Who Created Memory Foam Mattresses and Pillows?

Memory foam pillows from Nature’s Sleep have become the new standard for so many people out there looking for comfort during a night’s sleep. And as everyone knows by now, a good night’s sleep is important to keep the body functioning properly. According to recent reports by researchers from Harvard and Berkley, not getting a good night’s sleep on a frequent basis can cause both euphoria and permanent brain damage.

The higher dopamine levels that are boosted by euphoria can cause impulsive behaviors and even addiction. This is because excessive dopamine in the brain causes a person to be more comfortable with taking risks. With lack of sleep also comes over-stimulation within the brain, which can cause permanent alteration to specific neurological pathways.

Because of how dangerous lack of sleep is, WebMD states that both memory foam mattresses and pillows can be useful at helping a person to sleep more soundly.

But how did memory foam come about?

The Origin of Memory Foam

Researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center created memory foam way back in 1966, when they were aiming to help increase the safety of cushions used within aircrafts. Originally called “slow spring back foam,” the researchers had a main goal of helping astronauts to feel more comfortable during liftoff, when their bodies were being hit with strong g-forces.

This new foam was successful at absorbing shock and would return to its original state once any pressure was taken off of it. It was also very sensitive to temperature. When it would absorb body heat, the material would soften and contour to any force placed upon it.

First Trials

When NASA first came up with their new memory foam, many different versions were tested for durability. The very first versions that were created were discovered to not be very strong and would break down after 2 years of use. Creating this first version of memory foam also released toxic fumes that may be harmful if kept within the confined spaces of an aircraft. Because of this issues that scientists kept discovering, NASA opted to not use memory foam within any of their crafts.

The Revitalization of Memory Foam

Since NASA could not figure out how to improve the durability and lifespan of memory foam, they quickly lost interest and moved onto other projects at the time. However, when NASA chose to allow the public domain to experiment with memory foam in the 1980’s, Swedish company Fagerdala World Foams decided to try their hand at working to create a consumer-friendly memory foam.

By 1991, the “Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress” was unveiled to the public as a revolutionary mattress that was both comfortable and unique. The public quickly gained interest and memory foam become extremely popular in Sweden and eventually within the U.S. in 1992.

Memory Foam’s Future

The future of memory foam depends on how well companies can innovate to help improve it. While the cost to manufacture has come down significantly since the 1980’s and the process has become much less complicated, scientists are still working to help increase the durability and longevity of memory foam. Other factors such as temperature sensitivity are also being worked on.

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