If there's one thing many of us know all too well, it's the frustration of yet another bad night's sleep. Perhaps you toss and turn all night long, or maybe you lie in the endless dark, waiting to sleep to come while your partner snores beside you.
Well, you're not alone. According to the Sleep Council's 'Great British Bedtime Report', more than a quarter of us experience poor quality sleep on a regular basis, and a third of us sleep for just five-to-six hours per night.
So, it's unsurprising that we're googling things like "how to sleep better" or "how to improve sleep". From making the room cooler or warmer, white noise to no noise, squidgy mattresses to firm ones, we're doing as much as we can to improve our chances of a good snooze. But, there's actually a really simple reason you might not be sleeping as well as you should be. And the good news is, it's a straightforward and affordable fix...
You're sleeping with the wrong pillow.
That was news to me, until I spoke to Dusk. One of their knowledgeable experts recommended "...choosing the pillow with a firmness level that fits with your sleeping style". And of course, while poor quality sleep is caused by more than just using the wrong pillow, having the right 'equipment' (so to speak) can only boost the likelihood of a regularly restorative rest, can't it?
So, what does choosing the right pillow entail? What are the 'types' of pillow, and what does your sleeping style have to do with it? And more importantly... will this fix actually work?
Choosing the right pillow for a good night's sleep
The wrong pillow can mean a restless night, as well as headaches, sore necks and shoulder tension. So, browse the list below and see if you can identify the kind of sleeper you are.
If you prefer to doze off on your side, you need to pick a pillow that will align your head and neck with our spine. What to choose: a firm pillow, or double up two medium pillows if the height feels right.
If you like to slumber on your front, you won't need much support for your neck. In fact, too much support will quickly feel uncomfortable.
What to choose: a soft, flat pillow with a little 'give' in it.
Those who sleep on their backs need the highest amount of support - that's because your neck needs plenty of support to prevent your head from sinking into the mattress. What to choose: a thick pillow with medium firmness, with a softer pillow on top for extra comfort.
The truth is that most of us are mixed sleepers, going from side to side and spending stretches of time on your back or stomach... even if we find it easiest to fall asleep in a particular position. What to choose: a pillow that's designed for a little all of all the above. Medium thickness with a moderate amount of both firmness and softness will tick enough boxes to ensure you're sleeping comfortably.
Will it work for you?
I've tried a few different variations over the course of the last week (using my own pillows), and while I'm still not a brilliant sleeper (and don't think I ever will be!), a soft, thin-to-medium feather pillow seems to be working quite well. I double up with a firmer pillow while I'm drifting off to sleep on my side, and as the night progresses, I shimmy down the mattress taking just my soft pillow with me for the final stretch on my stomach. It's not a perfect solution - nor a silver bullet for Britain's sleep crisis - but I'd certainly recommend finding the right pillow for your sleeping style.
And with lots of Dusk's pillows half price right now (with 20% off orders over £50), it has to be worth a shot.
Let me know if the quality of your sleep improves. And if you're already a brilliant sleeper? Tell me your secret, please!