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7 Ways Your Pillow Could Be Affecting Your Health

Picking a pillow to sleep on every night is a very important task. You might not realize it, but the kind of pillow you choose and how you take care of it will affect the quality of your sleep and your overall health. For example, the truth about why you haven’t been able to get rid of that stubborn acne might lie in your pillowcase.

We at Bright Side think it’s worth it to take time to learn more about pillows because they can have some negative effects on our health.

1. You might have neck pain.

If you keep your head bent for a long time, like when you sleep, it can cause discomfort. And depending on your sleeping position, it also matters how firm your pillow is. Because if it's too soft or too firm for you, it can cause neck pain.

For example, if you sleep on your side, you should pick a firmer pillow to provide enough support for your neck so that it doesn't bend to the side too much. If you sleep on your stomach, it's better to go for a softer pillow, otherwise, the pillow will push your head back, creating a curve in your neck. And if you sleep on your back, a firm pillow won't be a good choice for you as it might also create misalignment by pushing your neck too far forward.

2. You might have back pain.

The way your pillow supports your head, neck, and shoulders can also influence how your back feels. Improper alignment during sleep can worsen your back pain.

For example, if you sleep on your stomach, it's better to have a flat pillow, otherwise, you might create discomfort in your lower back. For side sleepers, it's important to have a high enough pillow to keep your neck and spine in one line. And those who sleep on their back should opt for a pillow that will support the natural curve of their neck.

3. You might start getting headaches.

Sleeping on the wrong kind of pillow can also lead to headaches. If your pillow doesn't provide proper support, your neck might stay in the same uncomfortable position while you sleep. That can cause your neck to strain, resulting in a headache.

4. You might have an allergic reaction.

If you have trouble sleeping, scratchy eyes, and headaches — or if you're sneezing and feel tired during the day — you might want to turn your attention to your pillow. You should wash it regularly if you want to avoid developing allergies. The reason for this is dust mites, which many people are allergic to. Other symptoms may include asthma, eczema, and sinus issues.

5. You might start losing sleep.

Whether it's allergies that are keeping you up at night or the pain in your neck — a bad pillow can be the reason why you're not getting enough quality sleep. That means your body doesn't have enough time to recharge. Sleep deprivation can cause a wide range of problems from affecting your thinking skills to increasing your risk of diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

6. You might have skin problems.

When you sleep on your stomach or your side, your face comes in contact with the pillowcase. So all your facial bacteria, dirt, and oil rub off onto the pillow. They can irritate your skin and cause acne and pimples.

There are a couple of ways you can solve this problem. You could change your pillowcase regularly, or you could buy a special pillow or pillowcase. Some pillows can prevent you from turning to one side and touching the pillowcase. There are also pillowcases that have ionic silver in their material which kills harmful bacteria.

7. You might snore.

An uncomfortable pillow or a firm pillow that pushes your head forward can cause you to snore. And if you're allergic to dust mites, the inflammation in your nose and throat can block your airway, thus making you snore.

How do you choose a pillow? Have you noticed how your pillow affects your sleep? Please share your thoughts in the comments!