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Title:
COOLING PILLOW
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/195847
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip that is associated with a pillow or pillow case, comprising a Peltier cooling module is disclosed. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip is configured such that the Peltier cooling module is capable of transporting at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least 10°C between opposite sides of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip.

Inventors:
BLUM, Ronald D. (5320 Silver Fox Rd, Roanoke, VA, 24018, US)
GUPTA, Amitava (5322 Fox Den Rd, Roanoke, VA, 24018, US)
Application Number:
US2019/026384
Publication Date:
October 10, 2019
Filing Date:
April 08, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BLUM, Ronald D. (5320 Silver Fox Rd, Roanoke, VA, 24018, US)
International Classes:
A61F7/00; A47G9/10; A61F7/10; F25B21/02; H01L35/00
Foreign References:
US3648469A1972-03-14
US20010042271A12001-11-22
US20160066716A12016-03-10
US20160316929A12016-11-03
US20170143254A12017-05-25
US20180000255A12018-01-04
US20170159980A12017-06-08
US9408475B22016-08-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EVANS, Nathan A. (Woods Rogers PLC, 123 East Main Street5th Floo, Charlottesville VA, 22902, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip used in association with a pillow comprising a Peltier cooling module.

2. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip is configured such that the Peltier cooling module is capable of transporting at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least lO°C between opposite sides of the pillow or pillow case.

3. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein one of the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprises a side which is contoured to match the topography of a neck and head of a user.

4. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein one of the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprises an open cell foam.

5. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, further comprising a memory gel.

6. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the Peltier cooling module requires a minimum voltage of 3.5 volts DC.

7. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise a Peltier cooling module, wherein the Peltier cooling module requires a maximum voltage of 12 volts DC.

8. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise an electronic control circuit capable of controlling the Peltier cooling module.

9. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise a remote electronic device capable of controlling the Peltier cooling module.

10. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein one of the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise two or more of a clock, timer, vibration source, audio source, power source, and/or a plurality of different sensors.

11. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 8, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise an electronic control circuit, and wherein the electronic control circuit comprises a microcontroller, a field-programmable gate array, a temperature sensor, a rechargeable battery, and/or a memory unit.

12. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 8, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise an electronic control circuit, and wherein the electronic control circuit comprises a wireless transmitter and receiver.

13. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 12, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise a wireless transmitter and receiver, and wherein the wireless transmitter and receiver are capable of communicating with an external remote controller.

14. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 1, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise a phase change material, wherein the phase change material is shaped in a three-dimensional form with an aspect ratio in the range of 2.0 - 5.0.

15. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip of claim 14, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise a phase change material comprising a height in the range of 3 - 10 mm, a width in the range of 10 - 30 mm, and a length in the range of 10 - 30 mm.

16. A bladder cooling section or cooling strip comprising a Peltier cooling module, wherein the Peltier cooling module is capable of transporting at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least l0°C, and wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip is configured for attachment to a pillow and/or pillow case and/or can be placed between the pillow case and the pillow.

17. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip has a topography which partially fits a contour of a back of a neck of a user.

18. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip further comprise an audio source.

19. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip further comprise a vibration source.

20. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip further comprise a plurality of different sensors.

21. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip further comprise a clock.

22. The bladder cooling section or cooling strip of claim 16, wherein the bladder cooling section or cooling strip further comprise a remote control electronic device.

23. A pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow that can be set to a specified temperature, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow maintain a temperature within +/- 2 degrees of the set temperature while the user is sleeping on the pillow and wherein one of the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip comprise a Peltier cooler module.

24. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip has a topography which partially fits a contour of a back of a neck of a user.

25. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise an audio source.

26. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise a vibration source.

27. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise a plurality of different sensors.

28. The pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise a clock.

29. A pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow of claim 23, wherein the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip further comprise a remote control electronic device.

Description:
COOLING PILLOW

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application relies on the disclosure of and claims priority to and the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/653,595 filed April 6, 2018, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention is directed to the field of pillows that cool the head and/or neck of a user.

