Pillows have not always been a staple for sleep. The first documented use of pillows as sleeping paraphernalia came around the civilization of Mesopotamia, this is about 7000 BC. The pillows back then were nothing like what we know them as today. They were usually elevated bricks of stone used to keep the bedbugs away from the mouth and ears of the sleepers.
The Chinese used pillows made of stone, wood, porcelain or even jade. They believed that soft pillows stole away the energy of an individual. There have been reports of ancient Greeks and Romans using soft pillows, the practice, however, was not carried forward in England during the middle-ages. Pillows were considered as a sign of weakness and Henry the fifth went to the extent of banning them for everyone except pregnant women.
Today, everyone uses pillows. Research shows that 64% of people use at least two pillows while about 27% of people use three.
Benefits of Pillows
Pillows elevate the head and provide for proper blood flow and circulation necessary for restful sleep. Many agree that a pillow is about as important as the mattress when it comes to getting the required rest for the human body. Having a good pillow is essential in keeping your spine and neck in a comfortable alignment as you sleep. This, in turn, provides for a great posture and allows to sleep and wake up without feeling any kinks or aches in your body.
The Perfect Pillow
Choosing the perfect pillow for yourself is a combination of various factors. Everything from its height, softness to the individual’s particular allergies, height, weight, chemical sensitivities etc. come into play. Research has found that the ideal height for a pillow is about 10 cm. this, however, may differ.
If you are habituated to sleep on your back your pillow should be firm enough to support the natural curve of your spine. If it is too high it may bend your spine unnaturally and cause spasms or aches. For people who are more used to sleeping on their sides, the height of the pillow should be higher than for those sleeping on their backs. Once again, it is important to note that this is a highly individual trait and those with broader shoulders need to figure out what is the right pillow height for them.
The idea is to make sure that your spine is always in a neutral position, whether you are sleeping on your back or on your side. The firmness of the pillow is another factor that needs to be considered when you are buying a pillow. For those sleeping on their side, a softer pillow is often more comfortable because of the give it provides. For those sleeping on their backs, a firmer pillow can be the right answer. If you find that you sleep on your stomach often, the flatter the pillow you have the better it is for you as it affects your spinal alignment really badly.
Try and not go for too soft, or feather, options. These pillows may seem tall but unfortunately, have hardly any support for your head. Instead, the more ergonomically designed coir pillows are still a far better option for you to choose from. Also, it is important to have a soft pillowcase covering your pillow. Through the night the human face sweats and secretes oils, these often accrue on the pillow casing and can cause your face to heat up through the night. There needs to be a certain breathability about the material made from pillows. Cotton or wool is still the best choice for a pillow.
The information in this blog is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this blog is for general information purposes only.