillow?