I love sleep! I really do. “Off to bed late again, have to get up early”. Doesn’t this sound way too familiar? Either you are nursing your baby, working on a new project, cramming for an exam or simply stuck in the Instagram browsing loop, those late nights do happen. Since I shared my 7 Way To Start Your Day Positively I have been thinking of doing something similar related to the night routine. It wasn’t until we moved house that I knew I had to share my advice on how to get better Zs. Don’t get me wrong, because we have been so tired with the move, cleaning, sorting, work and hundreds of items on the to-do list, both my hubby and I have had no problem falling asleep. New bed is comfortable (we are talking mattress) and I am in awe of our cozy duvet. The only struggle that I had came in a form of a pillow. The one that I’ve been using and loving, went all lumpy and bumpy. I knew it was time to get a brand new pillow but I didn’t want to have yet another OK one. I need a perfect one that would suit my “pillow needs”. And thus the search has started.
I have always been a night owl. Back in the good ol’ days when yours truly was working insanely hard to get a degree, my nights turned into “hit the books” time. I was busy at the university from early morning to about 4 p.m. and my evenings were spent either at the library cramming for a seminar / test / exam or at work teaching English as a second language. In no time I developed this routine of being wide awake from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Ironically, it worked like a charm for me and I wasn’t even tired (your body still works FOR you in your late teens and early 20’s!). Eventually, when I got my Master’s, I thought surely I would be getting more sleep but I started my own business which meant even longer days and nights spent working. Plus, very early starts. It’s safe to say that my old routine influenced my sleeping habits. The change came when I had to move to another country (hello, life in the UK) and my body started to play a game against me. Let’s just say, I had to learn how to get my sleeping habits back into a more healthy routine. Having a hubby beside me every evening helped greatly as now my evenings were filled with all the fun things we would get up to: movies, date nights, hanging out with friends, chilling at home. A good night’s sleep was brought back into my vocabulary. Here are 5 tips that made a massive difference for me:
- Develop a routine. If you make an effort and tell yourself you are going to start going to bed at 11:30, do it. Decide what time works best for you according to your schedule and stick to it.
- Prep the room. This might sound unnecessary but it works. Make sure your bedroom is tidy, cool, quiet and dark. When it’s too hot or too light, it would take you ages to fall asleep.
- Digital detox. We all talk about it and know how important it is to take that time off social media. It’s even more crucial to do so before going to bed. Instead of flicking through Instagram for hours, put your phone away and pick up a book.
- Watch your diet. Overeating or starving yourself before you start counting sheep isn’t going to help you in any way. Make sure you feel comfortable food-wise, opt for decaf if you love your coffee and avoid drinking too much water right before bedtime.
- Your bed is the answer. Ok, maybe not so much the bed itself but your mattress, pillow(s) and duvet! Whenever hubby and I travel and find ourselves in a lovely hotel, number one thing that matters is everything that has to do with the bed. You expect a perfect cloud-nine-like sleep and it shouldn’t be different when you spend your nights at home.
Thus begins my story and the “big hunt” (as I like to call it) for a perfect pillow. See, we are sorted with our mattress as well as our soft and comfy duvet. As for the pillow… I have been nearly on the verge of throwing in the towel (excuse the pun). One went lumpy after a few months, another one gave me allergies. The story goes on. Even the GP told me that one of the causes of the migraines I’ve had back in October was the pillow, and, as a result, my quality of sleep. I made it my little mission to do the research about the criteria of a perfect pillow and find a selection of options. It might be the right time for you to change yours and get that peaceful and well-deserved sleep.
After reading numerous articles on how to find the right / comfortable / perfect pillow, I was able to jot down 3 tips for hitting the jackpot when you’re on a pillow hunting mission:
- Your sleeping style. I don’t know about you but I have been a stomach sleeper for a while until I switched to my back and never looked back. Sometimes I’d fall asleep on my left side. I discovered that back sleepers might benefit from a memory foam one (it gives that extra support) while sleeping on your tummy isn’t recommended at all.
