Different Types of Sleeping Disorders: What You Need to Know

sleeping disorders

Different Types of Sleeping Disorders: What You Need to Know

About 50-70 million US adults are being affected by sleeping disorders. Further studies reveal that being unable to sleep properly has caused road accidents that resulted in about thousand deaths and forty thousand injuries.

It comes across frequently in our lives that we cannot find that sweet spot of sleeping. There are nights that our consciousness just cannot put it all together to let our bodies rest in sync. Sounds harmless at hindsight, right? But if we are talking long-term here, the sleepless nights or just screwed up sleeping patterns accumulated can cause serious health problems and real-world physical harm to ourselves.

With that, it is better to educate ourselves about the different types of sleeping disorders in our lives and possible remedies to combat them, so we can be worry-free the next night we lay flat in our beds.

5 Most Common Sleeping Disorders

In this article we will look at the five most common sleeping disorders and their treatment.

1. Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders in humanity. It refers to the difficulty of a person to get sleep or staying asleep. There are two types of insomnia, and they are:

  • Transient or short-term insomnia – This usually occurs after a stressful life event, such as loss of a loved one, relationship issues, numerous career flops, and many more. Due to the anxiety that it causes, it usually leads to unrelaxed consciousness that compromises our ability to sleep.
  • Chronic insomnia – This is a more of regular type of insomnia wherein it is characterized by sleep deficiency patterns alternating with days of good sleep.

If you have insomnia, you could be already experiencing any of the following:

  • First, you cannot sleep despite your fatigue.
  • Second, you fell short of recommended sleeping hours.
  • Finally, you experience restless sleep and feel exhausted upon waking up.

Common treatments for insomnia

Medications for insomnia are usually tailored to target the underlying causes. If the root cause of poor sleep is due to anxiety or depression, then your physician may prescribe you with something that treats such conditions. There are also medications for sleep that can be prescribed as well, but they are more of a short-term solution or as-needed basis type of medication.

If you are uncomfortable with taking that much medicine, you can resort to non-medical methods such as cognitive behavior therapy, hypnosis, sleep restriction, and relaxation techniques. Lifestyle changes are also welcome.

2. Narcolepsy

If insomnia is the sheer lack of sleep type of condition, narcolepsy is somewhat on another opposite direction. It is a disorder that causes you to suddenly fall asleep at any given point of time no matter where you are. You can experience this while eating, socializing, or even driving. The consequences of this can range from mild to something dire, depending on what you are currently doing.

Now, you could have narcolepsy if you experience the following:

  • You fall asleep without warning.
  • You feel drowsiness during the daytime.
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Cataplexy (temporary loss of muscle control that leads to weakness).
  • Hallucinations of being asleep or awake.
  • Disturbed nighttime sleep

Common treatments for narcolepsy

To counter narcolepsy, the usual treatment is via scheduled naps and medication. The diagnosis of narcolepsy is done through overnight polysomnogram followed by a daytime study called a multi sleep latency test.

3. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is described as a serious yet common sleeping disorder. This happens when your airway is being blocked, causing stoppages in breathing. This often results in snoring, choking, and even morning fatigue as soon as you wake up.

You could have sleep apnea if you experience:

  • Dry or sore throat in the middle of the night
  • Loud snoring
  • Sudden awakening accompanied with gasping or choking
  • Sleepiness during daytime
  • Lack of energy
  • Headache
  • Extreme fatigue

Common treatments for sleep apnea

There are a lot of ways to treat sleep apnea, such as weight management, positional therapy, and surgery. But perhaps the most common treatment of them all is called CPAP therapy.

CPAP therapy or continuous positive airway pressure, as they call it, is the process of using a CPAP device to synthetically pump air through the airway through a mask and tube installed to the device to clear the blockade in your airway. Before using one, make sure to clean your equipment first using a CPAP cleaner. A CPAP cleaner is a specially manufactured sanitizer that uses UV or oxygen technology to keep your device and equipment clean and safe to use.

A CPAP cleaner is commercially available through online outlets so make sure to get one before using your CPAP device.

4. Restless Legs Syndrome

This unusual sleeping syndrome is characterized through the uncontrollable urge to move your legs while you are resting. There is also a feeling of tingling, aching, or burning in your calves. This can also be felt in other body parts as well.

You could have RLS if you experience:

  • Strong urges to move your legs.
  • Crawling sensation or ache in your legs.
  • Worsening of symptoms during night or inactivity.
  • Relief as you stretch, walk, or move.

Common treatments for restless legs syndrome

To treat RLS you must undergo behavioral therapy and medications, specifically the type that can supply iron. You can also start by reducing intake of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol, regular exercise, and developing good sleeping habits. During episodes of RLS you can do some self-treatments like leg massaging, hot bath, hot and cold compress, relaxation exercises, and mind exercises.

5. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

REM sleep behavior disorder is the acting out of your dreams while you sleep. Basically, this is when you re-enact whatever it is you see on your dreamland. This can cause danger to you or anyone around you so you must take this disorder seriously.

You could have REM sleep behavior disorder if you experience:

  • Unnecessary movement of limbs during sleep.
  • Doing activities like shouting, talking, punching the air, screaming, etc.

Common treatments for REM sleep behavior disorder

Treatment options for REM sleep behavior disorder include the intake of:

  • Melatonin, which may help reduce or eliminate symptoms.
  • Clonazepam eases up anxiety which could be the driving force behind the disorder. Make sure to consult your physician first before taking any of these.

Non-medical treatments include changes in the sleep environment and making it as safe as possible so no further harm will be inflicted.

Final Thoughts

It is crucial that you consult with your physician and deal with your sleeping disorders as early as possible. A sleep disorder not only causes yourself a great deal of health problems, but it can also inflict a whole world of inconveniences and serious harm to your colleagues and loved ones. There is always help and treatment around, so never hesitate to seek them the moment you start to feel these sleeping disorders.

Sources:

4 Tips to Sleep Comfortably While Camping

sleep comfortably while camping

4 Tips to Sleep Comfortably While Camping

The hustle and bustle of city life can get anyone down. That’s why more and more people are escaping into nature, replacing cold concrete environments with natural greenery. Data shows that time out in nature can do wonders for your mental health and even benefit your physical health. Camping gives us the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in nature, breathe in the fresh air, and spend a few days just moving instead of sitting in front of a computer. Most people plan out their camping trip by focusing on the daytime activities -- hiking, skiing, sightseeing but one of the worst things you can do is forget to prepare for the night. In fact, to get the most out of your escape its important to sleep comfortably while camping.

A few nights of restful sleep can greatly improve your mood and energy levels, but you have to take special steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your nights.

Here are a few tips to help you get the best sleep possible while camping.

Pick the Right Spot

Before you start setting up your tent or pulling out the air mattresses, it’s worth spending a bit of time to find a great camping spot. Of course, every person is different, so your own idea of what makes the “perfect spot” depends entirely on your own preference. Here’s a short list of a few of the things you might want to consider.

Things to Consider
  1. 1
    Look for a hard, flat surface. There’s no worse feeling than sleeping at a slight angle or on top of rocks and exposed roots. Spending a night with things pricking and prodding at your back is a great way to wake up in a bad mood -- if you can fall asleep at all! For those who prefer the comfort of an air bed, you should take precautions to prevent your air mattress from deflating at night by not placing it on any rocks or sharp objects (and maybe even placing a sheet underneath it).
  2. 2
    Find a place that’s quiet at night. If you’re camping in a park, you can get more restful sleep by picking a spot that’s further away from park facilities. Yes, this means you’ll have to walk a bit further to get to the best hiking spots, but it’s worth it for more restful sleep away from the noise of RVs and other camping groups. If you can, try and set up near a brook. The white noise will help you go to sleep.
  3. 3
    Face your tent toward the rising sun. Waking up to the rising sun helps reset your biological clock to its natural timing. Our circadian cycles are out of sync due to all the exposure to artificial lighting and computer screens. By orienting your tent to face the sunrise, you’ll wake up every morning to the sun’s soft glow. Additionally, facing the morning sun also means its light will be behind you later in the day, not in your face when you’re setting up for evening activities.

No Screens Before Bedtime

We’re so attached to our phones that they’re the first thing we go for in the morning and they’re the last thing we look at before sleep. However, there’s scientific evidence that shows that the sharp light from our phone screens is responsible for the poor quality of sleep we’re all getting. The blue, artificial light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that manages your body’s sleep cycle.

Leave your phone for emergencies and allow yourself to just enjoy nature and sleep comfortably while camping.

No, I’m not proposing you leave modern life behind and live in the wilds as our ancestors did, but a few days away from your phone can do wonders for your internal clock. After all, humans have spent almost their entire existence scheduling activities and sleep on the rising and setting of the sun. Let your body reset and re-tune to its natural settings.

You’ll find you wake up earlier in the day energized by the best rest you’ve had in months.

Prepare for Pests

Shutting the zipper on your tent’s entrance at night is second nature to most people. Who wants woodland critters getting into your food? But many campers forget the absolute havoc mosquitoes can wreak. The worst part is that they’re so small that they might already be in your tent by the time you close up. It doesn’t even take that many to ruin your night -- just one or two will have you scratching and slapping until morning.

One option is bug spray. A good spray will take out mosquitoes within a minute, but you’ll have to sleep with the smell in your nose all night. If you’re going for the spray, it’s good to release some into your tent a few hours before you go to bed. Keep the entrance closed to allow the spray to work its magic, then enter once you’re ready to sleep.

No camper should leave their home without bug repellant. Whether it’s a spray or a lotion, bug repellant will keep mosquitoes away the whole night through. While very effective, they’re not a complete solution since repellants aren’t meant to be applied to your face.

The best solution is a mix of both. Spray your tent to get whatever bugs have crept in during the day, then apply repellent on your arms, legs, and neck before bed. Don’t forget to zip up whenever you enter or leave your tent.

Regulate Your Body Temperature

Nights out in nature can get really cold. Even if you’ve got a sleeping bag, it’s good to bring along a blanket or two just in case. You can also line your bag with tomorrow’s clothes to keep your toes warm.

For air beds, you can get a nice mattress topper to help make your sleeping experience more comfortable. A good, thick one will help keep the heat from escaping out from beneath you.

Sometimes the nights are actually too warm for comfortable rest. In this case, you can sleep without a blanket or on top of your sleeping bag. Dressing down can help as well -- assuming you’re comfortable enough to do so with your tent mates -- but you’ll need to be extra cautious of mosquitoes getting at your exposed skin.

Opening the door to your tent will allow the cool night breeze in and increase air flow. This is a good option if you’ve got a mosquito net or some other meshed material to prevent animals and mosquitoes from getting in.

Preparation Makes for Great Rest

Just a bit of forethought and preparation can help you get the most of your nights out camping. And the better your rest, the more energy you’ll have to do all the activities you want during the day.

