Title:
Functional Pillow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a functional pillow made of a material having elasticity. The functional pillow helps a user sleep in a correct sleeping position in which the user maintains a proper arrangement and angle of the cervical spine while sleeping in any sleeping environment, including on a hard floor or on a soft bed. The functional pillow includes a shoulder protecting portion, a cervical spine protecting portion, and a head protecting portion. The cervical spine protecting portion includes a cervical spine support that inclines upward in a front support portion which is relatively near a body side and inclines downward in a rear support portion which is relatively near a head. The inclination angle of the rear portion and the height of the pillow at the highest point are differently set depending on use of the pillow.



Inventors:
Kim, Eui Suk (Busan, KR)
Son, Nam Young (Busan, KR)
Application Number:
13/872223
Publication Date:
12/05/2013
Filing Date:
04/29/2013
Assignee:
KIM EUI SUK
SON NAM YOUNG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/10
View Patent Images:
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20080250565Relocatable Stereotactic Immobilization ApparatusOctober, 2008Timmerman et al.
20090064412Baby Diaper-Changing Pad CoverMarch, 2009Habimana
20090288257BABY CHANGE TABLENovember, 2009Grainger
20040045087Formative pillow with flexible spineMarch, 2004Morris
20100077552MODULAR MATTRESS ASSEMBLYApril, 2010Malikhin et al.
20070192957Footboard extension railAugust, 2007Milam
20070022536Device for supporting a patient to be rested laterally on an x-ray table and an x-ray tableFebruary, 2007Hornig



Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HYUN JONG PARK (Park & Associates IP Law LLC 265 Bic Drive Suite 106 Milford CT 06461)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A functional pillow including: a shoulder protecting portion including two portions located at both end portions of the pillow, respectively, so that a user's shoulders come into contact with the corresponding portions of the shoulder protecting portion, each portion inclining upward toward an inner side from an outer side; a cervical spine protecting portion including a space portion which is provided between the two portions of the shoulder protecting portion and curved in a concave form, and a cervical spine support with a front support portion and a rear support portion, the front support portion being provided behind the space portion, being connected between the two portions of the shoulder protecting portion, and inclining upward in a rounded manner with a predetermined upward inclination angle toward a rear side so as to conform to an angle of a cervical spine, the rear support portion being provided behind the front portion, inclining downward in a rounded manner with a predetermined downward inclination angle toward the rear side, and coming into contact with a user's head, the predetermined downward inclination angle being smaller than the predetermined upward inclination angle; and a head protecting portion which extends from the rear support portion of the cervical spine protecting portion, has a recess where the user's head is to be placed, and inclines downward toward left and right ends, at an outer side of the recess, wherein the functional pillow is made of a material having elasticity.

2. The functional pillow according to claim 1, wherein the cervical spine protecting portion is configured such that a total vertical height of the cervical spine support from a bottom to a highest point is 140 to 145 mm and a portion ranging from the highest point to a rear end inclines downward with an inclination angle of 38° to 42° with respect to a surface of a sleeping place.

3. The functional pillow according to claim 1, wherein the cervical spine protecting portion is configured such that a total vertical height of the cervical spine support from a bottom to a highest point is 135 to 140 mm and a portion ranging from the highest point to a rear end inclines downward with an inclination angle of 28° to 32° with respect to a surface of a sleeping place.

4. The functional pillow according to claim 1, wherein the function pillow is made of a memory foam material.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2012-0059128 filed on Jun. 1, 2012, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a functional pillow, and, more particularly, to a functional pillow having a suitable structure for the skeleton of a human body so that a user can sleep in a correct sleeping posture, enabling the user to sleep soundly and recover from fatigue.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Generally, various shapes of pillows are used to provide users with comfort while they are sleeping. Such a functional pillow has additional functions aside from its original function of enabling a user to have a sound sleep. Functional pillows are categorized in three types: ones using a special device, ones using a functional material, and ones with a specially designed structure. First, for the pillow using a special device, there is, for example, a pillow in which a low frequency generator or a music player is embedded to facilitate sound sleep. Second, for the pillow using a functional material, there is, for example, a pillow which is primarily made of bamboo or Hanji (Korean traditional paper), or a pillow with a lining which is made of fabric containing charcoal or tourmaline from which anions are generated. Third, for the pillows having a specially designed structure, there are, for example, a pillow for a patient suffering from back pain, a height-adjustable pillow, and the like. That is, many pillows that have a specially designed structure are increasingly commercially used to help users get a good sleep.

