Sleep Tight: Signs It’s Time To Get a New Pillow
In the 1977 musical Annie, a little red-headed orphan won the nation’s hearts by reminding everyone that even when life gets hard, we can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that “the sun will come out tomorrow.” When you’re a grownup, however, you’re less comforted by the idea of the sun coming up than you are by the sun going down.
In other words: sleep, glorious sleep. (OK, wrong musical).
But a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by, between the mountain of things to do and kids crying plaintively for one more story. Even our bedding has the potential to turn traitor, especially our pillows. Here are some sure signs it’s time to get a new pillow.
Your Pillow Has Lost Its Shape
A pillow’s one job in life is to hold up your head. To do that, it has to hold its original shape. When it no longer does that, it’s time to kick it to the curb. It may look lumpy, or it may have gone flatter than amateur karaoke night.
An easy way to tell if your pillow is losing its shape is with the fold test. Fold your pillow and hold it down for thirty seconds. When you let go, your pillow should spring back into its original shape. If it doesn’t, chances are it’s not holding its shape as well as it used to—this is a sign you need to get a new pillow.
You Wake Up with Neck Pain
Sometimes, it may not be as obvious from the outside that your pillow is losing its shape. Remember, however, that a pillow’s job is to support your head. A sure sign that your pillow is slacking is if you wake up to an aching neck or head. If you wake up achy and stiff, don’t despair that the ravages of age are finally taking their toll—just pitch your old pillow.
Your Allergies and Acne Start Acting Up
Here’s the thing we often forget about pillows: we put our faces on them for six to eight hours every night (if we’re lucky). Well, think about everything that accumulates on your skin every day, between oils, dust, makeup, and dead skin cells. And all of that goes right into your pillow night after night.
That adds up after a while, even with a pillowcase, and it can subtly affect your body. If you wake up congested or with a bad cough for no reason, that may be because you’re spending your nights breathing in dust. If your skin is breaking out, it may be because you’re pressing dusty, oily fabric to your face for hours at a time. Gross.
It took a bald billionaire to make little orphan Annie’s dreams come true. Fortunately for us, all it takes to make our dreams of a good night’s sleep come true is finding a good pillow. Then, we can all actually look forward to the sun coming out tomorrow.