Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Night Night.....Sleep Tight!

My husband is an insomniac. He never sleeps. I don't know how he does it. He goes weeks at a time surviving on little more than three hours a night. He slogs away like a zombie, surviving on coffee and a prayer. Although he always managed to be sawing logs when there was a crying baby or a poopy diaper to be changed in the dark, sleep often eludes him and the poor man seems to do nothing but toss and turn. 

I, on the other hand, have NO problem with sleep. Quite often, he sneaks into bed and I don't even know he's lying next to me. I sleep long. I sleep hard. And when I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed only to see my husband about to drown in his coffee cup, I can't help but feel a wee bit guilty. Why is it that I can sleep like there's no tomorrow when my man couldn't buy a good night's sleep? He's tried everything. He's tried prescription pills, he's tried homeopathic remedies. He's tried knocking himself out with Tylenol PM. He did a sleep study where they hook you up to a million wires and machines and demand you sleep under the watchful eye of several cameras and one bored lab technician. Of course they wanted us to invest in several thousand dollars worth of medical interventions, to which my husband replied thanks, but no. He has simply resigned himself to the fact that he never was a good sleeper and he never will be.

That's why I was so shocked when he asked if I could perhaps invest in a new pillow for him. A pillow? After all the tests and drugs and sleep charting and you think a pillow is going to fix it? Let me be clear. My husband has NO trouble falling asleep. He's usually snoring two to three minutes after his head hits the pillow. It's the staying asleep that is difficult. If he can't get comfortable in the first place because of a flat/lumpy/hot/smelly pillow, how is he going to add up all those minutes and get his requisite three hours? 

And the search began. And much like every other product we come into contact with, most pillow are laden with chemical residues and are produced in some of the most environmentally damaging facilities you can imagine. Next time you lay down, think of  all the pesticides and insecticides your cotton cover was grown with.  Think about the bleach that was used to whiten it. Think about the dyes, which often contain heavy metals and chemicals. And that's just the cover. I could go on about the synthetic fillings but I won't. I don't want you to lose any sleep! I would love to replace all my pillows and bedding with organic, eco-conscious products but unless you kind folks would like to donate to my "Get Rid of the Chemicals" fund, I'll have to replace things one at a time as they wear out. My hubby's request for a new pillow is the perfect opportunity.

So what are the options?

  • Organic Cotton- offers firm support. Prone to compression over time.
  • Down-flufftastic! Prone to dust mites, and mold. Also traps moisture leading to stank on the pillow. No one likes stank.
  • Wool-Springy and resilient. Available in soft, medium and firm. Will compress but breathes.
  • Latex-comes in shredded and block form. Shredded latex is soft and supportive but can be punched and bunched into whatever shape you like. Block latex pillows are very supportive but can be a little hard to get used to. You're sleeping on a block of foam for crying out loud.
  • Buckwheat or Kapok- Kapok is a natural fiber made from flower seeds and feels a lot like silk. It's lush, durable and supportive. Buckwheat pillows are very firm and are filled with the hulls of buckwheat. Kind of like sleeping on a big beanbag.
After much research and deliberation, my hubby chose a shredded latex pillow. I was leaning toward wool but he said wool+desert heat=neck sweat. I protested and showed him my carefully researched pillow descriptions. Breathable or no, wool is best known for keeping you warm. Warm is something we could do with a little less of.  I get it. It's his pillow. Shredded latex it is.


  1. Oh...I was waiting for the "With his new pillow, he slept for 12 hours straight!" let us know how it goes. We sleep on feather pillows and love them, but I'd like to make a buckwheat one and see how that goes! Hoping your man gets to sleep...that must be torturous for him (and you)...

  2. I was also waiting for the results! All the research and thought I am hoping it helped him get some more continuous sleep.

  3. That is one burden that I am not sure I could deal with. Really feel for him. I, too, was surprised when the post ended. I will need an update/follow-up and in the meantime, will say a little prayer for your husband before I drift off with a request that he may sleep.

  4. I feel for your husband! I, myself, don't get enough sleep. Maybe I am an insomniac too, I don't know but nothing beats an organic pillow because it is good for you and better for the environment. Organic pillows are hypoallergenic and very comfy. It might even be the solution to your husband's problem!