Pillows that have a specially designed structure, i.e. customized pillows for each user, which are available at present, are designed with ergonomics in mind. However, the related-art customized pillows don't have a function of causing the user to sleep in a correct sleeping posture in which unique, desirable angle of the musculoskeletal system of a human body is maintained. Accordingly, the conventional customized pillows provide users with only limited comfort during sleep. That is, the main purpose of the conventional customized pillows is to provide comfort during sleep to individual whose body shapes (skeletons) are deformed in various ways over time. Although these customized pillows have an advantage of providing comfort to a user while they are sleeping and allowing the user to have a sound sleep, the effect is just temporary, and the user cannot achieve a correct sleeping posture in which the user can have a deep sleep. When people sleep in the correct sleeping posture, they can have the deepest and most comfortable sleep, fully recover from fatigue, and maintain their musculoskeletal system in a good condition, resulting in an overall healthy condition. The lack of complete understanding of the human body accounts for the fact that pillows which can enable a user to sleep in the correct sleeping posture are not yet available. That is, even when a person whose musculoskeletal system is not deformed lies down in the correct sleeping posture, he or she feels resistance of body pressure at a portion of the occipital bone which is in contact with the floor, and, because of this discomfort, he or she tosses and turns to reduce the resistance of the body pressure. After the tossing and turning, the resistance of the body pressure may be reduced, but the person ends up sleeping in an undesirable sleeping posture. When the person sleeps in this undesirable sleeping posture for a long time, the person may be hindered in having a deep sleep.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the related art, and is intended to provide a functional pillow having a structure suitable for a human being's musculoskeletal system so that a user may feel completely comfortable while achieving a correct sleeping posture during sleep.

In addition, the present invention is also intended to provide a functional pillow having a structure which is differently designed according to the body pressure which varies depending on sleeping places, for example, on a soft surface like a bed with a soft mattress, and on a hard surface like the floor, so that a user can sleep in a correct sleeping posture in any sleeping environment.

In order to achieve the above object, according to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a functional pillow including: a shoulder protecting portion including two portions located at both end portions of the pillow, respectively so that a user's shoulders come into contact with the corresponding portions of the shoulder protecting portion, each portion inclining upward toward an inner side from an outer side; a cervical spine protecting portion including a space portion which is provided between the two portions of the shoulder protecting portion and curved in a concave form, and a cervical spine support with a front support portion and a rear support portion, the front support portion being provided behind the space portion, being connected between the two portions of the shoulder protecting portion, and inclining upward in a rounded manner with a predetermined upward inclination angle toward a rear side so as to conform to an angle of a cervical spine, the rear support portion being provided behind the front portion, inclining downward in a rounded manner with a predetermined downward inclination angle toward the rear side, and coming into contact with a user's head, the predetermined downward inclination angle being smaller than the predetermined upward inclination angle; and a head protecting portion which extends from the rear support portion of the cervical spine protecting portion, has a recess where the user's head is to be placed, and inclines downward toward left and right ends, at an outer side of the recess, wherein the functional pillow is made of a material with elasticity.

Preferably, in the cervical spine protecting portion, the material with elasticity may be a memory foam material, a total vertical height from a bottom to a highest point may be 140 to 145 mm, and a portion ranging from the highest point to a rear end may incline downward with an inclination angle of 38° to 42° with respect to a surface of a sleeping environment when the pillow is a pillow for use on a soft surface; and on the other hand, the material with elasticity may be a memory foam material, the total vertical height from the bottom to the highest point may be 135 to 140 mm and the portion ranging from the highest point to the rear end may incline downward with an inclination angle of 28° to 32° with respect to a surface of a sleeping environment when the pillow is a pillow for use on a hard surface.

As described above, the functional pillow according to the present invention has an advantage of helping a user achieve a correct sleeping posture, in which the unique angle of a musculoskeletal system is maintained, thereby causing a change in the shape of the user's body. This helps a user to maintain his or her correct posture in joints and musculoskeletal systems such as the spine and pelvis, contributing to a users health.

