The pil­low appeared in every­day life of a per­son in ancient times, and for a long time was a sign of belong­ing to the elite of soci­ety. Nowa­days, this is a famil­iar attribute of life, which, with the right choice, ensures healthy sleep. Research sci­en­tists have shown that the shape, size, fill­ing of the pil­low can have a great impact on human health.

Filler: synthetic or natural?

Many still, for one rea­son or anoth­er, con­tin­ue to active­ly use down and feath­er pil­lows. More­over, the vast major­i­ty (over nine­ty per­cent) of peo­ple are con­vinced that pil­lows with nat­ur­al fill­ing are still the best option to this day. How­ev­er, not every­thing is so smooth here.

Down and feath­ers are a favor­able breed­ing ground for bac­te­ria, mites, fun­gi, mold, etc., which can lead to the devel­op­ment of var­i­ous dis­eases, includ­ing aller­gies, bronchial asth­ma. To avoid unpleas­ant con­se­quences, such pil­lows require appro­pri­ate care. They need to be dry cleaned every year.

At the same time, insuf­fi­cient pro­cess­ing of the feath­er dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of pil­lows can cause some kind of infec­tion (if the bird has been infect­ed). And the sharp part of the feath­er (awn) can eas­i­ly crawl out and injure the skin, eye or ear dur­ing sleep.

Back in the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, the Ger­man physi­cian O. Stein­er, in his book Bed, spoke about the dan­gers of down pil­lows for humans. At the same time, in some Euro­pean coun­tries, at the leg­isla­tive lev­el, it is for­bid­den to sell down pil­lows.

Along with down and feath­er pil­lows, it is not rec­om­mend­ed to use pil­lows made of foam rub­ber and buck­wheat husk for a good sleep. It is bet­ter to give pref­er­ence to pil­lows made of polyurethane and holofiber, for exam­ple. If we talk about the lat­ter, they have an afford­able price, are hypoal­ler­genic, safe from the point of view of the devel­op­ment of var­i­ous microor­gan­isms, are eas­i­ly ven­ti­lat­ed and keep their shape per­fect­ly.

Orthopedic pillows do not relieve pain

Orthopedic pillows do not relieve pain

Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, an ortho­pe­dic pil­low is not a med­ical pil­low. It helps to main­tain health and can only be used for sleep by healthy peo­ple. If there is pain in the neck, chron­ic headaches, etc., the use of an ortho­pe­dic pil­low is con­traindi­cat­ed. Oth­er­wise, the con­di­tion can only wors­en, and the pain can inten­si­fy. There­fore, first you need to under­go treat­ment and elim­i­nate prob­lems. And only after that pro­ceed to the choice of ortho­pe­dic pil­lows.

The ortho­pe­dic pil­low com­bines two rollers (lifts) of dif­fer­ent sizes. The one that is small­er pro­vides the phys­i­o­log­i­cal posi­tion of the cer­vi­cal ver­te­brae in the supine posi­tion, the sec­ond — on the side.

Today, you can pick up an ortho­pe­dic pil­low for almost any per­son, regard­less of build, age, etc. By the way, it may be con­ve­nient for some­one to sleep on a spe­cial cush­ion that is placed under the neck. But, again, you can use it only in the absence of pain in the neck and oth­er relat­ed prob­lems.

Pillows for sleep with “shape memory”

Pil­lows with “shape mem­o­ry” are made of “breath­able” syn­thet­ic mate­r­i­al — a spe­cial foam. The basis of such a pil­low is a mate­r­i­al — a spe­cial foam that makes sleep more com­fort­able. There are pil­lows of dif­fer­ent heights, so every­one can make a choice accord­ing to their con­sti­tu­tion­al fea­tures — the size of the shoul­der and head.

The pil­low cov­er is made of knit­ted fab­ric, often with antibac­te­r­i­al impreg­na­tion. Often there is a mesh insert around the perime­ter of the cov­er, which has the prop­er­ties of a semi-per­me­able mem­brane and removes mois­ture from the pil­low, which, due to per­spi­ra­tion, will cer­tain­ly get into it.

Such pil­lows ful­fill the basic rule of sleep — keep­ing the cer­vi­cal spine par­al­lel to the bed line while main­tain­ing phys­i­o­log­i­cal lor­do­sis. In this posi­tion, the ver­te­bral arter­ies are not pinched and the blood sup­ply to the brain is not dis­turbed. At the same time, the artic­u­lar cap­sules of the spine do not stretch, which means that the risk of osteo­chon­dro­sis is min­i­mized.

How to choose a pillow

Stud­ies have shown a link between pil­low height and dis­eases of the cer­vi­cal spine, as well as the risk of stroke. Nor­mal­ly, the cer­vi­cal spine should be almost par­al­lel to the plane of the bed. It is in this posi­tion that the nor­mal blood sup­ply to the brain is ensured by the ver­te­bral arter­ies.

Too high (mer­chant) pil­lows lead to flex­ion — exces­sive tilt of the cer­vi­cal spine and stretch­ing of the neck joints. As a result, blood flow through the large ver­te­bral arter­ies, which pro­vide nutri­tion to the brain, may be dis­turbed. Thus, the risk of stroke in old­er peo­ple increas­es. Most ischemic strokes hap­pen in the ear­ly morn­ing hours, when a per­son spent most of his sleep in the wrong posi­tion.

It is worth remem­ber­ing that the right pil­low is the key to health. It is bet­ter to give pref­er­ence to a rec­tan­gu­lar pil­low, rather than a square one. It is desir­able that the pil­low­case (first pil­low­case) be hypoal­ler­genic.

There is a spe­cial table for the selec­tion of pil­lows for sleep­ing. So, if the shoul­der length is with­in fif­teen cen­time­ters, you need a pil­low ten cen­time­ters high. With a shoul­der length of fif­teen to twen­ty cen­time­ters — twelve cen­time­ters. With broad shoul­ders — from twen­ty cen­time­ters and above — four­teen.

How to use

You need to under­stand that the pil­low should sup­port the neck, not the head. It is cor­rect to lie down on the pil­low only with the head and neck. In this case, the shoul­ders and back should be out­side the pil­low. The low­er cor­ners of the pil­low can be pulled up so that the head is com­fort­ably locat­ed in the result­ing hole.

Pillow Care

Pillow Care

Car­ing for a pil­low by and large con­sists in the time­ly cleans­ing of dirt. It is rec­om­mend­ed to wash the pil­low (if allowed by the man­u­fac­tur­er) once every two weeks at a tem­per­a­ture of forty-five degrees. In this case, the pil­low­case or cov­er should be changed every week, and the pil­low­case twice a week.

As for pil­lows with “shape mem­o­ry”, they do not require spe­cial care and wash­ing. You only need to wash the remov­able pil­low cov­er.


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