Title:
M-body body pillow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The sleep support system of the present invention comprises an encompassing support that includes a top support and extensions. The extensions are preferably positioned, and of sufficient stability, to provide an individual with a comfortable sleeping platform along with a measure of support that prevents displacement from the desired sleeping position. Preferably, this is accomplished through the “M” shaped configuration of the present invention.



Inventors:
Fox, Russell B. (Norwell, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/168859
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090172884Arm RestJuly, 2009Semlitsch
20070213646Pillow for Generating Vibration and a Negative IonSeptember, 2007Han
20070000052Garment for protection from inclement weatherJanuary, 2007Vianello
20080034505INFANT HEAD SUPPORT, SAFETY AND COMFORTING DEVICEFebruary, 2008Thomas
20080083067Bed and absorbent padApril, 2008Wheeldon-glazener
20100058541TENSION RELIEVING BODY SUPPORT APPARATUSMarch, 2010Kemper
20090177327INTERACTIVE ADJUSTABLE MEDIA BED PROVIDING SLEEP DIAGNOSTICSJuly, 2009Turner et al.
20060085910Systems and methods for providing a backboard with a trackApril, 2006Walkingshaw
20070277312ELECTRICALLY HEATED INFLATABLE SLEEPING MATDecember, 2007Garrigues
20040226099Buckling foam cushioning devicesNovember, 2004Pearce
20080040854Child seat/holderFebruary, 2008Lorentz



Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAMBERT SHORTELL & CONNAUGHTON (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sleep support system comprising: a top support; a first extension; and a second extension.

2. The sleep support system of claim 1, wherein said first extension and said second extension are substantially non-manipulable.

3. The sleep support system of claim 2, wherein top support further comprises a substantially horizontal neck support.

4. The sleep support system of claim 3, wherein top support further comprises portions defining a head cavity, wherein said head cavity further comprises an angle that measures less than 180 degrees.

5. The sleep support system of claim 4, wherein said top support further comprises top support filling.

6. The sleep support system of claim 5, wherein said first extension further comprises a first filling, and wherein said second extension further comprises a second filling.

7. The sleep support system of claim 6, wherein said first filling comprises foam, and said second filling comprises foam.

8. The sleep support system of claim 7, wherein said first filling further comprises rigid foam, and said second filling further comprises rigid foam.

9. The sleep support system of claim 8, wherein said first extension comprises a first extension height, and wherein said second extension comprises a second extension height.

10. The sleep support system of claim 9, wherein said first extension height is between 8 and 20 inches, and wherein said second extension height is between 8 and 20 inches.

11. The sleep support system of claim 10, wherein said first extension further comprises a first length wherein said first length is between 3 and 5 feet, and wherein said second extension further comprises a second length, wherein said second length is between 3 and 5 feet.

12. The sleep support system of claim 11, wherein said sleep support system further comprises portions defining a sleep cavity, whereby a user lays within the sleep cavity.

13. The sleep support system of claim 12, wherein said sleep cavity further comprises a cavity width, wherein said cavity width varies by no more than six inches.

14. The sleep support system of claim 13, wherein said first extension further comprises a first arm channel.

15. The sleep support system of claim 14, wherein said first extension further comprises a first leg channel.

16. An M-shaped sleep support system for side-sleeping, the sleep support system comprising: a top support, wherein said top support comprises a head and neck support region; a first extension and a second extension, wherein said first extension and said second extension extend from said top support, and wherein said first extension and said second extension are substantially non-manipulable; a first arm channel located in said first extension; a first leg channel located in said first extension; a second arm channel located in said second extension; and a second leg channel located in said second extension.

17. A method for providing stable sleep support, said method comprising the steps of: providing a head and neck support; attaching a first extension and a second extension to said head and neck support in a non-manipulable fashion; creating a sleep cavity between said first extension and said second extension; and positioning a user within said sleep cavity.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the step of positioning a user further comprises positioning the user in a side-sleeping position.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of positioning a user further comprising providing support sufficient to prevent the user from unintentionally moving from the side-sleeping position.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the step of positioning a user further comprises extending a first user arm into a first arm channel

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the step of positioning a user further comprises extending a first user leg into a first leg channel

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of pillows and cushions, and more particularly to a full-body sleep support system.

2. Description of Related Art

The need for a proper night's sleep has been well documented and its importance can not be overstated. As such, there is an ongoing effort to provide individuals with the best equipment possible to maximize their total sleep time. Some prior art solutions endeavor to position the head and spine in the most comfortable position possible. Others attempt to provide a feeling of security by implementing a pillow of greater than normal size. The standard theory is that the greater the comfort felt by the user, the better the sleep the user will have. This theory has merit, yet comfort is actually a byproduct of proper body alignment and also positional stability. Therefore, achieving alignment and stability will necessarily result in a greater feeling of comfort and security, which in turn will result in better sleep.

The typical pillow is rectangular shaped and primarily supports only the head of a user. In actuality, the head is angled upwards, imparting a compressive force on at least one portion of the neck and/or spine. Prior art solutions have tried a number of ways to make pillows more comfortable, including altering their shape, changing the types of material they are filled with, changing their filling density.

A number of prior art solutions have been proposed to increase user comfort and thereby increase total sleep time. Some of the solutions incorporate various size and configurations, as well as material densities, and are discussed in further detail below.

Varaney, U.S. Pat. No. 4,173,048 discloses an inverted U-shaped pillow designed to encircle the body. The pillow includes a head supporting section, as well as extensions that may terminate near the shoulders, or extend the length of a person. A variety of material combinations such as foam and/or batting may be used in a number of combinations. In an alternative embodiment, the pillow may be in an inverted V-shape vice the U-shape. The V-shape is preferably used for young children.