Furthermore, the functional pillow according to the present invention has another advantage of helping a user to have a good sleep and to recover from fatigue, by enabling the user to have a sleeping posture in which the user's musculoskeletal system is maintained in proper arrangement so that the user may stay healthy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a functional pillow according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the functional pillow illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3A and 3B are cross-sectional views taken along line IIIA-IIIA′ and IIIB-IIIB′ of FIG. 1, respectively;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are cross-sectional views illustrating a functional pillow, according to the present invention, for use on a hard surface (floor) and a soft surface (bed), respectively; and

FIGS. 5A and 5B are side views illustrating the pillows for use on a soft surface and a hard surface, with heads placed on the pillows, respectively.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Hereinbelow, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. Unless otherwise defined, all terms used in this specification and claims, including technical or specific terms, should be contextually interpreted in light of the concept of the present invention and are not to be interpreted to have ideal or expressively formal meanings defined in a generally used dictionary based on the rule that inventors can define specific terms to most properly describe their inventions.

The structure described in the ‘embodiments’ section of this specification and drawings are just given in an exemplary way, and do not represent all of the technical concepts of the present invention. Accordingly, it can be understood that there may be various equivalents and modifications at the time when the present application is filed.

Hereinbelow, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In order to understand the structure of a pillow according to the present invention, it is necessary to be aware of the definition of a correct sleeping posture. The correct sleeping posture is a sleep position in which the musculoskeletal system of the body maintains its natural arrangement. That is, lying down on the back with shoulders being loosened and the jaw being slightly lifted and leaned backward causes the least strain in the spine. In order for the body to achieve this position, the cervical spine needs to be supported so that a proper angle of the cervical spine may be maintained while the cervical spine maintains a C-shape. At this point, the jaw should be placed slightly higher than the forehead. When the body is placed in the correct sleeping posture, the body pressures of the head and the cervical spine are smallest. From this point of view, a pillow according to the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The material of the pillow will be described first. The material of the pillow is a memory foam material with low density and high elasticity which is currently actively used as the material for many functional pillows. This is because, according to a scientific report, memory foam is advantageous over other materials. According to the report, when using a pillow made of memory foam, the pressure of the head is high compared to when using a pillow made of a typical material, but the pressure of the cervical spine is low. A Latex pillow sufficiently absorbs the weight of the head, thereby lowering the pressure of the head. However, the Latex pillow cannot function as a support, without firmly holding the cervical spine and the head in place. Accordingly, the pillow of the present invention has a specially designed pillow structure and is made of the memory foam material which can lower the pressure of the cervical spine, and addresses the problem of the high pressure of the head which occurs when using typical memory foam pillows.

Next, the structure of a functional pillow according to one embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a functional pillow according to one embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a plan view illustrating the functional pillow of FIG. 1, and FIGS. 3A and 3B are cross-sectional views taken along a line IIIA-IIIA′ and a line IIIB-IIIB′ in FIG. 1, respectively. As illustrated, the functional pillow of the present embodiment includes three main portions: A shoulder protecting portion 10, a cervical spine protecting portion 20, and a head protecting portion 30. The bottom surface which comes into contact with the base surface is a flat surface, and the top surface is rounded and inclines upward toward the top from the bottom. The shoulder protecting portion 10 includes two portions provided at both side ends of the functional pillow respectively. Each portion of the shoulder protecting portion 10 inclines upward toward the top from the edge. The shoulder protecting portion 10 is provided to support both shoulders because outer parts (parts relatively far from the cervical spine) of the shoulders are naturally suspended when a body is placed on its back according to a study of ergonomics. The shoulders are highest at inner parts (i.e. parts relatively near the cervical spine) and slope downward toward the arms. Accordingly, the shoulder protecting portion 10 is made to have an upward inclination toward the top from the edge, by taking the ergonomics into consideration. The shoulder protecting portion 10 supports the shoulders, thereby lowering the resistance of the pressure of the cervical spine by cooperating with the cervical spine protecting portion 20.

