Pillow talk: Cooling tech to natural fibres and heightened support, we explore the advancements in R&D for your best night of rest yet

On World Sleep Day, we take you pillow shopping with the newest advancements in the market and chat with a sleep expert and feng shui specialist 
Pic courtesy: Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
Pic courtesy: Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

If you woke up this morning tired or stiff, chances are reading this story might help. On World Sleep Day, we urge you to shift that late night shopping scroll from what to add to your wardrobe to learning more about the dozens of new age choices available with regard to what to put underneath your head — your pillow. From cooling technology that makes for a great investment as we get into a humid summer to hypoallergenic comfort and heightened neck support, the humble pillow could now be the portal to your best night’s rest yet, if you simply ‘head’ in the right direction.

And yes, in case you were wondering — we did talk to a feng shui expert about which direction is best to place your head when you lie down. “East or South or even West is acceptable,” says SBS Surendran, accredited feng shui master and vaasthu consultant. “North is not recommended however because it is said the human head represents North and legs South, thus creating repulsive forces that could disturb sleep and energy circulation,” he explains. With that sorted, now let’s get down to some fun pillow talk.

<em>SnowTec Adjustable pillow, The Sleep Company, Mumbai</em>
SnowTec Adjustable pillow, The Sleep Company, Mumbai

Harshil Salot, co-founder of The Sleep Company in Mumbai tells us that their in-depth research led to discovering pain points like many people in India struggle with pillows that become too warm during the night, resulting in restlessness and poor sleep quality. To fix this problem, the company rolled out the SnowTec Adjustable Pillow in January this year “with cooling fibres and thermal conductivity to keep sleepers 4 to 6 degrees cooler”. Meanwhile, Chennai-based Cosee offers a dual sided pillow that works for different seasons and climates. Founder Dhiraj Gupta breaks down how it works for us, “One side has a cooling gel infused to keep you cool in the summer, while the other side is warm for winter.”

<em>Cooling gel pillow from Cosee, Chennai</em>
Cooling gel pillow from Cosee, Chennai

Even five star properties are investing heavily in R&D and resources around sleep initiatives. After two decades of research, ITC Hotels opened their unique Sleeep Boutique pan India last year. One of the highlights off the shelf is their seven item ‘pillow menu’ ranging from natural fillers like down feather and cotton to polyester fibres. Look out for the ‘Supersoft’ pillow with three-way support and even a pillow designed for ‘Bath Comfort’ to cushion your head for a long, luxurious soak in the tub.

<em>The Sleeep Boutique at ITC properties has an exclusive 'pillow menu' </em>
The Sleeep Boutique at ITC properties has an exclusive 'pillow menu' 

Sleeping styles are also a contributing factor while picking a pillow that best suits you. “Like the wedge pillow, for instance, which is a good option during a pregnancy when you are more comfortable sleeping on your side,” says Dr N Ramakrishnan, Senior Consultant in Sleep Medicine at Apollo Hospitals & Director, Nithra Sleep Clinic. Beyond the pillow and other essentials in your bedroom for a good night’s rest, however, he emphasises that the bigger problem we face is a lack of sleep hygiene. “That means looking at your phone in the middle of night to respond to a text,” he gives us an example. This way, the body continues to stay alert instead of unwind. Simply put, Dr Ramakrishnan sums up, “The mind needs to be calm to sleep better.” Rest assured, perhaps as the good doctor suggests, a sense of calm, is the softest 
pillow of them all.

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