Tag Archives: Amy Winehouse

The Pillow: Extraordinary Ordinary Things

When was the last time you went to sleep without a pillow? Chances are never, or only under duress. Sleeping without a pillow is about as common as sleeping standing up. But why? It seems the human body is so constructed that sleeping without some kind of support for the head is extremely uncomfortable, and therefore of necessity to be avoided.

A head with eyes closed, snuggled down on a pillow is a widespread symbol for rest, relaxation, and contentment. But it wasn’t always like that. For much of human history, and still in parts of the world today, a pillow was not soft and comfy, the proverbial “sack stuffed with feathers.” Instead, it was solid and sturdy, what might better be called a headrest rather than a pillow.

The shapes and varieties of materials from which they were made have varied widely from culture to culture and from century to century. However, their purpose was always the same, to support the head to help induce and maintain sleep.

Because it plays such an indispensable role in fostering health and well-being, I believe the pillow unquestionably deserves a place on the list of what I like to call  “extraordinary ordinary things.”

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