Description of Related Art

[0003] Pillows that provide a relatively cool support for the head or the body while sleeping have been developed and commercialized widely. There are three main types of cooling pillows: gel cooling pillows, pillows which use airflow to cool the sleeper, and temperature-regulating pillows that use phase change materials to control temperature. A gel cooling pillow uses a soft flowable gel to remove body heat via convection from the region of highest temperature, which is usually the part of the pillow directly in contact with the head or the body part to a cooler region, away from the body. This process helps maintain a closer match between the ambient (room) temperature that may be in the range of ~70°F, or 20-22°C, and the temperature under the head or at points of contact with the body (e.g. ~97-l00°F, or 35-40°C). Some gel materials are hydrophilic and contain adsorbed water that further supports heat transport via convection and enhances the thermal capacity of the gel.

[0004] In addition, heat transport may be further promoted by the use of foams, especially contoured foams, in which air passages promote convective cooling of the hot surface in contact with the head or the body part.

[0005] An example of a phase change material that may be used in phase change pillows is provided in Table 1.

Table 1. BioPCM Q25 Physical and Chemical Properties

Property Value Melting point 25°C

Latent Heat 210-250 J/g

Energy Storage capacity 400-l250KJ/m 3

Specific Heat 2.5 J/gK

Thermal Conductivity 0.15-0.25 W/mK

Density 0.85-0.95 g/cm 3

Phase Viscous liquid-Viscous gel-Solid-solid gel

[0006] Phase change materials such as BioPCM Q 25 may be further contoured or shaped in containers inside the phase change pillows such that the surface of the phase change material closest to the head that melts or undergoes a phase change flows away from the contact area and is subsequently cooled as heat is transferred to the ambient environment. The material undergoes a reverse phase change as a result, releasing latent heat to the ambient environment. A heat transfer process is set up thereby, and the capability of the pillow to transport heat is effectively the product of the total thermal storage capacity and the rate of cycling of the material between the two phases.

[0007] Since the energy storage capacity of the phase change material is fixed, the total amount of heat that can be transferred depends on the rate of cycling of the phase change material which is controlled by the geometry of the compartment comprising the phase change material.

[0008] These pillow designs cannot be used unless the two surfaces of the pillow are made different; in other words, it is necessary to specify the“head side,” and the obverse side that is always away from the head. This may be accomplished by providing a contoured shape, with a slot or shelf to receive and match the contour of the neck and the back of the head. Such contoured designs work especially well when the user sleeps face up.

[0009] The two main disadvantages of the use of phase change materials in building cooling pillows are the relatively low thermal storage capacity of most phase change materials that may be used in construction of pillows and the relatively narrow range of temperatures at which phase change occurs. Thermal properties of the phase change material BioPCM Q 25 are shown in FIG. 1.

[00010] For example, BioPCM Q 25, a phase change material frequently used in making pillows, provides a heat storage capacity of 400-1250 KJ/m , or about 200-625 joules, or 50-156 calories for a total loading of 500ccs of memory foam material (20 cm x 25 cm x 1 cm).

[00011] This material undergoes a phase change at 25 °C, the phase change being complete between 20-30°C. For optimum utilization, a temperature spread of up to l5°C is desired, mainly to take into account variabilities in the ambient temperature and the temperature of the surface contacting the head. This deficiency may be mitigated by using a blend of two or three different phase change materials, with the phase change occurring at temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C, spanning a range of l5°C-35°C.

[00012] A preferred construction of the compartment comprising a phase change material in a pillow is shown in FIG. 2. Examples of contoured pillows are shown in FIGS. 3 A and 3B.

[00013] Examples of commercially available pillows utilizing one or more passive cooling technologies are as follows:

[00014] Active X™ pillow, made by Nest Bedding: This product uses a cover that incorporates a phase change material. This cover can absorb more heat and acts as a temperature regulator. This particular product contains open-cell memory foam. This type of memory foam is more porous and open than closed cell foams, so that air is better able to travel throughout the material and dissipate body heat, thereby regulating body temperature. This model is reversible, which means that for warmer nights, it is possible to keep cool with a gel layer on one side, which helps to disperse heat and promote airflow. On colder nights, the pillow is flipped over.

