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Pillow fight

Every night, your beauty sleep is dependent on that which your head rests – your pillow.The pillow is not just a place to put your head – it provides support for your head and neck and is important to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.Yet many of us take pillows for granted, not realising that we should put more care and thought into choosing our pillows. Here’s a guide to choosing the right pillow that will send you off into dreamland.

How do you sleep?

 Everyone has different ways of sleeping, and there are different types of pillows to suit these sleeping styles. If you usually sleep on your back, you need a medium support pillow that will support the natural curve of your upper spine, and under the head, neck and shoulders. There are some people who constantly sleep on their sides. They need a pillow that contours to, and cradles, the neck. This helps keep the body in a horizontal line. If you sleep on your stomach, you should use a soft pillow so that your head and neck can sink into it and are not turned unnaturally to the side.

 What’s your fill?

 Back in the old days, pillows used to be filled with straw, which was commonly and easily found. Needless to say, it has fallen out of fashion and has been replaced by other types of filling. What kind of material is stuffed inside a pillow makes a difference to your beauty sleep because it determines the level of comfort and support. Natural fillers are feathers or down, the latter being the fluffy insulation under the duck’s feathers that keep the animal warm from outdoor elements. These types of fill conform easily to the curve of the head and neck.

Some people may be allergic to feathers and down, but there are “allergy-free” varieties in the market today. Synthetic fillers are usually made of polyester and tend to be of a stiffer shape. They do not conform to the head and neck as well as a natural fill pillow, and are not very durable. However, they do not cause allergies and are generally the most affordable type of pillows. Another type of synthetic pillow is the poly cluster fill pillow, in which polyester clusters are coated with silicone so that it feels as soft as down.

Recently, a new type of pillow has entered the market – the memory foam pillow. These pillows are filled with dense, sponge-like material and mould to the shape of the head and neck, providing firm support. These pilows are best for people who have neck and spine problems.

Cover up

 Pillow covers are important as well because your skin comes into direct contact with the covers, and not so much the actual pillow. Pillow covers or pillowcases come in a variety of qualities. The more expensive fabrics have a higher thread count, which represents the number of threads per square inch of fabric. Covers with higher thread counts protect the pillow fill, and prevent impurities from getting in.

Nevertheless, pillow covers still need to be washed regularly, to rid them of dust and microbes which can cause allergies. They should also be replaced every few years because the fill can accumulate more microbes than washing is able to remove. Now that you know what to look out for when buying pillows, make sure you invest in good support for your head and neck. A good night’s sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead!

Star newspape. Mar 25, 2010
By Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar