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Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Pillow, Learn How to Pick Them Well

Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Pillow, Learn How to Pick Them Well

If you think about the fact that we spend more than one third of our lives asleep, it seems funny that we don’t spend a larger majority of our income on things related to sleep.

People have no problem dropping absurd amounts of money on appliances or cars but scrimp too much when it comes to their beds and as it pertains to today’s article, their pillows.

You may be better off cutting a little out of your bedroom decorating budget and invest in a top notch mattress and the best pillows you can find. You’ll get the good back support with the mattress but your pillow can be crucial between getting a good nights sleep or not.

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How does your pillow affect sleep quality?

Besides giving you comfort, a pillow is important for supporting your neck and spine. With an uncomfortable and unsupportive pillow you can throw off your lying posture which can result in you tossing and turning all night.

If you’ve been using the same pillow since Knight Rider was on TV, it will have become less supportive over time. You then can be losing a lot of neck and spine support resulting in agravation and pain. This can even affect your breathing and result in a really bad nights sleep.

How the way you sleep determines pillow type

You first need to look at what type of sleeper you are. Some sleep on their sides, some on their back, some on their stomach or if you’re like me, curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb.

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If you sleep on your side you will need a firmer pillow as there becomes a larger distance in your head and you shoulder that can cause neck problems.

If you sleep on your back you can get by with a thinner pillow as you don’t want your head pushed too far forward. Pillows that have a larger loft in the bottom third of the pillow can be great for better neck and spine support.

If you sleep on your stomach you want a very thin pillow as to not push your head out of position too much.

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What makes a good pillow?

A feather pillow is the classic pillow and can actually last the longest up to eight years. A down pillow is also great and can last for up to five. The pillows that have “man made” type fillings are the most inferior and can only last around six months to two years. Sleep experts say it’s a good idea to change your pillow at least every 12-14 months if it’s one of the more inferior type pillows. Even a good feather pillow might have to be changed sooner if it starts to get out of shape and lose it’s support.

A good test to see if your pillow is still supportive is to lay it down on a hard surface and fold it in half and squeeze out all the air. If the pillow returns to it’s normal shape after you release it it means it is still supportive. An overused pillow will stay folded up.

How many pillows do you need?

Depending on your sleep position, one should still be all you need if it’s a quality one. Using two pillows can put your head into an unnatural position and result in that neck and spine discomfort that can cause pain and aggravation. It’s also important to be aware of you having your head in a bad position can affect your breathing causing disrupted sleep and even headaches the following day. A second pillow can be useful however to use between your legs in order to take pressure off the lower back.

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A pillow is just one of those things people take for granted. People are more aware now of how important a good mattress is for sleep but just as much research and education on the best pillows needs to become part of the equation.

Hopefully now you can see how important pillow choice is to you getting the best sleep possible along with what to look for in a pillow and which type should work best for you.

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Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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