[00015] Customers rate it highly for back and neck support as well as for its cooling effect in hot climates. Some reviewers, on the other hand, say that the gel side does not stay cool throughout the night, and claim that the gel pockets are too few. This memory foam gel pillow has a contoured design with a memory foam interior.

[00016] Technogel™ Sleeping Pillow: The first thing to note is that this pillow is designed for small-framed people with narrow shoulders. Thus, this pillow will probably be too thin for those that are broad or well-built, and consequently it will not offer adequate support. The pillow works by layering cooling gel over a base of memory foam. This means that while the top feels soft and cool, the user will always get the underlying support of the firm memory foam. The pillow is also made with a series of holes and tunnels, promoting air flow and allowing the user to keep cooler for longer.

[00017] These approaches for lowering temperature of the area of contact may be termed passive, since they do not involve any active or electrically-activated heat pumping process. Passive heat transport strategies suffer from the deficiency that the rate of heat transport is limited by the heat transport capacity of the materials used in the pillow. Therefore, only a limited rate of cooling is achievable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00018] The accompanying drawings illustrate certain aspects of embodiments of the present invention, and should not be used to limit the invention. Together with the written description the drawings serve to explain certain principles of the invention.

[00019] FIG. 1 is a graph showing thermal properties of the phase change material BioPCM Q 25.

[00020] FIG. 2 is a diagram showing a preferred construction of a compartment comprising a phase change material in a pillow.

[00021] FIGS. 3A and 3B are diagrams showing examples of contoured pillows.

[00022] FIG. 4 is a diagram showing the theory of Peltier cooling.

[00023] FIG. 5 is a function diagram of a commercially available Peltier cooler.

[00024] FIGS. 6A and 6B are graphs showing high zT materials as a function of operating temperature for n- (FIG. 6A) and p- (FIG. 6B) type semiconductors.

[00025] FIG. 7 is a diagram showing a design of a cooled pillow utilizing Peltier Modules according to an embodiment.

[00026] FIGS. 8-17 are diagrams showing a cooled pillow with a bladder cooling section according to embodiments. [00027] FIG. 18 is a diagram of a self-contained cooling strip comprising a Peltier module according to an embodiment.

PET AIFED DESCRIPTION OF

VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[00028] Reference will now be made in detail to various exemplary embodiments of the invention. It is to be understood that the following discussion of exemplary embodiments is not intended as a limitation on the invention. Rather, the following discussion is provided to give the reader a more detailed understanding of certain aspects and features of the invention.

[00029] Embodiments of the present invention utilize an active cooling process to further enhance heat transport from the hot surface of the pillow contacting the head or other body parts of the user to the cool surface that is away from body contact.

[00030] A preferred cooling process involves utilization of the Peltier cooling process, as shown in FIG. 4.

[00031] In practice, a large number of narrow band gap semi-conductors may be used. Such Peltier cooling modules may be fabricated by printing, vapor deposition or other microfabrication processes.

[00032] Peltier elements are commonly used in consumer products. For example, Peltier elements are used in camping, portable coolers, and as cooling modules for electronic components and small instruments. The cooling effect of Peltier heat pumps can also be used to extract water from the air in dehumidifiers. A camping/car type electric cooler can typically reduce the temperature by up to 20 °C (36 °F) below the ambient temperature. Thermoelectric coolers are used to augment heat sinks for microprocessors. They are also used for wine coolers.

[00033] The electronic circuit of the Peltier cooling module consists of a DC power source such as a rechargeable battery or a rectifier, a resistor and a capacitor to control current and a trigger that may be driven by a temperature sensor that senses the temperature of the hot surface and actuates the cooler when the temperature of the surface of the pillow in contact with the body part exceeds a set point that is in the range of 25°C - 30°C. Function diagrams of specific Peltier modules with their specific electrical configurations and figure of merit are shown in FIG. 5.

[00034] Common thermoelectric materials used as semiconductors include bismuth telluride, silicon-germanium, and bismuth-antimony alloys. Of these materials, bismuth telluride is the most commonly used. Performance of thermoelectric modules depends on the material properties of the n- and p- type semiconductors used in their fabrication, and is expressed by the figure of merit of the material as shown in equations 1 and 2.

Q = aTI Eqn 1

zT = a 2 T/rk Eqn 2

where Q is the amount of heat removed, a is Seebeck coefficient, T is absolute temperature, I is current, zT is figure of merit, p is electrical resistivity and k is thermal conductivity.

[00035] FIGS. 6A and 6B show that Bismuth Telluride as an n-type semiconductor and Antimony Telluride as a p-type semiconductor operate within the temperature range of interest.

[00036] These materials are heavily doped in order to minimize their electrical resistivity. A compromise has to be accepted for the value of thermal conductivity. While the performance of the Peltier module is enhanced by reducing thermal conductivity (Eqn 2), heat transfer is impeded by reducing thermal conductivity, so a certain optimum value is required, depending on the distance over which the thermal load has to be transported.

[00037] These considerations drive the design of the pillow with Peltier modules, as shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 7 shows a pillow with opposite surfaces. Multiple Peltier modules (10 mm x 5 mm) are disposed near one of the surfaces. The Peltier modules are sandwiched between a 1 mm layer of wood, coated with 50 microns of Aluminum, top and bottom (hot surface; temperature in the range of 30 to 35 °C), and a 0.5 mm aluminum sheet (cold surface, temperature in the range of 20 to 25 °C). The hot surface is disposed closest to the pillow surface while the cold surface is disposed to face the pillow interior. The cold surface is in an operable electrical connection to the Peltier modules and in operable connection to an electronic module disposed in the pillow interior. The electronic module includes an electrical inlet or rechargeable battery, and can have, by way of example only, a diameter of 25 mm and a height of 5 mm. The pillow interior is filled with a foam, memory foam, gel, or latex to provide cushioning for the user.

[00038] Examples 1 and 2 show performance of two examples of Peltier modules suitable for construction of a Peltier cooler for pillows.

[00039] Example 1.

[00040] Temperature of hot terminal: 35-40°C

[00041] Temperature difference: l0°C

[00042] Voltage: 3.8 volts (DC)

[00043] Current required: 0.4 Amp

[00044] Total power required: 1.5 watts

[00045] Commercially available Peltier cooler

[00046] Example 2.

[00047] Temperature of hot terminal: 35-40°C

[00048] Temperature difference: l5°C

[00049] Voltage: 3.5 volts (DC)

[00050] Current required: 1.5 Amp

[00051] Total power required: 12.5 watts

[00052] Commercially available Peltier cooler

[00053] Preferred Embodiments:

[00054] Another embodiment of the invention is a pillow, pillow case or cooling strip, wherein said pillow, pillow case or cooling strip comprises a Peltier cooling module transporting at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least 10C between the opposite sides of said pillow. The pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can be contoured on one surface to match the topography of the neck and head of a user. The pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can be filled with an open cell foam. The pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can be filled with a memory gel. The Peltier cooling module can require a minimum voltage of 3.5 volts DC. The Peltier module can require a maximum voltage of 12 volts DC. The Peltier module can be controlled by an electronic control circuit. The electronic control circuit can comprise a microcontroller or an FPGA and/or temperature sensor(s), and/or a rechargeable battery, and/or a memory unit. The electronic control circuit can comprise a wireless transmitter and receiver. The wireless transmitter/receiver can communicate with an external remote controller. The pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can utilize a phase change material wherein said phase change material is shaped in a three-dimensional form of aspect ratio in the range 2.0 - 5.0. The pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise a phase change material shaped in three dimensional forms of a height in the range 3-10 mm, a width in the range of 10-30 mm and a length in the range of 10 - 30 mm. A bladder cooling section can attach to or be part of a pillow, pillow case or cooling strip, wherein the bladder cooling section comprises a Peltier cooling module transporting at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least l0°C. The bladder cooling section can be permanently attached to or be incorporated as part of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip. The bladder cooling section can be attached permanently to the pillow case. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip. The bladder cooling section can have a topography which partially fits the contour of the back of the neck of the user. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise an audio source. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise a vibration source. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise a sensor. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise a plurality of different sensors. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can have a topography that partially fits the contour of the back of the neck of the user. The bladder cooling bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise an audio source. The bladder cooling section of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip can comprise a vibration source. The Peltier cooling module incorporated with the bladder cooling section can transport at least 0.5 joules of heat per second across a temperature difference of at least l0°C. The bladder cooling section comprising a Peltier cooling module can be in the form of a cooling strip. [00055] Another embodiment is that of a bladder cooling section comprising a Peltier cooling module which can be in the form of a self-contained cooling strip. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be permanently attached to a pillow. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be permanently attached to a pillow case. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be releaseably attached to a pillow. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be releaseably attached to a pillow case. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be placed between a pillow and a pillow case. Such a self-contained cooling strip can be covered by a covering and placed under the head of a user while on top of a pillow.

