Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Good Night's Sleep

Stella and I went out for a shopping-date yesterday, and after some superb Thai food we ended up in Dunelm Mill, a cornucopia of discount fabrics, homewares and soft furnishings at reasonable prices. There were loads of reductions in the Sale, so we went on a bargain hunt.
I headed straight for the bedding - strange behaviour, you might think, for a tools-and-gadget-loving male. Perhaps I should explain...
I have a problem with pillows. I've tried many in the past, looking for the one that will give me a consistently good night's sleep. They never deliver. The last one I bought was a 'rebound pillow', which was meant to return to its former shape time and again. After a few weeks, however, it ended up like all the others; supportive at the edges but with a void in the middle that no amount of tugging, pummeling or shaking could remedy.
Maybe I have a heavy head? Stella's head is about the same size and weight as mine but her pillows remain annoyingly serviceable. I've even tried stealing them, but once they get under my head they're doomed and the same cavity soon develops. Maybe I roll around or kneel up and repeatedly head-butt the pillow in my sleep? It's possible, but since I'm asleep I've no idea. What I do know, though, is that I've been waking up tired and with headaches and neck pain for months.
I'd heard of memory foam before. Apparently developed by NASA, it responds to your body and moulds itself to your shape before returning to normal when you get up. And it's usually quite expensive, so I was intrigued to find memory foam pillows in Dunelm Mill at discount prices. One pillow from their most expensive range was on display with an invitation to "touch me". So I did. I can't say I was impresssed.
My hand sank into it, and when I let go it popped back out, but it looked and felt and even smelled pretty much like a block of bog-standard foam I could have bought on the market for a couple of quid. Undecided, I stood there pushing and squashing it for a while, walked away then came back again and squished it some more. Surely there must be something to this memory foam thing?
Eventually, lured by a 50% discount and sheer nocturnal desperation, I bought it.
That same evening I put it on my bed and when night came I lowered my head, waiting for paradise.
It felt like a block of foam. My head sank in a bit and then stopped, so I lay there for a while, determined to give it a chance.
"Feels a lot firmer than my old pillow," I grumbled. Then I fell asleep.
My first thought when I woke up, though, was how comfortable I felt. I felt like I'd slept, too; there was no dull, slow awakening, no residual headache and my neck didn't hurt. Even now, six hours later as I sit typing, my neck feels better than it has in a long time.
Have I discovered the perfect pillow? Only time will tell, but if I have then it will have been money well spent, every penny of it. I'll report back in a few weeks, but in the meantime,
have you tried memory foam? If so, what did you think?

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