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
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.
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.