[00056] A preferred embodiment includes a Peltier Module comprising a Peltier cooler operating at 3.7 volts (range 3.5-4.0 v), at a current level of 0.5 Amp (range 0.2-1.5 Amp) and a power level of 1.0 watts (range 0.5-6.0 watts). The embodiment is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery operating at 3.7 volts and with a capacity of 6.27 AH, so that it can operate for 12 hours at a current load of 0.5 Amps.

[00057] In one embodiment, the temperature control system includes one or more Peltier modules, one or more temperature sensors, a rechargeable battery, a Bluetooth or WIFI transmitter to wirelessly communicate with a remote monitor, an electronic control circuit to control the voltage and current input to the Peltier circuit, and a sensor to monitor the level of charge capacity left in the battery at any time.

[00058] In one embodiment, the Peltier cooling module covers a limited area at the center of a contoured pillow, preferably an area of 50 mm x 50 mm, with a range of 30-80 mm x 30-80 mm. The height of the Peltier module, electronic controls and end plates is in the range 5-10 mm, preferably 8 mm. This central zone is positioned at the center of the contour where the head and the neck are targeted to be positioned. The cooled zone creates temperature gradients along the depth of the pillow.

[00059] In one embodiment, the temperature difference between the cool side and the warm side, effected by the Peltier module is l0-l5°C, and preferably l2°C. The temperature of the cool side may be in the range 20°C to 30°C, and preferably 25°C. The temperature of the warm side is in the range 30-45°C, and preferably 37°C, or close to body temperature. [00060] In one embodiment, the temperature of the cool side is adjustable, and can be set by means of a remote monitor. In another embodiment, the temperature of the cool side may be set as one would set a thermostat, which may be set on the pillow or Peltier module, on a wired or wireless remote, on a computer, on a cell phone, on a tablet computer, or by any other method or device for setting a temperature or temperature range. According to this embodiment, if, for example, the cool side of the pillow is not at the set temperature or within the set temperature range, the cooling system will adjust the temperature to be at the set temperature or within the set temperature range. As such, a certain temperatures or temperature ranges may be maintained while a user sleeps.

[00061] In some embodiments, the electronic control system of the Peltier cooling system comprises one or more temperature sensors that monitor temperature of the cooled surface directly under the surface where the head and neck are designed to be positioned. The temperature sensors are connected to a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) or a microcontroller unit (MCU) that also turns on or off the Peltier module, operated by the battery. The rechargeable battery is recharged in between uses by connecting to a wall outlet.

[00062] In some embodiments, the electronic control system has a Bluetooth or a WIFI module that can be used to trigger the operation (turn ON and OFF) of the Peltier module. A handheld remote controller is provided with the pillow that can be used to trigger the microcontroller or the FPGA, in aspects.

[00063] In some embodiments, the MCU or the FPGA sends a signal via the wireless transmitter to the remote monitor when the battery requires recharging. The remote monitors and displays an alert ( e.g ., a LED light) for the user.