- Your budget. It’s simple like that. It really depends how much you’re willing to splurge on a new pillow. Prices do range from under £15 and can go over £200 (?!). In my opinion, a solid amount of £25-£45 can definitely guarantee you a lovely great-quality pillow.
- Your health. My dad has asthma, therefore, a feather pillow to him is like a plastic bag over my head to me. Dust mites and other allergens can easily trigger allergy symptoms. Same can eventually happen to a synthetic pillow if it’s not changed frequently. If you have a back, spine or neck issue you will need to choose a pillow according to those needs.
Basically, a general recommendation for a perfect pillow comes down to the one that is medium firm, not too thick or flat. If you suffer from any pain and need that extra support, there are special pillows (memory foam, latex, micro-bead or buckwheat) out there which will help to reduce the strain. Same goes for those of you who are pregnant – a great body pillow might be the answer. All these different pillows come with pros and cons. After weighing them all out I came to a conclusion that a good quality synthetic or memory foam pillow both check all the boxes when it comes to picking “the one”.
Pros: lightweight, suitable for people with allergies, affordable, not noisy, easy to care for
Cons: need to be changed every 6 months up to two years, go lumpy or out of shape when the “lifespan” is over
Memory foam pillows
Pros: great support and durability, easy to care for, smooth and non-lumpy, provide pain relief
Cons: not the best if you tend to change positions a lot in your sleep, a bit pricey, may get warm because of the lack of ventilation
Images used in this post are from different companies’ websites according to my personal picks of what I thought were great quality pillows. Also, I tried to find great deals for you. Here are my top 7 pillows:
1. Soft and Light Breathable Pillow by The White Company (was £35, now £28): 80/20 blend of polyester fibre and Modal which makes this one lightweight, breathable, moisture-resistant and durable. It gives that down-like feel without going lumpy.
2. Multi-Relax Perfect Partner Pillow by The Yorkshire Linen* (was £35.99, now £17.50): two in one treasure as half of it contains memory foam and the other half is made of soft hollowfibre. Luxurious, perfect for any sleeper, relieves pain and provides needed support.
3. Cluster Memory Foam Pillow by John Lewis (was £40, now £35): memory foam filling and cluster make-up of this pillow makes it possible to provide variable support for all types of sleepers. Smooth, soft and supportive, it would be firm with a gentle touch.
4. Rebound Memory Foam Pillow by Dunelm (was £29.99, now £23.99): another great memory foam pillow with a set of very positive reviews. It might be pricey but it gives that needed support for those who wake up feeling “shattered”.
5. Snuggledown Scandinavian Polyester Pillow by Debenhams (was £20, now £10): incredible deal on this beauty. It’s lightweight, soft due to the filler and lasts for over a year. If you are looking for a great bargain, this one might worth a try.
6. Supersoft Medium Pillow by M&S (two for £35): Smartfil clusters inside this set make for a great shape-taker of a pillow which provides you with very comfortable sleep. Easy to wash and fluff back to their original shape. One pillow is £22.50.
7. Sleep In Silk Pillow by NEXT (two for £25): “don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got” – well, don’t be fooled by the price of these two as they provide a silk blend along with the softness of premium microfibre. Soft to medium support depending on the sleeping position.
If you have almost made up your mind about what pillow would be perfect for you, make sure you add great-quality pillowcases to the basket. Honestly, don’t use your pillow without them. There is an amazing selection of premium cotton, crisp white or colourful, luxurious yet affordable ones here at Yorkshire Linen (premium quality Continental pillowcases – a must-have!), here (soft and silky Egyptian cotton) and here (explosion of colours, patterns and personal touches).
* Collaborated post. Research, advice and opinions are my own.
Hope you enjoyed this post, lovelies.
I have finally narrowed my search down and
can’t wait to test out what might be called my perfect pillow.
Mission accomplished 🙂
I hope this post was helpful to you if you want to improve your snooze.
At the end of the day, we all need a better sleep.
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Leave a comment and let me know what your sleep pattern is like.
Are you a night owl or an early bird (or both)?
Do you have “the right bed”?
What pillow would you like to try or already enjoy using?