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How to optimize a pillow for a really good night’s sleep



Are you optimizing the use of your pillow


I thought I was optimizing the use of my pillow until I saw a video last night about the use of pillows that I had not, I admit even in my wildest dreams thought about but I’m  willing to give it a shot.

I loved my fluffy pillow as a child.  So much so that when I read a Russian folk tale about the Wise Girl who helped her poor father get back his new born foal from his greedy rich brother by answering 3 riddles posed by the Judge, the fact that she finally got the foal back, married above her station in life based on her intelligence  and had the living happily ever after story ending made no difference. It was the riddles that I remembered.

There are variations of this story in different Russian Folklore, Slavic and even if I understand correctly German lore. The version that I know of is called The Clever Daughter (or the dispute over the Colt) where 2 brothers, rich and poor, had a dispute over whether a mare who belonged to the poor brother had given birth to a colt or the cart that he had borrowed from the rich brother under which the newborn was found the next morning. Ultimately the clever daughter got her father justice and was married off befittingly in this version to the judge’s son. In any version of the story, the questions asked are the same.

The riddle about the Pillow is the most famous.


Russian riddle answered by the Wise Girl


The riddle goes like this:  “What is the softest thing in the world?”

The answer turned out to be the palm of the hand because no matter how soft a man lies down, he always puts his hand beneath his head. An instant pillow!

I didn’t quite understand that one until years later when we used to do all-nighters to meet reporting deadlines and often took turns catching forty winks under the desk. The palm pillow was definitely better than the office files!

Coming back to the real deal pillow, we all know that pillows feel comfortable. There are hard pillows, soft pillows, feather pillows and pillow pillows.

What makes a good pillow comes down to personal preference and what makes you feel comfortable.  You know you have the right pillow if it helps you to relax, get a good night’s sleep feeling rested in the morning.

The pillow case also makes a difference. For some, like me, it has to have a nice smooth feeling while others might want the warmth of flannel or go in for an aesthetic look like embroidered pillow cases.


The virtues of a good pillow


stack of great pillows


The point is, a good pillow makes you comfortable.

Much later in life, when I had my first slipped disc problem, I found out that pillows had other uses too. Kept under the knees, it provided support to help me get a good night’s sleep as I needed the support.

I then went on to learn that an ideal pillow should be adjustable to fit the unique shape, curves and sleeping position of the user. The pillow should mold to the individual’s shape and alleviate any pressure points.

The optimized pillow should be the right height to support the head and keep the spine in natural alignment. What I learned many years ago is that the human neck curves slightly forward to sustain the weight of the head when upright and it is important to maintain this curve when one is lying down.

If your pillow is too high and you are sleeping sideways or on the back and your neck and head are bent in an uncomfortable position you are bound to wake up the following morning with a muscle strain. Likewise, if the pillow is too low, you can still strain your neck. The ideal height of the pillow should be 4 to 6 inches in order to properly support the head and neck. If your pillow starts to flatten out, go buy a new one.

Apart from the health value of the pillow for a good night’s rest, punching a pillow is quite cathartic for anger management.

The new fact that I learned yesterday about pillows that inspired me to write about them today is a slightly unusual one. I’m still testing this one and invite you to join me in my experiment.

It relates to getting rid of negative energy in the house. The video detailed a lot of things one could do. I personally burn incense to maintain good vibrations but hey, no harm in a spot of experimenting!

The advice was to shake one’s pillows and cushions every now and then to rid them of any negative energy that may have been transferred to them due to your having a bad day or someone with negative energy having used them. The same held for blankets and sofa cushions.

It’s worth a try. Even if you don’t think it will work for negative energy, there are 2 benefits. One, any dust on the pillow will be removed and second, you will have a nice fluffy pillow.

I’d even recommend burning incense to get rid of negative energy (not to mention as a tool for Stress Management  anyway like I suggested in my Feng Shui Post


burning incense and aromatherapy for stress management


It’s your turn now.

Do you have any suggestions on how to optimize the use of your pillow? Please do share in the comments box below!


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Self-improvement strategies workbook cover

Written by: Vatsala Shukla


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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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