The history of pillow evolution from Georgy Severinets.
Pillow: “a bag or case made of cloth, which is filled with feathers, down, or other soft material, and is used to cushion the head during sleep or rest.”
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language
A man sleeps half of his life. Sound sleep is very important for health. In sleep, the body relaxes – the organs of hearing and vision sleep, muscles are relaxed, the heart beats slowly… But the liver, lungs, endocrine and other systems are active. And, of course, everything is under control of the brain. In this situation, the brain must abstract itself from external agencies – the sleep must be quiet and continuous, then a man wakes up fresh, strong and active. Everything affects our sleep – the surrounding temperature, pressure, moisture and air purity, and of course, what we sleep on and what we use as a blanket.
The first thing the man used as a pillow was a hillock or a stone. It was good because the man could find it in any place where he wanted to lie down and to relax. But such a pillow is imperfect. It may be wet, cold, or infested with dangerous insects. It is impossible to have a good night's rest on such a pillow. Then the man bethought himself of more convenient objects for rest. They were the parts of his body, for instance, his arm, his tribesman's body or a carcass or bones of animals. This is how the first systems for sleeping appeared.
The man tried to realize the performance of the function “to provide a comfortable sleep”. He understood that sound sleep requires an adequate support for the cervical spine and head, and the cervical and shoulder muscles must be relaxed.
The system began developing. The next thing the man used as a pillow was a simple wooden billet. But it is not convenient for sleeping. It provides a good support, but relaxation of muscles is out of the question: you must be careful all the time that the billet does not roll away. But if you apply some skills you may turn a simple billet into quite a comfortable system for sleeping that is still being used in some countries.
When they began to make such pillows, they noticed that every tree has its own smell. What is to be done? Today I like the pine smell and tomorrow I will like to fall asleep inspiring sandalwood aroma. One can have a lot of pillows with different smells. But the smell disappears with time. Of course, such a pillow can be used to nurse the fire in a fireplace. The man worked hard to make the pillow comfortable but the smell disappeared and the pillow is only worth throwing in the fire. That is one of the contradictions the man deals with.
- If there are many pillows, I have many different smells. But the smells disappear very quickly, so I must make more and more similar comfortable pillows.
- If there is only one pillow, I spend time to make only one pillow. But it has only one smell.
In his attempts to solve this contradiction, the man used the law of dynamization (and the principles “Segmentation”, “Nested doll” and “Introduction of the Void”), having little thought of it. He made a hole in the wooden pillow and filled is with a necessary smell.
The next contradiction occurred between a round head and a flat surface. A uniform flat surface, even if it has some holes, does not match the human body's shape.
Is it possible to match the pillow surface with the object that rests on it? One of the methods is to transfer from a flat surface to a curvilinear surface, to space. The pillow surface may be curved in one direction (as the internal surface of a cylinder), or in two directions (as the internal surface of a sphere).
But a hard surface is not always comfortable. So the surface acquires a new, more developed structure along the lines of substance segmentation and dynamization.
Besides, when it is hot, you would like to feel a breath of fresh air near your head. And this construction has a number of advantages: it is well-ventilated and it is possible to put a substance with a desired smell into it. But it also has a disadvantage: the pillow is still hard enough.
The human imagination passed all bounds and created new and new pillows until well-known ordinary pillows appeared.
First they filled them with dry grass. And pillowcases were made from leather. Such a pillow was soft, but it did not let the air pass.
That was another contradiction. As a result, leather gave place to a rough cloth that passed the air very well, was softer, but not hard enough to protect a face from pricks by rigid dry grass or straws.
The natural desire to improve the quality of sleep called forth the following problem. Dry rigid grass is easily packed in a pillowcase made from a rough cloth, but the rough cloth is not agreeable to the touch. Using a thinner cloth that is agreeable to a body is not a good solution, because dry grass may pierce it through and injure the man.
What is to be done? Let us try to coordinate substances: if the cloth is soft, let the filler be soft too. For instance, bird down.
But this turned out to be only the beginning of the story! Today you will see a great variety of pillows in a shop! They are all of different designs and functions.
Pillows for travelers, pillows for offices, for bathrooms, for eyes, for babies, for sick and healthy people, for sleeping and waking, inflatable and with a loud-speaker inside, and so on and so forth. Each of these pillows not only performs its main function –
provides a proper support for the cervical spine and head and relaxation of the cervical and shoulder muscles but also has a lot of additional functions.
That is good, but where are you, the best, the ideal pillow?
Let us try to enumerate all the requirements for a healthy and recuperative sleep.
1. Adequate support
for the cervical spine and head.
of cervical and shoulder muscles.
- thermal stability, permeability to air. No accumulation of heat and moisture.
4. Hygiene and ecology.
The pillow's material must not release harmful chemical substances or allergens within the entire period of use.
We have almost got to modern pillows, good soft pillows, 100 per cent natural. Down inside, silk outside – now it is so pleasant to sleep! Who will refuse to sleep on such a wonderful pillow!
And here is such a pillow: seemingly simple and complex from the technological point of view, soft and comfortable. An ideal system for rest and sleep that employs the latest attainments of science, technology and human thought –
VISCO-ELASTIC: A NEW FOAM TECHNOLOGY.
A pillow produced according to this technology creates the best conditions for sleep and rest, because it adapts to those parts of a body which rest on it. It takes their shape and provides a more uniform and distributed support by minimizing pressure at the points of contact. And the pillow's material meets the strictest ecological and hygienic requirements. It is hard to imagine a system that would ensure a more pleasant sleep and a more complete relaxation.
So what is this – the end of evolution or the opening of new creative horizons?