Next, the cervical spine protecting portion 20 will be described. The cervical spine protecting portion 20 includes a space portion 22 provided between the two portions of the shoulder protecting portion 10 and a cervical spine support 24 which is provided behind the space portion 22. The space portion 22 forms a concave shape at large when viewed from the rear side of the pillow (that is, from the top of the head) so that the space portion 22 becomes deeper toward the center in the side-to-side direction. Owing to the space portion 22, the inner portions of the shoulders (adjacent to the cervical spine) come into close contact with the cervical spine support 24 when the shoulders are placed on the shoulder protecting portion 10. The cervical spine support 24 inclines upward in a rounded manner, with a slope which becomes steeper as it goes toward the rear side, up to the highest point, and then inclines downward in a rounded manner from the highest point so that the cervical spine support 24 can support the users cervical spine when the user lies on his or her back. The structure of the cervical spine support 24 differs according to the use of pillows, for example, in the pillow for use on a hard surface like a floor and the pillow for use on a soft surface like a bed. That is, the angle of the cervical spine of the body differs between when the user lays down on the bed and when the user lays down on the floor user because of the soft mattress of the bed. This will be described in more detail with reference to the drawings. FIGS. 4A and 4B are side views of pillows of the present embodiment. FIG. 4A illustrates the pillow for use on a hard surface and FIG. 4B illustrates the pillow for use on a soft surface. FIGS. 5A and 5B are side views illustrating states where the pillows for use on a hard surface and for use on a soft surface are being used. As illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B and 5A and 5B, the spine and the pelvis are at the same height when the user lays down on the hard surface because the hard surface (floor surface) supports the pelvis, but the pelvis is lower than other parts of the body and the spine is also slightly lower when the user lays down on a bed because of the soft mattress of the bed. That is, the angle of the cervical spine of the body differs between cases where the user lays down on the floor and where the user lays down on a bed. When the user lies down on a bed, the angle of the cervical spine is steeper and the neck is lifted more. Accordingly, taking this difference into consideration, as illustrated in FIG. 4B, a total vertical height of the cervical spine 24 from the bottom to the highest point is set to be differently for both cases. In the case of the pillow for use on a bed, the total height is set to 140 to 145 mm which is slightly higher than that (for example, 135 to 140 mm) of the pillow for use on the floor. The rear portion of the cervical spine support 24 ranging from the highest point to the rear end inclines downward in a rounded manner. Even for this rear portion, the inclination angle is also differently set depending on the use of the pillow because of the difference in the angle of the cervical spine of the body. As illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the inclination angle of the rear portion of the cervical spine support 24 is 38° to 42° when the pillow is for use on a bed while it is 28° to 32° when the pillow is for use on the floor. As described above, by differently setting the height and inclination angle of the rear portion of the pillows for different angles of the cervical spine of the body with respect to the surface on which the pillow is placed, it is possible to suppress the strain of the cervical spine to the minimum and causes a user to sleep in a correct sleeping posture in terms of maintaining good arrangement of the musculoskeletal system. Next, the head protecting portion 30 will be described.

The head protecting portion 30 is formed to extend from the cervical spine support 24 and has a sufficient area on which the head of the user can be placed. As illustrated in FIG. 3B, the head protecting portion 30 includes a recess 30a where the user's head is to be placed. The recess 30a has the shape conforming to the users head so that an increase in the body pressure attributable to the weight of the head can be suppressed as much as possible. The inside surface of the recess 30a also has a gentle slope so that the surface of the pillow may not contact with or block ears. That is, when the user lies down, the pillow elastically contracts by the weight of the head to lower the pressure of the head. Generally, the pressure is highest at the right center of the back of the head. When the right center of the back of the head is placed in the recess 30a, the pressure of the head is uniformly dispersed. If the surface of a portion of the pillow where the ears are placed is flush with a center portion of the pillow, the ears may come into contact with the pillow and are even likely to be blocked. Even though the ears are not associated with the musculoskeletal system, the user is likely to feel discomfort. Accordingly, in order to prevent the pillow from causing discomfort to the user, the top surface of the pillow has a rounded surface so that the ears may not come into contact with the surface of the pillow even when the pillow is contracted.

Although the structure and operation of the pillow of the preferred embodiment which enables a proper arrangement of the musculoskeletal system so that the cervical spine of the body can maintain its proper angle and the pressure of the head is suppressed to the minimum is described above with reference to the drawings, those are just given in an exemplary way, and do not represent all of the technical concepts of the present invention. Accordingly, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.