Tatum, U.S. Pat. No. 5,457,832 discloses a pillow designed to provide anatomically correct positioning of the head while sleeping. Specifically, the pillow properly aligns the neck and head to prevent and/or reduce snoring by maximizing the sleeper's airways.

Akey, U.S. Pat. No. 5,978,990 discloses a maternity pillow that provides a head portion and extensions. The extensions are curved toward one another and are designed to be flexible enough to provide the user with the ability to create any desired position. The extensions may be position so as to “hug” the back and abdomen simultaneously.

Kelly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,052,848 discloses a body pillow that can be considered as one large extension that may be curved, bent, or twisted to any desired configuration. When configured to an inverted U-shape, it is disclosed to have the extension portions only loosely filled. Additionally, a securing strap is provided to prevent the extensions from being moved away from the user during sleep.

Cuddy, U.S. Pat. No. 6,412,127 discloses a pillow that includes a head supporting section and a pair of removably attachable extensions. The extensions are designed to be of sufficient length such that when configured they may provide additional support to the neck and/or chest of the user.

Leach, U.S. Pat. No. 6,499,164 discloses a body pillow that is described as being J-shaped. The top head supporting section is disclosed as essentially being shaped like a horseshoe. The pillow may also be configured to an individual's desired position, and may be utilized by both children and adults.

Taylor, U.S. Pat. No. 6,874,183 discloses another body pillow designed to provide both head and body support. The pillow is essentially S-shaped and is designed to be primarily utilized by a person lying on their side. Due to its shape, the ventral portion of the user's body will not be adjacent to any portion of the pillow, thereby preventing excessive heat buildup and resultant discomfort.

One disadvantage of the aforementioned devices is that none of them provide adequate stability required by the average person. In addition, the user is often required to mold or shape the pillow into a configuration they believe to be most comfortable. This might work for a few hours as a person falls asleep, but over time the position proves to be less than optimal. The user will be faced with the problem of trying to readjust the pillow during the night upon waking up. The end result of course is a sleep that is broken up numerous times during the night.

Therefore, what is required is a sleep system that will align and position the user into a position that will provide the optimum comfort level.

What is also required is a sleep system that includes a positioning portion that properly aligns the head, neck and spine in conjunction the rest of the body.

It is also required to provide a sleep system that includes sufficient stability to prevent the user from departing from the proper position during the night.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, what is required is a sleep system that will align and position the user into a position that will provide the optimum comfort level.

What is also required is a sleep system that includes a positioning portion that properly aligns the head, neck and spine in conjunction the rest of the body.

It is also required to provide a sleep system that includes sufficient stability to prevent the user from departing from the proper position during the night.

Additional features and limitations will be apparent from the accompanying detailed description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of the sleep support system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the sleep support system of the present invention illustrating a first arm channel.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the sleep support system of the present invention illustrating a first arm channel and a first leg channel.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the sleep support system of the present invention illustrating a first arm channel and a first leg channel and a second arm channel and a second leg channel.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the sleep support system of the present invention illustrating an individual utilizing the system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the sleep support system of 1 of the present invention includes a first extension 3 and a second extension 4 that extend from a top support 2. The top support 2 includes a substantially horizontal neck support 5 and portions 6 that define a head cavity. The portions 6 also define angle 7. Angle 7 measures less than one hundred eighty degrees, and is preferably between ninety degrees and thirty degrees. If the angle 7 is less than thirty degrees the head of a user will be forced upwards in an improper position. If the angle is greater than ninety degrees there exists the risk that too little support will be provided to the head and neck area, which would in turn affect the spinal region.

The preferred method of using the sleep support system 1 is for a user to lie on a side portion of the body within a sleep cavity 12. The sleep cavity 12 is preferably wide enough to accommodate the user while lying on the side, yet be too narrow to comfortably allow the user to lie either on the back or stomach. In addition, the first extension 3 and second extension 4 should comprise a filling that is dense enough to assist the user in maintaining a side sleeping position. The filling may cooperate with the top support 2 and its filling to provide substantially non-manipulable support.

As can be seen by FIG. 2, a first arm channel 15 may be provided in the bottom portion of the sleep support system 1. The first arm channel 15 is designed to provide an outlet for the lower arm when the user is using the sleep support system 1 in a side sleeping position. Without the first arm channel 15 the user may be forced to either lie on the lower arm, or slide it under the sleep support system 1. Lying on the arm would likely cause pain and discomfort in addition to restricted circulation. Sliding the lower arm under first extension 3 or second extension 4 may result in an undesired lifting of the entire sleep support system. This in turn may reduce the overall stability attributes that make the system so beneficial. As a result, the first arm channel 14 is a desired element of the sleep support system 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates the addition of a first leg channel 16 that may reside within first extension 3 or second extension 4. The first leg channel 16 is typically located below first arm channel 14, and operates in very much the same way and for the same reasons. The obvious difference being that it is now a lower leg of the user that uses the first leg channel 16. The upper arm and upper leg of the user may be laid in any manner that the user finds most comfortable, but the height of the first extension 3 and second extension 4 is such that both upper arm and upper leg may be comfortably laid over the first extension 3 or second extension 4. This arrangement will also increase the stability for the user in addition to providing an increased sense of security and comfort.

FIG. 4 illustrates that the sleep support system 1 may also include a first arm channel 14, a second arm channel 15, a first leg channel 16 and a second leg channel 17. It will be clear to those skilled in the art that any combination of arm and/or leg channels may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a user lying within sleep cavity 12 with the upper leg and arm extending over the first extension 3. Although not shown, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that the lower leg and/or lower arm may be utilizing the first arm channel 15 and/or first leg channel 17 as applicable and as desired.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications can be substituted therefore without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention.