Posts tagged with "Tuck"

Will adjustable pillows be 2020’s weighted blankets?

January 14, 2020

You can customize your car, your pizza, your sneakers, and now, your pillow. If you get “all bent out of shape” when you lay your head down for a night’s sleep, this might just be the product for you.

While adjustable pillows may not generate the buzz weighted blankets did a couple of years ago, manufacturers are banking on their popularity. “Some 50% of the pillow models released in the last six months have some sort of customizable feature,” Bill Tuck, co-founder of, a sleep resource website, told The Washington Post recently.

While mattresses usually get the blame when you don’t sleep well or when you wake up with a sore back, a pillow is as (or more) important, Philip Schneider, an orthopedic spine surgeon practicing in Chevy Chase, Maryland, told the news outlet. “Without a comfortable, appropriate pillow, you’re likely not to have a good night’s sleep.”

 Those sentiments are echoed by Gil Kentof, a chiropractor in Franklin, Tennessee, who specializes in neck and shoulder pain, the Post says. “The problem is not your head, but your neck, and finding something to fill the gap between your head and shoulders so your head and spine are aligned.” He and Schneider agree that side sleepers are the most likely to benefit from a customizable pillow.

Adjustable pillows typically fall into two types: fill or insert. Those sold by LaylaCoop Home Goods, and Snuggle-Pedic are stuffed with small chunks of shredded memory foam and microfibers. Unzip the cover, remove the fill to suit and store the excess in a zip-lock bag.

Others—such as the ones made by LeesaHelix,and Brookstone (sold through Bed Bath & Beyond)—offer removable inserts.

Either style allows you to increase or decrease the loft (thickness) and/or firmness. Expect to pay between $50 and $125, or about the same as a premium down or memory foam pillow.

A stiff, sore neck sent Julie Ward hunting for a new pillow, the Post recounts. The Nashville-based public relations consultant was convinced that she could find the perfect one at a bargain price from a big-box retailer. Complicating matters: She wanted king-size pillows, which are not only larger, but also thicker.

“I scrutinized all the regular pillows, bought the one that seemed best and brought it home. What seemed perfect in the store would be too thick when I went to bed,” she recalls. “I would return to the store, find another promising pillow, lay it on a flat surface, awkwardly rest my head against it and leave full of optimism.” None worked. After three shopping trips, Ward had nothing to show for her efforts except three new pillows for overnight guests.

At that point, she told the newspaper, she turned to online retailers for customizable options and found a Snuggle-Pedic adjustable model. Ward unzipped the cover and removed some of the stuffing, repeating the process several times until it was her preferred height. “You can’t go wrong with a pillow that is totally adjustable. It’s a foolproof option,” she says.

Think an adjustable pillow will fill your needs? The Washington Post recommends that you consider the following before putting your money down: .

 Take your sleep position into account. According to Schneider, side sleepers need a fuller pillow to prevent the neck from tilting. Stomach sleepers need a thinner pillow, so the head doesn’t hyperextend backward. Back sleepers should opt for a thin to midsize pillow so as not to flex the head forward. Consider body size as well. Those with really big shoulders or chests may have to adjust accordingly to find a pillow that supports the nape of the neck and keeps the head aligned with the body.

Be prepared for a trial run. Multiple factors affect sleep, including temperature, noise, light, what you ate for dinner, and even the day’s news. If you are restless that first night, give your pillow a chance. You may have to play with it a bit. Expect a break-in period of a week or so as your body adjusts.

Ensure it is washable. While it’s important to wash your pillowcase on a regular basis, if you are investing in an adjustable pillow, which is likely to last several years, experts advise that you get one that is machine washable or at minimum has a removable cover that you can wash.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

The West is best for sleep

January 3, 2018

Do you want to catch a few Zs? Go West, young man (or young woman). The five cities nationwide rated tops for a good night’s sleep all are west of the Mississippi (in order from number-one down): Colorado Springs, Colorado; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; and Lincoln Nebraska.

That’s according to research results released in December by Tuck—a community for “advancing better sleep.”

The five worst are all on the East Coast: Detroit, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey, Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And the all-time winner is—you guessed it—the “city that never sleeps”: New York, New York.

According to Tuck, a variety of factors impact how well we sleep, from our personal health and happiness, to environmental factors such air and noise pollution.

To determine the best and worst cities for sleep in the United States, Tuck looked at how cities rank on different factors related to sleep, including:

  • Sleep deprivation: Using 2014 survey data, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that 35.2% of Americans don’t get sufficient sleep on a regular basis. Hawaii reported the lowest levels of adequate sleep (at 56%), while South Dakota got the most sleep (at 72%). People living in the southeastern part of the United States and Appalachia reported the lowest amounts of sleep,
  • Obesity rates: More than one-third of American adults are obese, according to the CDC—a risk factor for higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring, which interfere with sleep.
  • Unemployment rate: The researchers referenced the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics state unemployment numbers for June 2017, when the the national unemployment rate was 4.4%. Depression is linked to unemployment—and can result in both insomnia and disturbed sleep. The opposite also is true: Workaholics tend to suffer from sleep disorders.
  • Commute time: The average American spends 25.5 minutes each way commuting to work. How does your commute time impact your sleep? Workers with shorter commute times tend to be more productive and report more job satisfaction. Happier people fall asleep more easily. Tuck relied on a study by real estate website Trulia, which determined the average commute times for 50 major metropolitan areas.
  • Air quality: Allergies and asthma are risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, air pollution makes it tougher to exercise outside—and lack of exercise can interfere with sleep. Each year, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report lists the 25 cleanest and the 25 most polluted cities, based on levels of ozone; as well as short-term particle, and year-round particle, pollution.
  •  Light pollution: Light pollution interferes with your body’s circadian rhythms; confusing your brain about when it’s time to release hormones like melatonin, which induce sleep. Over 99% of Americans live under light-polluted skies—especially in the large cities along the Eastern seaboard.
  • Ongoing construction: Finally, many American cities are in a period of growth right now. While this bodes well for the economy, it’s not so great for sleep.

 Research contact: @keithcushner