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Pillow Options for People With Bad Backs or Necks

Neck and back pain are two of the most common ailments that people suffer from. These problems can be experienced by young and old people alike. Many of these instances of neck and back pain can be traced back to problems during sleep. When people sleep in awkward positions, it often contributes to these issues. My uncle was one of the people that woke up every morning with a stiff back and neck. He thought that he would just have to learn to live with the pain. However, I told him to test out some new pillows to see if that might solve the problem. To his surprise, a new pillow specifically designed to help the back and neck was exactly what he needed. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of these pillows that are currently available:

Travelrest pillow

This pillow is ideal for people who do a lot of traveling and can never seem to have a restful sleep during their trip. This keeps your head from tilting over if you are trying to sleep in a sitting position. That type of tilting can put a lot of stress on your neck. It is easy to inflate to the desired amount of firmness or softness. It helps you to maintain good posture and avoid sudden jerky movements.

Talalay latex pillow

This is ideal for both side and back sleepers. Your neck and head will be kept cool by the ventilated foam. Because the pillow is four inches high, many people say it is a good pillow for someone with a large body who enjoys sleeping on their side.

Lumbar wedge pillow

This type of pillow is made by many manufacturers. As the name indicates, it is shaped like a wedge. This type of pillow can be used in two different ways. It can be used by people who need to sit at a desk all day at their job because it provides support to the lower back. There are also larger wedge pillows that can be used for sleeping. Their shape has been shown to reduce tossing and turning. It also enables people to get out of bed easier.

Cylinder pillows (also called a roll pillow)

This is another pillow that is produced by many companies, so a person will need to test out a few different ones to see which one they like best. You can find these pillows stuffed most frequently with either beans or foam. If a person uses them while sitting in a chair, they will provide support to the lumbar region of the back, where many people frequently experience pain. They can also be placed under your neck when you are sleeping to give your neck the amount of support it needs.

How the Size of Beds Has Changed Over Time

These days, it’s easy to find sheets that snugly fit your bed. But not so in the 18th century and earlier, when standardized bed sizes didn’t exist. In general, bed sizes varied depending on the furniture maker. As a result, both mattresses and bedding had to be individually fitted to the unique shape of each bed. One of the best ways to see the difference firsthand is to visit a preserved colonial house like the ones open to visitors in Williamsburg, Virginia, which have numerous colonial beds on display, complete with requisite 18th century canopies and high headboards.
Single Bed size in old mansions
Along with their unique colonial trimmings, you’ll observe that bed lengths varied from being very, very short and wide to very, very long and narrow, along with every kind of dimension in between. After the industrial revolution took place, however, standardized twin and double beds took the place of more approximated sizing. In the 1960s, standard ‘king’ and ‘queen’ sized beds also became extremely popular in the United States. By the end of the era, most master bedrooms included either a queen or king sized bed. So the next time you visit the bedding aisle, remember to be grateful that finding the right sized bedding set is as simple as looking for twin, double, queen or king -sized linens — no custom fitted sheets needed!
Bed Sizes

The Best Sheet Fabrics & Blanket Options for Spring

Depending on where you live, finding the right bedding options for the spring can entail a lot of trial and error. Your choices will depend largely on your sleeping attire and what temperature you prefer to keep your room. In my case, I love the fresh air of spring and always keep the windows open about an inch or so at night. I also sleep in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, which helps retain a little body heat.

Fitted Sheet Options

Taupe Bed Sheets
I find silk or satin sheets to be nice and refreshing for the balmiest summer nights. If you frequently feel overheated at night, they are excellent options for keeping you cool in the Spring as well. I prefer to remove my flannel ground sheet and use a thick, 100 percent cotton percale sheet for most of the spring. Percale, which is actually a strong, plain weave that can be made of other blends, is an excellent choice for a ground sheet because it will not bunch or wrinkle under your skin as easily as a thin cotton sheet. If you sleep in the nude or with your arms and legs exposed and find wrinkles uncomfortable to lay on, give a sturdy percale a try. If you prefer a luxury sheet, polished cotton percale is buttery-soft while still laying flat. While not necessary, you can also try using a little starch to keep the ground sheet smooth beneath you. I find 100 percent cotton percale to be perfect in warmth for spring.

Flat Sheet Considerations

If you need a little extra warmth for brisk spring nights, you can always continue to use a flannel flat sheet. For those who like their bedding a bit cooler, try using a satin or silk top sheet. There is no law saying your sheets have to match! Personally, I prefer to use a flannel flat sheet until the nights turn warmer about halfway through spring, at which point I switch to using the percale top sheet as well. Of course, a top sheet is not always necessary. My son has never used a top sheet whatsoever and prefers to sleep with only his blanket covering him.

Blankets for Spring Nights

There are a lot of different options for springtime blankets. Some people prefer to use the same comforter year-round and keep the bedroom cool by using fans or the air conditioning unit. You also have the option of purchasing a light-weight comforter for the warmer months. In my family, I prefer to use an ultra-soft fleece throw as a blanket in spring and summer. My wife has a light quilt her mother made for her. We keep our micro-suede down comforter, which we use all winter, folded at the foot of the bed in spring. If either of us gets cold, we can then just pull it up when needed. My son prefers a light polyester blanket he received for his birthday because it has a picture of Batman.

How you make up you bed for spring depends on your own personal preferences. By taking these options into consideration, you can find the best method for you and get a good night’s rest.

Pregnancy Pillows: Pros and Cons of Each Type

Sleep comes a lot more naturally to moms with newborns in the house than it does for moms-to-be in the last few months of pregnancy. Those who tell you to get all the sleep you can while you’re pregnant have obviously never slept with an extra 20 to 30 pounds of baby and other pregnancy weight moving around their stomach at all hours. It’s not exactly comfortable, and it makes a peaceful night of sleep next to impossible. If it weren’t for pregnancy pillows, I don’t know what expectant mothers would do for sleep.

The great thing about pregnancy pillows is that there are several to choose from, which means you’re sure to find one you love. I didn’t love the first one I tried, but the second one made my nights – and even my husband’s – that much more restful and relaxing.

Leacho Snoogle

Candy Cane

Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar

 

The first pregnancy pillow I purchased with my oldest daughter was the Leachco Snoogle. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s shaped like a candy cane already so you don’t have to maneuver it to make it comfortable. It was great for using as a regular pillow, a stomach pillow, and a between my knees pillow. The only con with this particular type of pregnancy pillow is the fact that it’s so large it makes me feel like there’s another large person in the bed with my husband and I.

Boppy Sleep Wedge

The Boppy Sleep Wedge was my absolute favorite pregnancy pillow when I was pregnant recently with my newborn twins. It sits just below my stomach or in between my knees. It all depends on how I’m comfortable at any given moment. It’s very small. We never once felt like the bed was overly crowded with this particular pillow. The firm feeling under my stomach was such a relief at night it almost felt like I was weightless. It’s very similar to the way you feel when you’re swimming. As far as cons go, the only thing I didn’t care for with this particular pregnancy pillow is the fact that it only goes one place at a time, so you need two if you want to comfort your stomach and keep your knees apart at the same time.

Sealy Sweet Pea

The Sealy Sweet Pea maternity and nursing pillow is another great one. My best friend swears by this pillow, even though I felt that it was a little too big for my petite size compared to her taller frame. What’s so great about it is that it does what pregnancy pillows are supposed to do and doubles as a nursing pillow once your baby arrives. It eliminates the need for both a pregnancy and a nursing pillow.

Aller-Ease (For Allergy Sufferers)

The Aller-Ease body pillow is essentially a king size pillow with the same rectangular shape. It’s a little bit softer than I feel is comfortable for a pregnancy pillow for my own particular taste, but it’s easy to use and it doesn’t require any maneuvering to find a comfortable position. The only negative about this one is that it’s almost identical to a king pillow but much more expensive. Depending on your comfort level, you might consider just purchasing a king size pillow.

To Each Her Own

There are dozens of pregnancy pillows on the market. I’ve tried and loved several, found flaws in some, and still occasionally use others when my back hurts or I can’t get comfortable. My pros and cons might differ from yours. Where I don’t care for a pillow that’s too soft, it might be your preference. By trying each one on for size, you’ll be able to determine which pillow helps you sleep like a baby – a baby that sleeps through the night, that is.

Baby Pillow

Courtesy of bess grant

Plus, some of these pillows might even be able to be used for your baby once you give birth :)

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

When my husband and I got married, one thing I noticed right away was that we had different definitions of the word “clean.” Basically, he was happy as long as nothing was growing mold on it, while I needed everything picked up and put away just so. While I didn’t expect him to spend all evening cleaning the house after work, I just didn’t understand how he could live with such a mess. The bed was always unmade and there were always clothes on the floor.

Progress!

Thankfully, after years of marriage, he is much neater today. While he will probably never be a clean freak like I was during those early days, he has really started helping out more around the house since then. This is partly because somewhere along the way, I realized that part of his reluctance to help came from the fact that he had never been taught some simple cleaning tasks.  I don’t think my husband is the only one who never learned some basic household tasks, either. Many adults – both men and women – don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet, for example.  If they do try, it winds up looking like this:

Fitted Sheet

Courtesy of EvelynGiggles

The Process

It is actually quite simple, when you know what you’re doing. If you were never taught how to fold a fitted sheet – here is the process in eight easy steps.

  1. Start by holding the sheet lengthwise with the right side toward you. The short side should be between your hands, and the long side should head toward the floor.
  2. Bring your hands together and nest one corner neatly in the other.
  3. Bring up a third corner and nest it neatly in the first two. Do the same with the last corner.
  4. Smooth out the sheets so they lay nicely without bunching.
  5. Lay the sheet down on a flat surface. It should look like a square with three sharp corners and one slightly rounded corner. The rounded seam should be on the top, not the bottom.
  6. Fold the sheet in thirds or quarters, so that the rounded edge is hidden in the middle of the sheet.
  7. Fold the sheet the other way, in half, thirds or quarters, so the sheet is the desired size. The sheet should be folded into a nice square or rectangle of your desired size, with no rounded edges visible.
  8. Don’t forget to fold the flat sheet to the same size. If you want to be really neat and organized, store the folded sheets inside the matching pillow case, with the extra fabric folded over and tucked underneath.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here is a YouTube video that shows a similar process:

While stuffing your sheets into a ball and tossing them in the linen closet may seem faster at the time, this method will actually cost you more time later when you have to iron your wrinkled sheets. Folding a fitted sheet is really simple once you get the hang of it, and storing your sheets neatly folded within a pillow case is a great way to keep all of your linens looking nicely organized and wrinkle-free.