While these tips mostly apply to camping in a tent rather than a camper or RV, there are plenty of ways to make sleep in an RV more comfortable.

Your camping trip will be so much more enjoyable if you’re able to figure out how to sleep comfortably - follow these tips and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

What are the Best Therapeutic Pillows for Cervical, Back, Hip Pain

What are the Best Therapeutic Pillows for Back Pain in 2020?

A good sleeping posture not only helps you sleep well but also ensures that you wake up without pain or stiffness. In fact, a good sleep posture means that your knees, hips, spine, chest, shoulders, head and neck are all aligned. In addition to the mattress, therapeutic pillows like the cervical pillow for neck pain, the lumbar pillow, and the knee pillow help you get that right sleeping posture. For instance, a cervical pillow helps align your head with the spine. Next, a lumbar pillow helps align the lower back. Finally, the knee pillow helps align the legs and hips with the spinal column.

Answer: Best Therapeutic Pillows For 2020

Therapeutic Pillows Reviewed

Table of Contents


3 Best Cervical Pillows Reviewed

Editor's Pick

Cervical Pillow: EPABO Contour Pillow

Comparison of 3 Best Cervical Pillows

Click here to see a table comparing side-by-side cervical pillows, reviewed below, to help you decide. Meanwhile, below is a list of these cervical pillows listed in decreasing rating order.

  1. 1
    Fine Pillow
  2. 2
    EPABO
  3. 3
    Nature's Guest

1. Nature's Guest

Nature's Guest Adjustable Cervical Pillow, Contour Pillow for Neck and Back Pain Relief - Used by Back and Side Sleepers

pillow for neck pain
pillow for neck pain

Most of all, Nature's guest support pillows are firmer and designed with a center indentation to better support the neck. Meanwhile, those who prefer to sleep on their sides, use the two sides of the pillow. However, this therapeutic pillow is not recommended for anyone looking for a soft, fluffy pillow or a hi-loft pillow.

Construction

First and foremost, Nature's guest support pillow for neck pain implements a proven contoured pillow design that is based on input from chiropractors and orthopedics. Next, the dual zipper design makes it possible to adjust the firmness of the pillow in both the back (neck roll cushion) and side sleeping areas of the pillow. Especially relevant, the pillow filler uses premium quality, hypo-allergenic microfiber. Furthermore, the silk trim gusseted sides use a filler that provides increased air flow, which, in turn, promotes a cooler more restful sleep.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the Nature's guest pillow uses a premium hypo-allergenic ultra-luxurious 233 thread cotton fabric cover. As a result, there are no harsh chemical odors and there is no need to be concerned about skin allergies.

Dimensions

In addition, this cervical pillow for neck pain is 24 inches long, 16 inches wide, and a loft that is 5 inches high.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, the Nature's guest support pillow for neck pain provides optimal cervical support that maintains a proper head, neck and spinal alignment while you sleep.
  2. 2
    Also, the gusseted edge design provides support for side as well as back sleepers.
  3. 3
    Moreover, the gusseted edge allows you to effortlessly shift from back to side sleep positions.
  4. 4
    Next, the cervical pillow’s firmness can be adjusted from soft to medium firmness by simply adjusting the amount of filling in both the neck roll area and the side sleeping areas of the pillow.
  5. 5
    In addition, the filler provides cool, comfortable support, while relieving neck, shoulder, and back pain.
  6. 6
    Finally, the cervical pillow for neck pain reduces neck, back, and shoulder pain while providing optimal cervical support that maintains proper head, neck, and spinal alignment.

Guarantee

Furthermore, if you are not satisfied, the pillow can be returned within 30 days with a full refund.

Weight

Finally, this cervical pillow for neck pain weighs about 4.8 pounds.

PROS

  1. 1
    First, anyone who sleeps on their back, stomach, or side can use this pillow.
  2. 2
    Next, the sleeper can effortlessly shift between sleeping on the back and sides.
  3. 3
    Also, the filler in neck and side sleeping areas of the pillow adjustable for desired firmness.

2. Fine Pillow

Fine Pillow - Sleeping Bed Pillow for Neck & Back Pain Relief -  for Back and Combination Sleepers

pillow for neck pain
pillow for neck pain

Most of all, the Fine pillow, a therapeutic pillow for neck pain, is designed for side, back, stomach, or combination sleepers. Furthermore, the pillow is designed for people with neck, back, and shoulder pain.

Construction

First and foremost, the Fine pillow is made from a combination of micro-denier poly-fiber and adjoined cluster poly-fiber rolled into micro ball shapes. Consequently, the blended fill provides a fluffy, comfy, and down-feel comfort.

Meanwhile, the inner chamber is filled with hundreds of millions of soft and pliable fibers to give an adaptive and cloud-feel comfort that responds to your sleeping position. Also, the outer chamber is filled with millions of hair-like fibers to provide you with an extra plush and padded comfort. Next, the pillow is encased in a breathable, soft, 220 thread count, 100 percent cotton cloth.

Finally, the hypo-allergenic pillow is great for those whose allergies are triggered by feather pillows.

Dimensions

In addition, this cervical pillow is 28 inches long, 20 inches wide, and has a loft that is 6.5 inches high.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, the Fine pillow can be washed, dried and reused.
  2. 2
    Next, these therapeutic pillows protects the neutral alignment of the spine, adapts to the curve of the neck, and fills in the space between the head and the mattress.
  3. 3
    Also, the breathable pillow adapts to the shape of your head and shoulders. Consequently, you get a more relaxed and peaceful sleep.
  4. 4
    In addition, this cervical pillow is for neck pain.
  5. 5
    Finally, this pillow for neck pain can be washed every three to six months. In fact, the pillow can be machine washed using warm water and a gentle cycle. In addition, the pillow can be machine dried on low heat.

Guarantee

Furthermore, if after using the pillow for 14 days you are not happy with the pillow, you can either return or exchange the pillow within 30 days of purchase.

PROS

  1. 1
    First and foremost, the Fine pillow is usable by back, stomach, side, and combination sleepers.
  2. 2
    Next, it has a fluffy, down-feel comfort.
  3. 3
    Also, this breathable pillow adapts to the shape of head and shoulders.

3. EPABO

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow - Orthopedic Sleeping Pillow - Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain - for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers

pillow for neck pain

Construction

First and foremost, the contour memory foam pillow contains breathable memory foam. Consequently, there is better air circulation to keep you cool and dry.

Also, the pillow case is made of hypoallergenic rayon/polyester. In fact, this proprietary blend feels silky soft and smooth while providing protection from dust mites. In addition, this premium fabric keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the night. Finally, all materials are chemical free.

Features

  1. 1
    First, the proven contour design perfectly supports and aligns your head, neck, shoulder and back. However, some discomfort may be experienced during the first two weeks while your body is trying to adjust to the correct position.
  2. 2
    Second, the pillow is for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, or side sleepers.
  3. 3
    Next, to prevent the head from being in an elevated position when lying on the back or stomach, the pillow has a removable piece of 0.8 inches thick memory foam.
  4. 4
    Also, the pillow case is machine washable. Simply, unzip the pillow case and remove the memory foam insides. In addition, this pillow for neck pain can be tumble dried.
  5. 5
    Furthermore, it comes with 30-day full refund guarantee if not satisfied.

Dimensions

Next, the queen size EAPBO contour pillow is 24 inches long, 15 inches wide, and has a loft that is 4.8 inches on the front. However, without the removable piece, the loft is 4 inches high.

Weight

Finally, the pillow weighs 1.95 pounds.

PROS

  1. 1
    First, this pillow for neck pain can be used by back, side, and stomach sleepers.
  2. 2
    Second, the EPABO pillow is made of contoured memory foam.
  3. 3
    Next, the pillow has a cavity to support your head.
  4. 4
    Finally, the EPABO has an adjustable loft for stomach and back sleepers.

CONS

Regrettably, this pillow for neck pain has only a 30-day full refundable policy.

2 Best Lumbar Pillows Reviewed

Editor’s Pick

Lumbar Pillow: Pandaspillow for Sleeping

Comparison of 2 Best Lumbar Pillows

Click here to see a table comparing side-by-side lumbar pillows, reviewed below, to help you decide. Meanwhile, below is a list of these lumbar pillows listed in decreasing rating order.

  1. 1
    PandasPillow
  2. 2
    TruContour

4. TruContour

TruContour Super Lumbar Pillow for Sleeping

lumbar pillow
lumbar

Most of all, the TruContour super lumbar pillow helps improve spine posture, relieves strained back muscles, and ligaments. Moreover, this therapeutic pillow works in all three sleeping positions: back, side, and stomach.

Construction

First and foremost, the TruContour super lumbar pillow comes in two sizes; light lumbar and super lumbar. The light lumbar model provides a small to moderate degree of support. While, the super lumbar model provides a light to strong degree of support.

By the way, the height of the pillow is adjusted by adding or removing foam pads. Most noteworthy, the light lumbar pillow has two foam pads, while the super lumbar pillow has three foam pads.

Meanwhile, the foam pads have a rounded shape that fits the natural curve of the back and provides greater comfort. Next, the medical grade memory foam provides the right balance of support and comfort. Furthermore, the hypo-allergenic memory foam is dust resistant.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the extremely soft velour outer cover can be machine washed. Also, the outer cover has a highly breathable premium quality inner mesh liner.

Dimensions

In addition, the TruContour light lumbar pillow is 17 inches long, 8 inches wide, and has a loft that is 1.75 inches high. Meanwhile the TruContour super lumbar pillow is 24 inches long, 8 inches wide, and has a loft that is 3 inches high.

Features and Uses

These lumbar pillows are designed for back sleepers, those preferring to sleep on their sides, and those preferring to sleep on their stomach.

Guarantee

Most of all, TruContour guarantees they will replace the pillow within one year if anything should happen to the pillow.

Weight

Finally, the TruContour super lumbar pillow weighs 11.4 ounces.

PROS

  1. 1
    First, anyone who sleeps on their back, stomach, or side can use the TruContour super lumbar pillow.
  2. 2
    Meanwhile, adding or removing foam pads changes the pillow's height.
  3. 3
    In addition, the pillow uses hypo-allergenic memory foam.
  4. 4
    Next, the breathable cover cools the pillow.
  5. 5
    Finally, if not satisfied, the pillow can be replaced within one year.

5. Pandaspillow

Pandaspillow Cooling Lumbar Support Pillow for Sleeping

PandasPillow Lumbar Pillow
sleep posture improvements

Most of all, the PandasPillow cooling lumbar pillow is not meant for those needing a lot of firmness due to their height and/or weight. In fact, this therapeutic pillow is designed for the average person that needs some support and firmness.

