Healthy Living

Pillow Talk

If pillow talk is your thing then the world of pillows is your stage…. With so many different kinds and types of pillows available, stage setting might seem overwhelming especially if you are interested in balancing functionality and beauty:

Head and neck pillows Pillows that are designed to support head and neck during the sleep and facilitate proper sleeping posture

 

Lumbar pillows  Pillows designed for lower back support while sitting of laying down

 

Body pillows  Pillows that are designed to provide full body support and alignment even for side and stomach sleepers. Pregnant women, athletes, seniors as well as those who are recovering from surgery might benefit from body pillows the most

 

Wedge pillows  Pillows  that are designed to slightly elevate the head, shoulders and torso in order to relieve neck and back pain, acid reflux, snoring, allergies and other breathing issues

 

 

Exploring the world of pillows while using the “pillow talk” analogy, it seemed only natural to start the discovery with head and neck pillows since they have the direct involvement in what I imagine being the proper “pillow talk”.

 

Head and neck pillows

 

1)      Pillow types

There are many pillow types; however, mentioned below are the two types of pillows that seem to provide the most support for neck and head:

Support pillows Cervical pillows
Pillows that cradle the neck and help support neck Pillows that are molded or shaped to suit individual needs of the person
Types:

1)      Displacement pillows (used after the injury until doctor visit is arranged)

2)      Orthopedic pillow (long – term sleeping aid used to correct spinal alignment)

 

 

No matter the kind of pillow you choose, it is critical to ensure proper alignment of the neck:

Screenshot_20180912-143526-01

During sleep our bodies tend to be in static position for extended period of time which naturally has direct impact of the spinal health. Sleeping on the back where the neck and back are in neutral position and are properly aligned is considered to be the best sleeping posture. Support and cervical pillows facilitate comfortable sleep on the back. That said, the secret to full relaxation and falling asleep on the back is to create 4 stable pillars to anchor the body: keep your legs shoulder width apart thus creating a stable rectangular shape with your body where your hips further ground the posture. In order to create more stability or in case you have pronounced arch in the lower back, you might bend your knees slightly and put small pillows for support.

 

2)      Pillow fill

Pros Cons
Natural materials

 

Feather –          Durable

–          Light weight

–          Flexible

–          Soft

 

–          Support might not last since feather pillows tend to sink in further throughout the night

–          Feather quills might not be comfortable when rotating during sleep

–          Shaking and fluffing is required

–          Not suitable for people with feather allergies

 

Down (stomach sleepers) –          Washable

–          Long lasting

–          Lighter compared to feather pillows

–          Breathable (reduce perspiration during sleep)

 

–          Expensive

–          Shaking and fluffing is required

Cotton –          100% pure and natural material

–          Absorbent

–          Allergy free

–          Firmer and flatter compared to down pillows

 

–          Flatten overtime

–          Feel hard once compressed

–          Do not contour neck and head

–          Retain moisture (i.e. encourage dust mites and mold if not cleaned regularly)

 

Buckwheat –          Cheap

–          Natural

–          Renewable

–          Long lasting

–          Perfect natural air circulation which is maintains ideal temperature for peaceful sleep

–          Excellent support for neck and head

–  Might make noise
Latex

 

–          100% natural, organic material

–         Biodegradable

–          Long lasting

–          Mold and mild dew resistant

–          Insect resistant (will ward off bed bags and dust mites)

–          Free of harmful chemicals

–          Firm but cushioned sleeping surface: Under the weight of the body,  it molds to the shape of the head and neck

 

–          Costly
Synthetic materials

 

Memory foam –          Provides comfort and support, especially for those who have neck, shoulder and back problems

 

–          Combustible

–          Presence of distinct chemical odor

–          Traps body heat

 

Microbead –          Good air flow

–          Contour well the head and neck

–          Too firm for some

–          Chemical odor

–          Tear during washing

–          Risk of inhaling microbeads in the event of pillow tear

Polyester –          Cheap

–          Washable

–          Extremely tear resistant

–          Poor ventilation

–          Poor neck support

 Synthetic fibers –          Cheap

–          Durable

–          Allergy free

–          Easy to wash

–          Highly static

–          Non absorbent

–          Do not contour the head and neck

 

If your objective is to have a standard pillow then there are numerous options for pillow fills. If you are looking for a pillow that would serve a particular purpose, then it is best to make a research available options serving your particular objectives. In case of support and cervical pillows, they tend to be made from synthetic materials or from a mix of organic and synthetic materials … and there is no way around it.

 

3)      Pillow cover

Nothing touches your hair and facial skin as long as the pillow case does. Natural materials are suggested to make the best fabrics and yet cotton tends to make hair frizzy and facial skin dry / wrinkly… Since perfection assumes upward movement, the world of pillow cases suggests that we upgrade all our cotton bedding to silk. Silk helps to maintain skin moisture, reduces bed hair days and split ends all the while reducing chemical exposure. That being said, not all silks are created equal which is why mulberry silk is considered to be the gold standard when it comes to pillow cases.

Pros Cons
Mulberry silk (21 -22 momme) –          Highest quality of silk available for purchase

–          Natural, odorless and hypoallergenic

 

 

–          Expensive

 

 

 

 

 

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