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Chinese pillow history

Thousands of years ago, Chinese people realised that nothing on the earth lasts forever, including human life. Having the perfect pillow was a way to improve sleep and reach a grand old age. But there’s more to sleep than health, and sleep traditions show many aspects of Chinese culture, from studying to falling in love.

Words by Yiling Zhang

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About the author

Photograph of Yiling Zhang

Yiling Zhang

Yiling Zhang is a design historian studying at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art. Her research interests include fashion and the intersection of science, art and design. She is currently researching Lolita fashion subculture in China.