Construction

First and foremost, the PandasPillow cooling lumbar pillow is engineered to support the back. Also, the pillow adapts to the curvature of the spine when sleeping on your back, side or stomach. In addition, since most viscoelastic polyurethane foam pillows retain too much heat, the PandasPillow is made of memory foam that is infused with cooling gel.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the PandasPillow comes with a premium, hypo-allergenic, super-soft bamboo cover that is removable and can be machine washed.

Dimensions

In addition, the pillow is 23.5 inches long, 8.5 inches wide, and a loft that is 2 inches high at the highest point and 0.8 inches high at lowest point.

Features and Uses

The PandasPillow is designed for back sleepers, those preferring to sleep on their sides, and those preferring to sleep on their stomach.

Warranty

Furthermore, the PandasPillow cooling lumbar pillow has a standard warranty.

Weight

Finally, the pillow weighs 1 pound.

PROS

  1. 1
    First of all, anyone who sleeps on their back, stomach, or side can use the PandasPillow.
  2. 2
    Also, the memory foam contains heat dissipating cool gel.
  3. 3
    Finally, the pillow has a washable hypo-allergenic bamboo cover.

CONS

  1. 1
    Most of all, the pillow is designed for average person – not for anyone taller or heavier.

4 Best Knee Pillows Reviewed

First and foremost, these best knee pillows are only needed by those who prefer to sleep on their sides.

Editor’s Choice

Knee Pillow: Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow

Comparison of 4 Best Knee Pillows

Click here to see a table comparing side-by-side knee pillows, reviewed below, to help you decide. Meanwhile, below is a list of these knee pillows listed in decreasing rating order.

  1. 1
    Everlasting Comfort
  2. 2
    Cushy Form
  3. 3
    Half Moon Bolster
  4. 4
    ComfiLife

6.ComfiLife

ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow

ComfiLife Knee Pillow

Construction

First and foremost, the ComfiLife orthopedic knee pillow is one of the best knee pillow. In fact, it uses 100 percent premium quality high-density viscoelastic polyurethane foam. Moreover, the foam of this therapeutic pillow doesn’t go flat over time.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the knee pillow has a breathable zippered, easy to clean cover that ensures the pillow does not get warm. Furthermore, for easy cleaning, the cover can be cleaned in a washer machine.

Dimensions

In addition, the pillow is 9.8 inches long, 7.9 inches wide, and has a loft that is 6.3 inches high.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, the contoured design keeps legs, hip, and spine in alignment while sleeping.
  2. 2
    Next, the pillow improves circulation.
  3. 3
    Also, the pillow provides relief from sciatica, back pain, knee pain, joint pain, and hip pain.
  4. 4
    Furthermore, the  pillow helps during pregnancy.
  5. 5
    Finally, the memory foam knee pillow helps get comfortable sleep.

Guarantee

Most of all, the ComfiLife orthopedic knee pillow comes with a money back guarantee if not 100 percent satisfied.

Weight

Finally, the pillow weighs 12 ounces.

PROS

  1. 1
    First of all, the ComfiLife orthopedic knee pillow uses 100 percent premium quality high-density viscoelastic polyurethane foam that doesn’t go flat over time.
  2. 2
    Next, the pillow's breatheable cover can be cleaned in a washer machine.
  3. 3
    Also, the ComfiLife pillow's contoured design helps keep legs, hips, and spine in alignment.
  4. 4
    Finally, the pillow comes with a money back guarantee.

7. Half Moon Bolster

BeautifulLife Back Pain Relief Memory Foam Pillow - Half Moon Bolster Knee Pillow - Semi Roll Round Lumbar Leg Wedge

Beautiful Life Knee Pillow

Construction

First and foremost, the dual layer firm half moon bolster pillow uses 100 percent premium quality visco-elastic hypo-allergenic memory foam. Moreover, the foam of this therapeutic pillow doesn’t flatten out during the night. And, because the pillow is hypo-allergenic, it’s great for those who suffer from allergies when using pillows containing feathers.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the pillow uses a breathable organic cotton cover that is easy to clean in a washer machine.

Dimensions

In addition, the pillow is 20.5 inches long, 8 inches wide, and has a loft that is 4.5 inches high.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, the pillow ensures alignment of spine and hips.
  2. 2
    Also, this pillow is recommended by chiropractors, physical therapists, sports trainers, and doctors.
  3. 3
    Next, the pillow is used as a between the leg spacer providing support for those preferring to sleep on their sides.
  4. 4
    Also, the pillow can be tucked on the back side to keep those sleeping on their sides from rolling over.
  5. 5
    Furthermore, the pillow can be used to elevate ankles for those preferring to sleep on their  back and stomach. As a result, circulation improves and risk of getting varicose veins decreases.
  6. 6
    In addition, the pillow can be used to provide under knee support for back sleepers.
  7. 7
    Also, the pillow can be used for elevating legs while sleeping on your back.
  8. 8
    The pillow can be used during recovery from knee or hip replacement surgery.
  9. 9
    Also, the pillow can be used during pregnancy.
  10. 10
    Most of all, the pillow supports and cushions the lower back, knees, hips, legs, or ankles.
  11. 11
    Also, the pillow provides relief from neck, spine, back, hip, knee, and ankle stress.
  12. 12
    In addition, the pillow relieves scoliosis, lower back and sciatic nerve pain.
  13. 13
    Furthermore, the pillow provides lumbar support while sitting or reclining on a sofa, couch, or chair.
  14. 14
    Finally, the pillow can be used while driving to provide back and lumbar support.

Guarantee

Most of all, the pillow has a no hassle, 100 percent lifetime money back guarantee.

Weight

Finally, the pillow weighs 14.4 ounces.

PROS

  1. 1
    First and foremost, the half moon bolster pillow is made of 100 percent premium quality visco-elastic hypo-allergenic memory foam.
  2. 2
    Also, the pillow has a breathable cotton cover that can be cleaned in a washer
  3. 3
    Most of all the bolster pillow aligns the spine and hips.
  4. 4
    Lastly, the pillow has a 100 percent lifetime money back guarantee.

CONS

  1. 1
    Regrettably, it is too long for use between the knees.

8. Cushy Form

Cushy Form Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers - Memory Foam Orthopedic Contour Wedge Leg Pillow

Cushy Form knee pillow

Construction

First and foremost, the contoured Cushy form knee pillow is made of 100 percent visco-elastic hypo-allergenic polyurethane foam that maintains its firmness. And, because this therapeutic pillow is hypo-allergenic, it’s great for those who suffer from allergies when using pillows containing feathers.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the pillow’s cover is removable and can be cleaned in a washing machine.

Dimensions

In addition, the knee pillow is 10 inches long, 8 inches wide, and has a loft that is 5.5 inches high on the ends, and 3.25 inches high in the middle, where the legs go.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, pillow is designed for those preferring to sleep on their sides and during pregnancy.
  2. 2
    Also, the pillow is recommended by physical therapists, doctors, sports trainers and chiropractors.
  3. 3
    Next, the pillow encourages proper alignment of spine and hips.
  4. 4
    Also, the therapeutic side sleeper body positioner encourages correct posture.
  5. 5
    In addition, by providing proper spinal alignment and reducing pressure, the pillow eases back, leg, knee, ankle, hip joint and sciatic nerve pain.
  6. 6
    Moreover, by properly aligning your spine and improving circulation, the pillow provides fast acting pain relief for arthritis, headaches, injuries, bursitis, sciatica, posture problems, and during pregnancy.
  7. 7
    Next, the pillow can be used as knee spacer during pregnancy or recovery after surgery.
  8. 8
    Also, the pillow assists with restless leg syndrome.
  9. 9
    Most of all, the pillow adapts to the temperature in your surroundings. Consequently, it feels softer in warm environments and firmer in cold environments.
  10. 10
    In addition, the pillow reacts to body heat becoming softer throughout the night.
  11. 11
    Also, the pillow provides relief from hip bursitis and scoliosis.
  12. 12
    Finally, the pillow comes with a free travel case.

Guarantee

Most of all, the pillow has a no hassle, 100 percent money back guarantee.

Weight

Finally, the knee pillow weighs 14.4 ounces.

PROS

  1. 1
    First of all, the Cushy form knee pillow is for side sleepers.
  2. 2
    Next, the pillow aligns the spine and hips.
  3. 3
    Also, the knee pillow uses 100 percent visco-elastic hypo-allergenic memory foam.
  4. 4
    Meanwhile, the removable pillow cover can be cleaned in a washer.
  5. 5
    In addition, the Cushy pillow feels softer when it’s warm and firmer when it’s cold.
  6. 6
    Finally, the pillow has a 100 percent money back guarantee.

9. Everlasting Comfort

Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow with Adjustable and Removable Strap - Leg Pillow for Sleeping

Everlasting Comfort knee pillow

Construction

First and foremost, the Everlasting comfort knee pillow is made of 100 percent pure premium quality visco-elastic polyurethane foam with no additives. Also, this therapeutic pillow is equipped with a removable and adjustable hook-and-loop strap that keeps the knee pillow in perfect alignment between your legs even when you toss and turn or roll over while sleeping.

Cover - Pillow

Next, the breathable knee pillow cover is removable and can be cleaned in a washer.

Dimensions

In addition, the pillow is 10.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and has a loft that is 8 inches high.

Features and Uses

  1. 1
    First, the Everlasting comfort knee pillow is designed for those preferring to sleep on their sides and use during pregnancy.
  2. 2
    Also, the pillow’s orthopedic contour keeps the knees separated with ideal spacing and help align your legs, hips, and spine.
  3. 3
    Next, the pillow provides relief and used as treatment for knee, hip, leg and thigh area, pelvis, lower back, lumbar and spine, arthritis, bursitis, joint and sciatic nerve pain.
  4. 4
    Also, the pillow comes with a free travel case.
  5. 5
    Finally, the pillow comes with two pairs of premium quality memory foam ear plugs with an industry leading NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 33, packed conveniently into a travel case.

Guarantee

Most of all, the Everlasting comfort knee pillow has a lifetime warranty. And, if anything goes wrong, the manufacturer will send a new pillow at no cost.

Weight

Finally, the pillow weighs 1.35 pounds.

PROS

  1. 1
    First of all, the Everlasting comfort knee pillow is meant for side sleepers.
  2. 2
    Also, the pillow uses 100 percent premium quality memory foam.
  3. 3
    Next, the Everlasting knee pillow has an adjustable hook and loop strap to keep knee pillow in position between your legs.
  4. 4
    In addition, the pillow cover can be cleaned in a washer.
  5. 5
    Finally, the pillow comes with a lifetime warranty – manufacturer will replace a faulty pillow at no cost.

Buyer's Guide for Therapeutic Pillows

First and foremost, a therapeutic pillow should be comfortable. Next, the therapeutic pillow should provide adequate support. Consequently, the pillow should be firm enough to prevent your head from sinking into the pillow. Because, when your head doesn’t sink, your spine will be in a neutral position. Therefore, a firm pillow helps to relieve back pain.

Also, a therapeutic pillow should cradle your head and neck to support the upper portion of your spine. Regrettably pillow protectors aren’t always completely successful in fulfilling their role. As a result, pillows that use these protectors hold lots of allergy triggers like mold and dust mites.

Back Sleepers

Above all, back sleepers do best with thinner neck pillows and those that have extra padding in the bottom to support the neck. Consequently, visco-elastic polyurethane foam neck pillows are best because the memory foam molds to your neck. Also, if you sleep on your back, your neck pillow should completely fill the space between your neck and the mattress. The Purple Pillow is also an ultimate choice for the back sleepers.

Incidentally, as you sleep on your back, you can prop up your knees with one or more pillows. As a result, by flattening out your spine, you wake up with less tightness and pain.

Most of all, back sleepers should generally look for medium fill neck pillows. If you sit up straight, this is the same angle that your pillow should provide when lying down. Moreover, if your chin is angled towards your chest, then the pillow is too thick. On the other hand, if your head falls back, then the pillow is too thin.

pillow for neck pain

Also, as the picture on the left shows, when you sleep on your back, gravity can pull the lumbar (or the lower) area of the back towards the mattress and flatten out the spine’s natural “S” shaped curve. Consequently, the lower back comes under stress and may cause pain. On the other hand, placing a pillow under the lower back and the knees can restore the natural contour of the spine.

Also, as the picture on the left shows, a thick pillow pushes up your head causing the spine to bend upwards. While the picture of the right shows that a pillow that is thicker underneath the neck and thinner in the back flattens out the spine.

Stomach Sleepers

Most of all, those preferring to sleep on their stomach, do best with the thinnest pillow possible or no pillow at all.  Consequently, these sleepers should generally look for higher-fill pillow or neck/contour style pillows. Also, the pillow should support your neck, keeping a natural angle. In fact, a pillow that is too shallow can cause your head to bend inward and may place strain on your shoulder.

pillow for neck pain

And, as the picture shows, when you sleep on your stomach, gravity pulls the lumbar (or the lower) area of the back towards the mattress. As a result, this bending exaggerates the spine’s natural “S” shaped curve. Consequently, the lower back comes under intense stress and causes pain. On the other hand, placing a pillow under the pelvis will raise the lower back and help maintain the natural curve of the lower back, thereby reducing muscle strain.

Also, as the picture on the left shows, a thick pillow pushes up your head causing the spine to bend upwards. While the picture of the right shows that a pillow that is thicker underneath the neck and thinner in the back flattens out the spine.

Side Sleepers

Incidentally, if you sleep on your side, use a thicker, firm pillow to keep your head in line with the rest of your body. Better still, try to find a pillow that has an extra-wide gusset that will help with the space between your ear and shoulders.  On the other hand, a pillow that is too thick can force your neck to bend away from the pillow causing tension in your neck.

pillow for neck pain

First and foremost, when sleeping on the side, the spine should be parallel to the mattress.  And, as the picture on the left shows, when you sleep on your side, gravity pulls the spine from its naturally straight shape towards the mattress. As a result, the lower back bends downward. Consequently, the vertebrae has an unnatural position which strains muscles and ligaments. On the other hand, placing a pillow under the abdominal area will raise the lower back into alignment with the rest of the spine and thereby reduce muscle strain.

Also, as the picture on the left shows, a thick pillow pushes up your head causing the spine to bend upwards. While the picture of the right shows that a pillow that is thicker underneath the neck and somewhat thinner in the back flattens out the spine. Especially noteworthy, the back of the pillow needs to be thick enough to keep your head aligned with the spine.

Knee Pillows

By the way, those who prefer to sleep on their sides can use a firm knee pillow between their knees. Indeed, the knee pillow reduces strain on your back. In fact, without a knee pillow, the leg on top will pull down the pelvis which in turn pulls your spine out of its neutral, resting position. Consequently, by adding a knee pillow that supports your top leg helps to keep the spine aligned properly.

Body Pillows

Incidentally, you may try sleeping on your side with a body pillow. Indeed, a body pillow is a pillow that extends from head to toe. Also, this pillow is a favorite for many who prefer to sleep on their sides, since it can be hugged to the chest to prevent shoulder pain caused by an awkward arm position. Moreover, the pillow can be placed between the knees to keep the spine straight. In addition, the pillow gives you a feeling of something against your stomach while helping to align the rest of your body.

Finally, the pillow supports both your head and neck as well as provide the necessary buffer between your knees. However, don’t put one leg over the body pillow without any other support, since that can twist the spine and cause undue stress.

Cervical pillows

Especially relevant, when you lie down, there is some space between your neck and the mattress. Consequently, your neck is without support which contributes to misalignment. However, adding a cervical pillow, known as orthopedic or neck pillow, provides support, which is helpful to those with neck and upper spine problems.

Hip Pain

First and foremost, the best way to reduce hip pain is to use a therapeutic pillow to elevate your legs or knees in such a manner that the hip is perfectly aligned. Moreover, a good knee or body pillow is one of the best ways to provide the right support for effective relief from hip pain. In addition, you can also try changing your sleeping position and use pillows as supports to find a position which causes you the least pain.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Q: How Can These Pillows Alleviate Back Pain?

First and foremost, a pillow that feels flat or lumpy can’t provide adequate support. Indeed, a pillow like that may cause your neck and spine to not be aligned properly. Consequently, this leads to pain and discomfort when you wake up in the morning. Therefore, a pillow that feels flat or lumpy should be thrown away. Also, in general, pillows need to be replaced every 18 months.

Next, if you have back or hip pain when you first wake up and that gradually goes away as the morning goes on, then your mattress and/or your pillow may be the cause of the pain.

Most of all, a head pillow should hold your head at the same height as the rest of your spine. So, if a pillow is too flat your head will be lower than your spine. And if the pillow is too thick your head will be too far above your spine. In fact, this non-alignment causes pain in your back and neck.

Also, sometimes an extra therapeutic pillow under the lower back or knees increases support for the spine. Moreover, when pillows are used properly they can reduce your back pain and you get a better sleep.

Q: What Kind Of Therapeutic Pillows Alleviate Back Pain?

First and foremost, to prevent or reduce the effects of back pain, these pillows must have the right thickness. In fact, being either too thick or too thin are not good for your back. However, feather pillows can cause allergies in some people. So, if you get stuffy or sneezy at night, throw away the feather pillow and replace it with a hypo-allergenic pillow.

Next, visco-elastic polyurethane foam pillows conform to the shape of your head. As a result, they provide excellent support and help align your neck with the spine. Incidentally, visco-elastic polyurethane foam pillows can last up to three years.

By the way, orthopedic pillows are usually made of visco-elastic polyurethane foam. Also, lumbar pillows are usually made of visco-elastic polyurethane foam and designed to support the lower back.

Q: Are There Things You Can Do To Reduce Back Pain?

First and foremost, sleeping without a pillow can help your back extend and may result in better spinal alignment, which might relieve back pain. Above all, whatever your preferred sleeping position, you need proper alignment of your spine. In fact, the best way to do this is to align your ears, shoulders, and hips so that they are in the same horizontal plane.

Next, gaps between your body and the bed may strain muscles and spine. Therefore, reduce the stress by using pillows to fill these gaps.

Finally, when you turn while sleeping, your body can get out of alignment by the twisting and turning motion. Therefore, when you turn, move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. Furthermore, it may be helpful to bring your knees towards your chest as you roll over.

How to Balance Exercise and Sleep

balance exercise and sleep

How to Balance Exercise and Sleep

Biking, jogging, lifting weights, dancing, or aerobics---these are just some of the many ways people exercise to stay fit. However, exercising regularly isn’t enough; in fact, too much exercising can be harmful. In addition to a balanced diet, you need to pair hard exercise with adequate sleep. Meanwhile, the way to balance exercise and sleep is sleeping at least 8 hours, as needed by a healthy adult.

Now, you may wonder why sleep is so important; after all, you’re just lying there and relaxing. Well, it’s pretty simple. As you sleep, your body becomes incredibly active repairing itself from all the stresses, injuries, and damages it incurred while you’re awake.

For example, no matter how much a bodybuilder works out, his muscles wouldn’t bulk up if he has inadequate sleep. That’s because it’s during his sleep when his sore muscles heal. And because the body doesn’t want to injure itself again, it adds another layer of muscles to reinforce the existing muscles. This layering is what builds big, impressive muscles.

As you can see, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise. Insufficient sleep can hamper athletic performance.

Equalizing Sleep and Exercise

How do you find an ideal balance of exercising and sleeping to achieve optimal health? Here are a few pointers:

Pick the best mattress

There’s no doubt that getting the perfect mattress for a good night’s sleep is incredibly important. Much of the quality of your sleep depends on your mattress. A comfortable bed gives you the best relaxing and reinvigorating sleep each night, while a bad one leaves you with interrupted sleep, body pains, and a bad disposition upon waking up.

Each brand usually has its own mattress picking guide. Use these guides to help you pick the best mattress for you.

Exercise several hours before bedtime

Exercising can cause exhaustion, allowing you to fall asleep quicker and attain a better quality of sleep. However, you shouldn’t do heavy exercises too late at night. Doing so increases your body temperature, and the adrenaline gives your mind a certain “high.” These two factors prevent you from falling asleep.

As a rule of thumb, you should do your exercise sessions 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. This gives your body time to cool down and get ready for sleeping.

Stick to an exercise-sleep routine

Your body is naturally wired to “remember” routines. As thus, follow and stick to a routine. For example, you may want to head off to the gym an hour or two after mid-day so you can sleep early at 9 PM. If that works for you, stick to that routine every day. You’ll feel reinvigorated after lunch and begin to feel drowsy as 9 PM draws near.

Exercise in the morning

Fitness experts suggest that you perform your exercises as part of your morning routine. Doing so boosts your energy level and alertness. You’ll be productive all throughout the day. At the end of the day, you’ll probably feel exhausted, ready to hit the bed for some sweet sleep. 

Turn electronics off

Do you always look at your gadgets to check your next day’s exercise program, how far you ran today, how many calories you burned, and so on? Switch them off. Too much exposure to artificial light from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TV inhibits the natural release of melatonin. Melatonin is the primary hormone that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Less melatonin means it’s harder for you to fall asleep.

Switch off your gadgets or TV half an hour to 45 minutes before bedtime. Rather than using light-emitting devices, read something such as a fitness magazine, an athletic journal, or a novel.

Eat a light meal a few hours before bed

Many people forego eating after dinner or even skipping dinner entirely, believing that doing so increases their weight. However, recent studies show that ingesting nutritious food (especially protein-packed food) before bedtime is actually healthy. The protein is synthesized during sleep and helps build muscles more effectively.

Listen to your body

Your body has an innate way of telling you what it needs. Thus, always consider what you feel. For example, if you feel unusually lethargic even though you’re supposed to work out in the gym at a particular time, then obey your body and have a rest. Perhaps you were not adequately rested last night. Perhaps you worked out too intensely during the past few days, and your body wants to take a break. 

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before bedtime

Some people chug some beer or wine before sleeping to feel drowsy. While it often works, health experts dissuade people to do this. For one, alcohol hampers muscle growth and decreases testosterone levels. Two, alcohol can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.  Three, alcohol dehydrates you as it metabolizes alcohol.

All these internal activities interrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up in the morning tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from a hangover.

Take the right medicines

If you are a particularly active individual, you might have trouble sleeping. Visit your doctor and see if he can recommend some sleep aids. Melatonin, antihistamine, Ambien, and other doctor-prescribed sleep medication are generally effective in the short-term. Note, however, that in the long term, they can be habit-forming.

Get out of bed

If all else fails, don’t twist and turn on your mattress all night long. The energy you use in trying to sleep may actually be preventing you from drifting into unconsciousness. Instead, get off your bed and do something that relaxes you---reading a book, working on a scale model, or some other quiet activity to help you calm down. Try not to think too much of things and situations that keep you stressed.

Conclusion

A good, healthy life revolves around balance. Too much of everything, even a good thing such as exercise, can be detrimental to your health and well-being. As such, it’s important to compensate for your hard work with a good quality of rest.

From picking the perfect mattress for a good night's sleep to sticking to getting off from bed to ward off stressful thoughts, these tips should help you snooze tight each night so your body can rejuvenate itself.

Guest Author’s Bio

brett armstron
Brett is a writer at ID-MAG. An enthusiast and expert when it comes to sleep products, Brett dedicates a lot of his time reading, researching, and reviewing about both traditional and emerging sleep brands that manufacture varied types of sleep products – from eco-mattresses, smart pillows to cooling sleep systems, Brett has probably reviewed them all. Brett also finds sleep especially important since he juggles a small business which he runs from home, makes sure he spends time with his daughter and he also writes during his spare time – you can definitely see that he needs a great forty winks all night, every night so he’ll make sure that you get great sleep, too!

Comparison of Therapeutic Pillows

Comparison of Therapeutic Pillows

Comparison of various types of therapeutic pillows, reviewed elsewhere, are shown in the tables below. In fact, each table compares unique features characteric of each type of therapeutic pillows. For example, features characteristic of cervical pillows include its filler, pillow thickness, firmness, and their unique features.

Furthermore, similar features found in each type of therapeutic pillows, reviewed here, are excluded from the comparison table for that type of therapeutic pillow.

Table Showing Comparison of Cervical Pillows

Comparison of therapeutic pillows

Cervical Pillow

Filler

Thickness

Firmness

Unique Features

A/A+ Feedback

1-5 Rating

1. Nature's Guest

Hypo-allergenic microfiber

5

Adjustable

Dip in the middle for back and stomach sleepers; side sleepers use thicker outer parts of pillow

68%

3.9

2. Fine Pillow

Micro-denier poly-fiber and adjoined cluster poly-fiber rolled into micro ball

6.5

Cell
Cell

 77%

4.2

3. EPABO

Memory Foam

3.9" standard size

5.3" queen size

Cell

Contoured memory foam; cavity for head

 78%

4.2

Table Showing Comparison of Lumbar Pillows

Comparison of therapeutic pillows

Lumbar Pillow

4. TruContour

5. PandasPillow

Filler

Hypo-allergenic dust resistance memory foam

Memory foam

Thickness

Adjustable up to 3 inches

Ranges from 0.8 to 2 inches

Firmness

 

Not very firm

Cool

 

Memory foam injected with cooling gel

Warranty

Replaceable within 1 year

Standard

A/A+ Feedback

74%

80%

1-5 Rating

4.1

4.3

Table Showing Comparison of Knee Pillows

ComfiLife Knee Pillow

Best Knee Pillow

6. ComfiLife

7. Half Moon Bolster

8. Cushy Form

9. Everlasting Comfort

Filler

100 percent premium quality high-density memory foam

Premium (100 percent) quality visco-elastic hypo-allergenic memory foam

100 percent visco-elastic hypo-allergenic memory foam

100 percent pure premium quality memory foam

Thickness

6.3 inches

4.5 inches

5.5 inches high on the ends, and 3.25 inches in the middle where the knees go

8 inches high on the narrow edges

Pillow cover

Breathable, zippered machine washable cover

Breathable and machine washable organic cotton cover

Pillow’s cover is removable and machine washable

Pillow cover is removable and machine washable

Unique Features

 

 

Feels softer in warm environments and firmer in cold environments

Removable and adjustable hook-and-loop strap around your legs

Warranty

Money back guarantee if not 100 percent satisfied

100 percent lifetime money back guarantee

100 percent money back guarantee

Lifetime warranty

A/A+ Feedback

80%

80%

81%

83%

1-5 Rating

4.1

4.3

4.4

4.5

Top Reasons Why Sleep is Most Important Factor for a Better Body

better body

Top Reasons Why Sleep is Most Important Factor for a Better Body

Getting a proper night’s sleep consistently can easily be called as the single most important things as far as maintaining the right shape of your body is concerned. No matter how diligently you stick to your diet or exercise schedule, if you are missing out on a good sleep quality, you will fail to achieve the kind of body you are trying to build for yourself. A good sleep health can in turn make the process of losing weight much easier by increasing the effectiveness of your work out and diet. We will therefore be looking at all the reasons why sleep is quintessential for a better body by evaluating the relation between proper sleeping and weight gain and why does your body need sleep.

1 Brain Function

A key factor in good overall sleep and weight loss is the way your brain functions. Although it may not look like it, your brain function has a lot to do with the way your body is processing your diet and exercising. A good sleep helps you maintain good mental functioning which in turn increases the efficiency of your work out. Different stages of sleep help in crucial aspects of the brain such as memory consolidation, cognition, mood, productivity, concentration, and mood boost. This not only helps in increasing the athletic performance of the body but also reduces the risk of injuries and accidents.

2 Muscle Repair and Immunity

The restorative qualities of sleep such as muscle repair helps people participate in physical activities that put extra strain on the muscles. Additionally, better rested individuals experience better motivation and can easily channel energy bursts from their body. This is why players are often advised by their trainers to have a good night’s sleep before a big event. Even non-athletic individuals can easily perform their work out sessions with ease without putting too much stress on their body muscles and heart. People who have a good sleep health are also more likely to have a good immune function and they are better equipped to fight with infections that cause illnesses.

3 Weight Loss

Before trying to understand how does sleeping help you lose weight and how does sleep burn fat, let’s look at a couple of studies related to the subject. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information that was trying to find a link between sleeping and weight gain established that poor sleep is responsible for lack of proper regulation of glucose in the body. It also said that insufficient sleep was linked with decreased insulin sensitivity and a heightened risk of obesity. Such individuals are therefore at a marked risk of experiencing conditions like type 2 diabetes. The researchers pointed at the mark similarity in the growing trend of obesity and poor sleep health which are almost running parallel to each other.

Another study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal monitored several participants suffering with obesity who were made to sleep in either a period of 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours for a span of 2 weeks. The researchers looking at the relation between weight loss and sleeping found that the people who slept for about 5.5 hours every night actually lost their muscle mass. Whereas the participants in the second set lost 55 percent more body fat. 

4 Appetite

Numerous similar studies in the past have established the link between quality sleep and weight loss. Researchers have also pointed at the abnormal levels of hormones that control hunger in the body, known as leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep decreases the levels of leptin which suppresses the appetite in your body and increases that of ghrelin which is responsible for a heightened appetite. This makes it harder for sleep-deprived people to stay in a good shape because of the constant craving of food that they experience due to hormonal imbalance. Not only does this increase your appetite for unhealthy food but also reduce your motivation of working out.

5 Stress

This in a way triggers a cycle which increases your cortisol levels that are responsible for regulating stress in your body. Increased stress in turn makes it further hard to fall asleep and you find it extremely hard to come out of the cycle once you are in it. What’s worse is that people can experience conditions like stress eating at times like these, particularly sugary and fatty foods. Such a condition forces an individual to keep eating even when they are not actually hungry as this is just a way of the body responding to increases emotion levels. Lack of sleep makes it harder for the insular cortex in the brain to deal with such an issue, so much so that at times sleep-deprived individuals can’t even tell the difference between food that is fresh and that which is rotten.

Bottom line

So, the answer to questions like “does sleeping help you lose weight?” and “does sleep burn fat?” is “yes, it does!” However, studies have shown that insufficient amount of sleep can reduce the amount of weight lost as fat but increase the amount of weight lost as body mass. To make sure that you do not miss out on achieving a good night’s sleep consistently, try following these easy steps when facing problem falling asleep. You may also want to invest in a good mattress and an equally suitable mattress topper that you need for sleeping comfortably. Check out some of the best feather mattress topper reviews from this year.

In conclusion, we would like to state that all it takes is the right amount of sleep along with your diet and exercise to help maintain the balance between weight loss and sleeping. We hope that the facts mentioned above help you better understand why does your body need sleep to achieve the kind of body you are aiming for.

How Restful Sleep is Good for Your Heart

restful sleep

How Restful Sleep is Good for Your Heart

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of adults in the United States don’t get the right amount of restful sleep.

Also, according to the CDC, numerous studies have linked not getting enough restful sleep with an increased risk of heart problems. In fact, not getting enough sound sleep results in problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

Restful Sleep Duration Study - European Heart Journal

Now, the 2011 European Heart Journal reviewed 15 medical studies involving about 475,000 people.

Short Sleepers

First and foremost, short sleepers are those who sleep less than six hours a night. Above all, short sleepers may be prone to risk factors resulting in either coronary heart disease or stroke. Indeed, 48 percent of short sleepers developed or died from coronary heart disease in a seven to 25-year follow-up period.

Also, 15 percent of short sleepers developed or died from stroke during this same time period.

Long Sleepers

Meanwhile, long sleepers, averaged nine or more hours of sleep a night. Also, long sleepers may be prone to risk factors resulting in either coronary heart disease or stroke. Indeed, 38 percent of long sleepers developed or died from coronary heart disease in a seven to 25-year follow-up period.

Lastly, 65 percent of long sleepers developed or died from stroke during this same time period.

Restful Sleep Study - European Society of Cardiology

Next, a study at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology conference reported best durations for restful sleep. In fact, the most beneficial sleep durations, for a healthy heart, were six to eight hours of sleep a night. Indeed, anything more than eight or less than six hours is detrimental to the health of your heart. Moreover, both short and long sleepers had a greater risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke.

Restful Sleep Study - American College of Cardiology

Meanwhile, a Journal of the American College of Cardiology study reported on the benefits of getting adequate restful sleep. Indeed, the study reported that anyone can mitigate risks of heart attack by sleeping between six to nine hours. Moreover, that includes people who have a genetic predisposition to heart disease.

Now, this study looked at people between the ages of 40 to 69 who never had a heart attack. Indeed, the study found those sleeping less than six hours were 20 percent more likely to have a heart attack. While, those sleeping more than nine hours had a 34 percent greater chance of experiencing a heart attack. Incidentally, on average, the further people fell outside the six to nine-hour duration, the greater their risk of heart attack.

In addition, the National Sleep Foundation, reported on the effects of sleep duration on stroke and heart attack. Indeed, adults sleeping less than 6 hours have almost twice the risk as those sleeping 7 to 8 hours.

Effects of Inadequate Restful Sleep on the Heart

Study

Now, new research was conducted, at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, Spain. And, their results were recently reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In this study, coronary 3D heart ultrasound and cardiac CT scans tracked arteries of 3,974 Spanish adult bank employees. Incidentally, at the start of the study, these adults, of average age 46, did not have heart disease. Also, two-thirds of the adults were men.

Results

Above all, research showed that the odds of accumulating fatty plaque in arteries increased with inadequate amounts of restful sleep. Moreover, fatty plaque increased significantly when lack of restful sleep was chronic. By the way, atherosclerosis is the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries. Also, this accumulation of fatty plaque narrows the arteries and makes them stiffer. Regrettably, atherosclerosis increases the odds of getting a heart attack or stroke.

Next, researchers compared adults sleeping less than six hours a night with those sleeping seven to eight hours. And, they found those sleeping less than six hours were 27 percent more likely to have body-wide atherosclerosis. Strangely enough, the study found women sleeping more than eight hours a night also had increased risk of body-wide atherosclerosis.

Furthermore, researchers compared adults who woke up frequently or had difficulty falling asleep with those who slept well. And, they found adults who didn’t sleep well were 34 percent more likely to have body-wide atherosclerosis.

Incidentally, adults who had six hours of good quality sleep fared better because the quality of their sleep was good. By the way, good quality referred to how often a person woke up during the night. Also, good quality considered how frequently a person moved during sleep.

Above all, the study showed the importance of getting seven to eight hours of good sleep for your cardiovascular health. And, the heavy price paid, on their cardiovascular health, by poor quality sleepers or those chronically deprived of restful sleep.

Meanwhile, previous studies reported that lack of sleep increased heart disease risk factors. For example, risk factors such as glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation, and obesity.

Atherosclerosis

Now, as described above, not getting enough restful sleep increases the odds of accumulating fatty plaque in arteries. By the way, atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.

So, to better understand atherosclerosis, the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital studied mice genetically engineered to develop atherosclerosis.

Therefore, half the mice had their sleep cycles repeatedly disrupted. While, the other half slept normally. Meanwhile, after 16 weeks, the sleep-disrupted mice had greater arterial plaques than the mice who slept normally. By the way, the study in Spain also reported more arterial plaque in the sleep deprived.

Furthermore, the sleep-deprived mice had twice the level of certain white blood cells than the non-sleep deprived mice. Also, the sleep-deprived mice had lower amounts of the hormone hypocretin.

Incidentally, the brain regulates sleep and wake states by producing the hormone hypocretin. Meanwhile, experiments showed that hypocretin suppressed production of stem cells that make white blood cells in their bone marrow. Therefore, falling hypocretin levels results in production of more white blood cells.

So, sleep-deficient mice that received hypocretin supplements tended to produce fewer immune or white blood cells. Consequently, they developed smaller artery wall plaques than mice that weren’t given the hypocretin supplementation. Therefore, these results suggest that hypocretin loss during disrupted sleep contributes to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

In summary, the brain of the sleep deprived likely cuts back on the production of their hypocretin hormone. Which, in turn, increases plaque in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.

Infrequent Versus Chronic Sleep Problems

In general, according to health experts, short-term sleep issues won’t do much harm. However, chronic, continuous sleep disturbances can lead to serious heart issues and make existing heart problems worse. Incidentally, about six percent of the US population has chronic insomnia. Also, chronic or frequent, sleep disturbances, can lead to serious heart issues or make existing heart problems worse.

In fact, those who struggle with getting restful sleep on a regular basis should speak with a sleep expert. Finally, good sleeping habits also help you avoid other problems associated with sleep deprivation.

Insomnia

Finally, a meta-analysis demonstrated that frequent insomnia was associated with increased risk of future heart attack and stroke. By the way, symptoms of insomnia included difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining restful sleep, and non-restorative sleep.

Now, as many as one in two adults experience short-term insomnia at some point. On the other hand, nearly 1 in 10 may have long-lasting insomnia.

Most of all, insomnia can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Also, over time, poor sleep can lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart. For example, these bad habits include high stress levels, little motivation to be physically active, or having unhealthy food choices.

Best Orthopedic Pillows To Be Free Of Back Pain

orthopedic pillows

Best Orthopedic Pillows to be Free of Back Pain

An orthopedic pillow by providing proper support to the spine helps fight spinal degeneration and other spinal disorders such as spondylosis and arthritis. Most of all, orthopedic pillows, such as the cervical neck pillow or the contour neck pillows, help you sleep well and wake up with, hopefully, no back pain. Moreover, orthopedic pillows, like the contour neck pillows, are also sometimes referred to as therapeutic pillows.

Do Sleeping Positions Change?

Especially relevant, observational studies show that adults change their sleeping position an average of 11 to 13 times during the night.

Indeed, a majority of sleep time is in the side sleeping position. However, adults only spend 59 to 73 percent of their sleep time in the side lying position. Consequently, 27 to 41 percent of sleep time is in the back position.

Therefore, choosing a pillow specifically designed for side sleepers may not work when you sleep on your back and vice versa. In fact, a side sleeping pillow may cause problems for those who change positions during the night and sleep on their backs. Similarly, a back sleeping pillow may cause problems for those who change to sleeping on their sides.

Therefore, if you do get a pillow designed for only side sleepers, first verify that you always sleep in that position all night long. Ultimately, a good pillow should allow the free motion of sleeping position changes during the night.

Most noteworthy, there are many factors that influence the number of sleep position changes during sleep. Some of these factors include:

  1. 1
    First, not feeling well
  2. 2
    Next, sleep apnea
  3. 3
    Also, drinking caffeine and/or eating heavy meals before bed
  4. 4
    In addition, alcohol initially decreases sleeping position changes. However, sleeping position changes increase later in the night.
  5. 5
    Next, dreams
  6. 6
    Also, uncomfortable beds
  7. 7
    In addition, room temperatures that are either too low or too high
  8. 8
    Next, sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings
  9. 9
    Also, noise permeating into the sleeping area
  10. 10
    Finally, anxiety and stress

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Neck?

Most of all, orthopedic pillows such as cervical neck pillows are used to:

  1. 1
    First, prevent cervical hypolordosis. In fact, hypolordosis is a condition where the curvature of the spine is less than normal.
  2. 2
    Next, relieve cervical spasms
  3. 3
    Also, remove minor tensions or strains
  4. 4
    Finally, maintain or resume the natural cervical lordotic curve while at rest

Benefits and Use of Cervical Neck Pillows

Most of all, by providing proper neck support, cervical neck pillows help with:

  1. 1
    Tension headaches
  2. 2
    Neck muscle and joint strains and sprains
  3. 3
    Morning hand stiffness and swelling
  4. 4
    Stiffness
  5. 5
    Snoring
  6. 6
    Arthritis
  7. 7
    Temporomandibular disorders
  8. 8
    Whiplash injuries

Features of Cervical Neck Pillows

Traditional pillows work fine at first, but then they flatten out and stop providing support for the head and neck. On the other hand, a cervical neck pillow provides support and comfort to the neck and head. Most noteworthy, the cervical neck pillow’s contour and it’s content provides support and comfort. In fact, a pillow that is lacking in these features may end up causing increased pain, discomfort, pressure, headaches, or simply a loss of sleep. For example, a pillow that has the wrong contour and/or made from low quality material may be too hard, create heat, has allergens, or can harbor microbes or dust mites. By the way, if dust mites are a problem in your bedroom, its good to filter the air in your bedroom and vacuum the floor, especially if the floor is carpeted.

Most of all a cervical neck pillow:

  1. 1
    First, properly support the neck
  2. 2
    Second, should lift and support the head
  3. 3
    Next, should be made of non-toxic foam that is certified to not emit any harmful gases
  4. 4
    Also, should be resistant to dust mites
  5. 5
    Next, should be antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  6. 6
    Finally, should not contain any metals, toxins or flame retardants

In conclusion, an ideal cervical neck pillow keeps your body in a neutral sleeping position. Indeed, this neutral sleeping position keeps your back and neck in their ideal position. As a result, there is no unnecessary pressure on the spine’s discs, muscles and nerves.

Back Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

For a back sleeper, a cervical pillow must have the right height. In fact, if it’s too high, the pillow will push the head forward. And, if it’s too low, the head will be too low and not in alignment with the spine.

Side Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

For side sleepers, the orthopedic pillows should have the right height to main alignment with the spine. Not too low nor too high.

Stomach Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

Sleeping on your stomach is tough on your spine, because the back has an excessive arc and the neck is turned to the side. Stomach sleeping places too much strain on neck joints and muscles. Consequently, a very low height pillow or even no pillow is best. Most of all, it is important not to use a firm or higher height pillow, especially with a soft mattress.

The best pillow for stomach sleepers is a cervical pillow for stomach sleepers in that it is designed for that purpose along with options for back and side sleeping. In fact, the cervical pillow allows stomach sleeping with a better cervical posture, reducing rotational and extensional damage that can cause neck problems, as well as providing better air flow. In addition, the cervical pillow is a very versatile pillow in that you can use it for any sleeping position, making it the ideal pillow to transition from stomach to side and back sleeping.

Meanwhile, preferred sleeping positions are often set early in life and can be tough to change, not to mention that we don't often wake up in the same position in which we fell asleep. Still, it's worth trying to start sleeping on your back or side in a well-supported, healthy position.

Finally, placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for Cervical Pain?

Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck, on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in. Here are some additional tips for side-sleepers and back-sleepers.

  1. 1
    First, try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck. Regrettably, feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so.
  2. 2
    Also, another option is a traditionally shaped pillow with "memory foam" that conforms to the contour of your head and neck. In addition, some cervical pillows are also made with memory foam. Lastly, manufacturers of memory-foam pillows claim they help foster proper spinal alignment.
  3. 3
    Next, avoid using too high or stiff pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight and can result in morning pain and stiffness
  4. 4
    Finally, if you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head

Getting the Right Orthopedic Pillow

Above all, most reputable pillow companies do not allow returns due to Federal and State Health Regulations regarding bedding or contaminable items.

Also, companies offering money back guarantees are usually selling very cheap pillows. In fact, there has been a flood of very cheap pillows. Meanwhile, companies usually do not make it easy to return pillows. In theory, companies should dispose of returned pillows and not repackage and re-sell. In fact, many companies play the odds that, even if you don’t like it, you will not go through the trouble of returning the pillow.

There are usually multiple conditions and factors related to neck pain. Therefore, it is usually best to find a pillow that suits your particular sleeping conditions and comfort requirements. In general, softer – more accommodating pillows are recommended for more painful conditions such as from injury or inflammation. Once past this point, a firmer pillow can be used if well tolerated.

Especially relevant, a transition phase from an accommodating pillow to a firmer or different design pillow can be challenging and should only be attempted when pain and discomfort levels are no longer tolerated by the existing cervical pillow.

Buckwheat Orthopedic Pillows

Pillows filled with buckwheat mold to the neck and upper shoulders. However, unless this orthopedic pillow is designed so the amount of buckwheat can be changed, the pillow may be too thick or too thin and won’t allow spinal alignment.

Moreover, high-quality buckwheat pillows always have a zipper. And this zipper helps you adjust the amount of buckwheat hulls in the pillow. As a result, you’re able to change the thickness of your pillow.

In addition, the irregular and hollow shaped buckwheat hulls create airspace inside the pillow. Consequently, buckwheat pillows are cool and dry. Finally, chemical fertilizers are rarely, if ever, used on buckwheat crops. Consequently, buckwheat hulls are free of many of these contaminants. However, buckwheat pillows tend to be noisy.

Contour Neck Orthopedic Pillows

You can purchase contour neck pillows made from memory foam. Moreover, these contour neck pillows have chemical properties that allow the contour neck pillow to mold to your body. Furthermore, after you get out of bed, the contour neck pillow returns to its original shape. Consequently, a contour neck pillow provides consistent support and help you prevent neck pain.

However, the foam in the contour neck pillow can sometimes build up heat depending on the temperature in your sleeping environment. Indeed, great alternatives are gel foam cooling contour neck pillows that use a cooler technology in soft memory foam to control and release the build-up of heat. Buckwheat Pillows are also a good option for keeping your head cooler in warmer environments if you like firm pillows.

Orthopedic Pillows with Separate Back & Side Sleeping Areas

It is important to know if you are aware of deliberately changing sleep positions while sleeping. Or, do you not wake up and unconsciously change sleep positions while sleeping. There are cervical pillows with multiple height areas. These cervical pillows are very popular. However, they do require deliberate positioning from the back area to the side area and from the side are to the back area.

The thing to keep in mind is that if you are asleep and unaware that you are changing positions a lot, you may find yourself waking in wrong areas of the pillow.

The idea for a multiple height pillow is good in that back sleeping requires a lower pillow height while side sleeping required a higher pillow height because of the shoulders. Indeed, multiple height pillows provide great support. By the way, the most popular of these is the so called “Orthopedic Pillow”. In fact, this pillow has soft angled transitions making it easy to change sleep positions. Also, this pillow is very good in that it can be measured to fit well and keeps a good posture for both side and back sleeping.

And, if you are a strict side sleeper, the so called “Side Sleeper Pillow” is an option that provides soft support and height for your shoulders, however, it is mainly for side sleeping.

On the other hand, if you are unaware of your changing sleeping positions, pillows with a continuous surface work well. Also, you may find that an adjustable pillow may help get better pillow height for different sleep positions. Next, there is the question of a pillow’s firmness - which is determined by the quality and quantity of material that can be adjusted.

Other Orthopedic Pillows for the Neck

Especially relevant, a soft memory foam orthopedic pillow is a great solution for more advanced degenerative conditions. Also, for adults and children, the so called “chiropractic pillow” gives you sizing options and a sound ergonomic design.

Next, the latex pillow uses high end Talalay processed latex and is very good for neck conditions, whereas the dunlop latex pillow tends to be bouncy. Furthermore, there are pillows that use zones that allow a traditional shaped pillow to function like a contour pillow. These memory foam pillows also have an option for natural infused aromatherapy like lavender and are a great combination of softness and firmness. Finally, these orthopedic pillows are also available in a special side sleeping version.

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Lumbar Region?

First and foremost, the lumbar spine is part of your lower back. Furthermore, the spine curves in toward your belly and then back out toward the sacrum. And, in the sacrum your pelvis connects with the spine’s fused lower vertebrae.

Most of all, the purpose of these curves is proper weight distribution. Indeed, the lower vertebrae of your lumbar spine support the weight of your entire torso. Because of that, the lower vertebrae are prone to stress. For example, after years of wear and tear, the soft discs between your lower vertebrae can start to bulge. As a result, the soft discs put pressure on the nerves surrounding them. And this pressure can lead to symptoms including numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness.

Therefore, it’s essential to protect your back while you sleep. In fact, if you don’t have proper lumbar support, your hips and shoulders will sink into the bed and your natural spinal curve will be flattened out. In fact, sleeping on a bad mattress on a nightly basis can lead to lower back pain as well as early onset of arthritis or other symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.

Therefore, to better support your body, place an orthopedic pillow, like the lumbar pillow, under your pelvis and lumbar region.

Because the weight of their hips and belly pulls their lower spine down into the mattress, stomach-sleepers have the worst sleep position. Indeed, these sleepers are prone to lower back problems.

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Knee?

First and foremost, a knee pillow is an orthopedic pillow meant only for side sleepers only. Indeed, sleeping on the side causes the upper leg to pull the spine out of alignment. Consequently, this puts stress on the hips and lower back. Therefore, if you are a side sleeper, use a firm pillow between the knees. In fact, this knee pillow, an orthopedic pillow, prevents the upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment. Also, don’t forget to pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. Finally, a knee pillow improves blood circulation in the legs.

Because of its ability to respond to heat, knee pillows use memory foam. As a result, when the room becomes colder, the knee pillow becomes firmer. On the other hand, when the room becomes warmer the knee pillow becomes softer.

In addition, a knee pillow made of memory foam automatically adjusts to the contour of your knees but reverts back to its original shape when you don’t use it. Meanwhile, a hypoallergenic knee pillow is free from common allergens.

For those who have osteoarthritis, an orthopedic pillow like the knee pillow is actually a knee pad that does not slip when you get up. It is often used to align the spine properly but also as a solution for pain in the knee from the osteoarthritis.

Next, inflatable knee pillows can be adjusted for firmness, don’t occupy too much space when packed, remove pressure on the knees, and provide support for the lower back and hips as well as reduce any pain associated with those areas.

Side and back sleepers suffering chronically from lower back pain use knee pillow bolsters. Usually around 27 inches long, this type of knee pillow enables you to move in bed without moving the knee pillow.

How to Find Pillow Thickness for Yourself?

One of the biggest challenges of ordering pillows online is figuring out the thickness or height of orthopedic pillows such as cervical pillows, lumbar pillows, and possibly knee pillows. Moreover, the thickness of the pillow has a huge impact on its effectiveness.

So, to get a rough idea of pillow height, stand against a wall in your favorite sleeping positions.

Side Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight but perpendicular to the wall with your arms against the wall. Next measure the distance from your ears to the wall. This distance represents the thickness of the orthopedic pillow you need with your head resting on the pillow. Consequently, with a firmer orthopedic pillow, this distance is little less that the thickness of the pillow you need. On the other hand, a softer pillow would need to be thicker. Regrettably, the only way to know the thickness of a softer pillow is to try it. However, you do have the minimum thickness of the pillow.

Next, measure the distance of large gaps between your body and the wall. For example, if there is a gap between the hips and the wall, measure that distance. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness will keep your spine straight.

Next, measure the distance between the knees and the wall. When you lie in bed, the knees would towards the bed, which could cause stress on your hips. So, a pillow between the knees with thickness close to the measured distance will help minimize the stress.

Back Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight against the wall with the wall behind you. Next measure the distance from the back of the head to the wall. This distance represents the thickness of the orthopedic pillow you need with your head resting on the pillow. Consequently, with a firmer orthopedic pillow, this distance is little less that the thickness of the pillow you need. On the other hand, a thicker softer pillow works. Regrettably, the only way to know the thickness of a softer pillow is to try it. However, you do now know the minimum thickness of the pillow.

Next, measure the distance of large gaps between your body and the wall. For example, if there is a gap between the hips and the wall, measure that distance. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness keeps your spine straight.

Stomach Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight against the wall with the wall in front of you. Next, if your head is the only part touching the wall, measure the distance from the wall to the hips. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness keeps your spine straight. And if there is another gap between the head and the hips, another orthopedic pillow of lesser thickness may be needed to fill that gap.

Is your Spine Aligned When Sleeping in Bed?

First, to answer this question, lay down near the edge of the bed in your favorite sleeping position or positions. Next measure the following distances.

For Back and Stomach Sleepers

  1. 1
    First, from the middle of the knee joint to the floor
  2. 2
    Next, from the middle of the hip joint to the floor
  3. 3
    Next, from the middle of the shoulders to the floor
  4. 4
    Finally, from the ears to the floor

For Side Sleepers

  1. 1
    First, from where the knees meet to the floor
  2. 2
    Next, from the crotch to the floor
  3. 3
    Next, from the mid-point between the shoulders to the floor
  4. 4
    Finally, from the nose to the floor

Next, plot these points on a graph paper. And, if you don’t see a straight line, use appropriately sized pillows to get a straight line.

Finally, the other option, is to take a picture with you on the bed and draw a line on the picture between the middle of the knee area to the ears or nose. This lets you know where you need orthopedic pillows to align your spine.

How to Relieve Transient Insomnia and Sleep Better

transient insomnia

How to Relieve Transient Insomnia and Sleep Better

Especially relevant, the National Institutes of Health, describe insomnia as a common sleep disorder in which people have a hard time sleeping. Furthermore, insomnia is classified as either transient insomnia, acute insomnia, or chronic insomnia. In fact, the primary differentiator between these three classifications, is the length of time people suffer from insomnia. Above all, transient insomnia usually lasts less than a week, acute insomnia lasts a few weeks, while chronic insomnia lasts several months or years.

Stages of Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, the three stages of chronic, acute, or transient insomnia correspond to the onset of sleep, maintenance of sleep, and end of sleep.

For example, some people have a hard time going to sleep. But, after falling asleep, they may not be able to stay asleep. Or, after falling asleep they wake up too early in the morning. Or, after falling asleep they stay asleep a long time. On the other hand, some people fall asleep right away but, then, they wake up soon after and have difficulty going back to sleep.

Onset of Sleep

In fact, difficulty falling asleep, sometimes for hours, occurs at the onset of sleep. And, this difficulty may be due to:

  • 1
    Stress
  • 2
    Your head wrapped around nagging problems
  • 3
    Fear
  • 4
    Anxiety
  • 5
    Going to bed when you are really not sleepy
  • 6
    Your sleep environment being not conducive to good sleep. For example, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress.

Maintenance of Sleep

Most noteworthy, everyone wakes up at least once in the middle of the night. And most people go right back to sleep, some without even knowing they woke up. But for others, going back to sleep becomes a problem. Indeed, these difficulties may be due to:

  • 1
    An illness that prevents them from sleeping soundly
  • 2
    Pain that causes them to wake up
  • 3
    Going to the toilet
  • 4
    Exposing themselves to bright light after they wake up
  • 5
    Presence of anxiety or depression

End of Sleep

Finally, there are times you wake up too early in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. And, this may be due to:

  • 1
    Sleeping lightly during the night
  • 2
    Older people go to sleep early and so they wake up early
  • 3
    Some people need less sleep than others. So it’s natural to wake up early in the morning
  • 4
    Depressed people spend more time in REM sleep. REM sleep is a very light stage of sleep, where people are easily woken up.

Definition of Transient Insomnia

Most of all, transient insomnia is a temporary form of insomnia which can last from one night to a week. Furthermore, transient insomnia may be one night of poor sleep or recurring episodes of insomnia interspersed with days and weeks of normal sleep. Indeed, transient insomnia is caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Changes in the sleep environment, such as sleeping in a hotel
  • 2
    Changes in bedtimes
  • 3
    Depression
  • 4
    Stress
  • 5
    Anxiety
  • 6
    Worrying about something that’s going to happen in the future
  • 7
    A nagging issues such as problems with relationships
  • 8
    Medications used to treat anxiety, stress, and depression
  • 9
    Not feeling well, such as a blocked nose making it hard to fall asleep
  • 10
    Jet lag
  • 11
    Too much excitement
  • 12
    Bad sleeping habits
  • For example, eating a heavy dinner just before bedtime
  • Or, drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening
  • Or, falling asleep with the lights on, watching television
  • Next, using cell phone, computer, or tablet before bedtime
  • Finally, smoking

Definition of Acute Insomnia

On the other hand, acute insomnia can last several weeks and caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Long illness
  • 2
    Stress from a bigger or recurring problem
  • 3
    Medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, COPD, strokes, asthma, sleep apnea, heart failure, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and endocrine problems.
  • 4
    Death of someone close

Definition of Chronic Insomnia

Lastly, chronic insomnia lasts a long time, may be even months or years. And, chronic insomnia may occur for the reasons listed below.

  • 1
    Sleeping environment not being conducive to sleep
  • 2
    Mistiming sleep
  • 3
    Long term health problems
  • 4
    Long term stress and anxiety

Breadth of the Disorder

Meanwhile, at some point in their lifetime, most people have difficulty falling asleep once in a while. However, it’s only when this problem occurs frequently or regularly that people are diagnosed as having chronic, acute, or transient insomnia.

In fact, studies show that up to 95 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of insomnia as some point in their lives. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults experience either transient or acute insomnia, while 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. Especially relevant, 770 million people around the world suffer from chronic insomnia.

Gene Region Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, a February 2019 study, in Nature Genetics, of more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom identified 57 gene regions associated with chronic, acute, or transient insomnia. Meanwhile, 29 percent of the study participants reported frequent sleeplessness. Furthermore, these gene regions explain why some people get insomnia and other don’t. In addition, the study found that increased insomnia symptoms doubled the risk of coronary artery disease, depression, and a reduced sense of well-being.

Psychiatric Disorders Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Yet, another new study, using DNA from 1.3 million people, resulted in identification of 956 genes. In fact, variants of these genes increased risk of insomnia. Also, the study discovered biological processes, cell types, and areas of the brain that have these genes.

Next, they found that parts of these genes play an important role in the functionality of axons (which allow neurons to communicate with each other). In addition, some of the genes were active in cells of the frontal cortex and the brain’s subcortical nuclei. Especially relevant, recent brain imaging studies showed these same brain areas as suspects in people with insomnia.

Also, the study found a strong genetic similarity between insomnia and:

  • 1
    Depression
  • 2
    Anxiety
  • 3
    Stress
  • 4
    Other psychiatric disorders
  • 5
    Metabolic disturbances in obesity and diabetes

Finally, the study reported that vulnerability to insomnia runs in families.

Remedies for Transient Insomnia or Acute Insomnia

Because insomnia doubles the risk of coronary heart disease along with links to other conditions, insomnia needs to be treated. Moreover, treatments for acute or transient insomnia are given in the section below.

Treatments for Insomnia

  • Working
  • Emotionally upsetting conversations
  • Scary movies
  • Thrilling novels
  • Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant making it hard to fall and stay asleep. In fact, studies show that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. In addition, nicotine suppresses the restorative Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep.
  • 2
    Next, get ready for bed by taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or reading a soothing book
  • 3
    Meanwhile, alcohol can disrupt your sleep by interfering with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up too early. In addition, alcohol blocks the deep restorative REM sleep. On the other hand, if you must drink something, drink soda water or freshly made fruit juice.
  • 4
    And, if you must snack, eat easily digestible snacks before bedtime. For example eat cheese, fruits, or cereal with milk.
  • 5
    Moreover, to allow time for food to be digested, do not eat one hour before bedtime
  • 6
    Most of all get an aerobic workout, such as speed walking outdoors or on a treadmill, during the day
  • 7
    And, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Regrettably, caffeine is found in many foods and drinks, so you really have to watch out for those kinds of foods.
  • 8
    Also, if you get too  tired during the day, take a quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon but definitely before 5 PM.
  • 9
    Finally, try a foot massager to get a Shiatsu massage, or a foot spa massage, or even a massage chair that can totally relax you. 

Bedroom

  • 1
    Keep your bedroom quiet. For example, a fan may be able to drown out noise that you can’t control (such as street noise entering through the windows).
  • 2
    Don't forget to make the bedroom as dark as possible. For example, heavy shades help block outside lights.
  • 3
    Put your clock in a location that makes it difficult for you to look at it while lying down on your bed.
  • 4
    The bedroom should be free from all blue light emitting devices, such as cell phones, TV, and tablets.

Most of all, if none of these remedies work, it is important to see your doctor.

How Good Sleeping Practices Delay Alzheimer’s Effects

alzheimer's effects

How Good Sleeping Practices Delay Alzheimer’s Effects

First and foremost, dementia is a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. In fact, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most of all, alzheimer’s effects worsens over time. It is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.

Especially relevant, Alzheimer’s effects include poor sleep.

Also, nearly 10% of Americans age 65 and older and one-third of Americans age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, of those with Alzheimer’s, 81 percent are age 75 or older.

Alzheimer’s Effects - Protein tau

First and foremost, in one study, scientists studied 119 adults aged 60 and older. Also, 80% of these adults had no thinking or memory problems. While, the others had only mild thinking or memory problems.

In any case, among these adults, the study found that adults with reduced slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) or poor sleep had higher levels of the brain protein tau. Incidentally, these elevated levels of tau are one of Alzheimer’s effects. Moreover, brain damage and mental decline caused these elevated tau levels.

Hence, Alzheimer’s effects include poor sleep or reduced slow wave sleep in older adults. So, poor sleep is a warning sign for the presence of Alzheimer's.

Observational Studies of Alzheimer’s Effects – Amyloid Plaques

First of all, observational studies also found reduced slow-wave sleep as a common factor among adults, over age 65, who had amyloid beta plaques in their brain. In fact, amyloid beta plaques in the brain, are a physical sign of Alzheimer’s effects. Yet these adults did not show signs of Alzheimer’s effects, such as memory loss and cognitive decline.

Incidentally, slow-wave sleep (which is part of deep sleep phase) consolidates your memories. As a result, reduced slow-wave sleep hurts the memory consolidation process.

Especially relevant, amyloid beta proteins accumulate in the brain every day. Also, amyloid beta proteins are thought to be a waste product from the energy used by brain cells to communicate with each other. However, your brain sweeps out the excess amyloid beta proteins every night during slow-wave sleep.

Regrettably, some studies suggest that, interrupted slow-wave sleep causes build up of amyloid beta proteins to form plaque in brain tissue. Incidentally, scientists believe, this sign of Alzheimer’s effects, is also the first stage in the development of Alzheimer’s. Indeed, plaque can build up two decades before symptoms of memory loss and confusion appear.

PET Scans of Alzheimer’s Effects – Amyloid Beta Levels

Meanwhile, a 2015 study in Nature Neuroscience imaged the brains of 26 adults, between the ages of 65 to 81. Also, these adults had not been diagnosed with dementia and did not report any sleep problems. First, PET scans on the adults measured their brain's amyloid beta levels. Then they were asked to memorize 120 pairs of words and tested on how well they remembered a portion of them.

The adults then slept for eight hours. During this time their brain waves were measured. And these brain waves searched for sleep disruptions, as well as to find out if they woke up during the slow-wave phase. The next morning, as they tried to recall the memorized words, their brains were scanned again.

Over all, adults with the highest amyloid beta levels in their brain had the poorest quality of sleep. Moreover these adults performed worst on the memory test. In fact, some forgot more than half of the words. In conclusion, then, improving the quality of your sleep results in the brain's lowest amyloid beta levels.

Also, the high amyloid beta levels still remaining in the brain after sleep, likely turns to plaques. Therefore, these high residual amyloid beta levels are another growing sign of Alzheimer’s effects.

Role of Sleep

Lastly, 119 people aged 60 and over participated in a study to discover how sleep causes Alzheimer's effects. Therefore, researchers related the participants measured brain waves, amyloid beta and tau levels with sleep. And, researchers found that decreased slow-wave sleep coincided with higher levels of tau in the brain along with a higher tau-to-amyloid ratio in the cerebrospinal fluid. Moreover, total sleep wasn't a factor. In fact, people with high tau levels were sleeping longer, even taking afternoon naps, but they weren't getting enough slow-wave sleep.

Conclusion

In the meantime, other studies report that aerobic exercise helps you get better sleep quality. Also, because overweight people tend to have more sleep problems, it's important to lose weight by a combination of dieting and exercising. Also, its important to track weight loss using either the body composition monitor or the body composition analyzer, to ensure a successful outcome.

In conclusion, exercising, losing weight, and practicing good sleeping habits helps you improve your sleep. Which in turn protects you from both amyloid beta plaques as well as tau proteins, both of which are growing signs of Alzheimer’s effects. In addition, good sleeping habits, like sleeping 8 hours every day, also protects you from all the other bad consequences.