[00064] In one embodiment, a temperature dial, button or setting can be set to a desired temperature by the user to permit the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip to automatically maintain a desired temperature throughout the time such user is sleeping or utilizing the cooling pillow. In another embodiment, a temperature dial, button or setting can be programed to a desired temperature profile by the user to permit the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip to automatically maintain a desired temperature profile throughout the time such user is sleeping or utilizing the cooling pillow. In still another embodiment, in addition to setting a temperature dial, button, or setting, a setting further permits a user to set the time for when the user desires to wake up. In this embodiment the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip not only cools to either a desired temperature profile or maintains a constant desired temperature, but in addition, wakes up the user at a designated time set the user by way of example only, a vibration or sound. In another embodiment the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip not only cools, but also provides sounds, by way of example only, music or soothing relaxing sounds. In still another embodiment the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip not only cools, provides sounds, by way of example only, music or soothing relaxing sounds, but also can awake the user at a preset time by the user, or in an emergency situation such as, by way of example only; high carbon monoxide being present, weather alert, undesired smoke being monitored. In this last embodiment, the cooling pillow, pillow case or cooling strip comprises a plurality of different sensors.

[00065] The dimensions of the Peltier module are in the range 10 - 30 mm in length, 10-30 mm in width and 5-15 mm in height. One or more Peltier modules may be used to provide the required thermal transport.

[00066] In one embodiment, three or more Peltier modules are used, in order to ensure more uniform heat transport. They are mounted in between aluminum plates, with the warmer side being thicker and stiffer than the cooler side which is covered by a thinner, flexible Aluminum foil.

[00067] In one embodiment, the pillow is filled with either shredded open cell foam or a memory gel. In one embodiment, the pillow is filled with a hydrophilic gel that absorbs water and retains it as water of hydration.

[00068] The pillow can be contoured in order to ensure that the neck and the head are in proper position to receive maximum cooling benefit, and that heat is transported away from the contact surface with the body.

[00069] In certain embodiments, a bladder cooling section of the pillow contains a liquid, gel or gas and is cooled by the Peltier cooler(s). FIGS. 8-14 show various embodiments of the pillow with a bladder cooling section. The bladder cooling section can have outside dimensions corresponding to one side of the pillow. This bladder cooling section can have outside dimensions smaller than one side of the pillow. The bladder cooling section can have a length that is equal to that of the horizontal length of the pillow. The section can have a height that ranges between 25mm and 250mm. The preferable range of the height is between 25mm and lOOmm. The section can have a thickness within the range of 5mm to lOOmm. The preferable range is between lOmm and 50mm of thickness. The thickness can be shaped to partially fit the contour of the back of the neck between the lower part of the head and the shoulders of a user. The thickness can be shaped to fit the contour of the back of the neck between the lower part of the head and the shoulders of a user. The top and bottom sides of the section can be made out of a pliable, foldable, or bendable material. These sides of the bladder cooling section can be made of a hypoallergenic material. By way of example only, the side sections can be made of polyester, fabric, memory material, silicone, acrylic or a combination of one or more of these materials. The bladder cooling section can be permanently attached to the pillow. The bladder cooling section can be powered by a battery. The bladder cooling section can be powered by a rechargeable battery. The bladder cooling section can be directly connected to an electrical socket.

[00070] In another embodiment, the bladder cooling section (as described above) can be separate and attachable to a pillow by the consumer. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to the bottom of the pillow. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to a side of the pillow. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to the pillow case which covers a pillow. The bladder cooling section can be permanently attached to the pillow case which covers a pillow. The bladder cooling section can be releaseably attached to the pillow and then covered with the pillow case. The bladder cooling section can be permanently attached to the pillow and then covered with the pillow case.

[00071] In certain embodiments a self-contained cooling strip comprising a bladder cooling section can be placed between the pillow case and the pillow. In certain embodiments a self-contained cooling strip comprising a bladder cooling section can be attached to the pillow. In certain embodiments a self-contained cooling strip comprising a bladder cooling section can be attached to the pillow case. In certain embodiments a self-contained cooling strip comprising a bladder cooling section can be covered with its own covering and placed under the head of a user and on top of the pillow of a user. [00072] In another embodiment a pillow, pillow case or cooling strip associated with a pillow that can be set to a specified temperature, wherein the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip associated with a pillow will maintain its temperature within +/- 2 degrees of the set temperature while the user is sleeping on the pillow and wherein one of the pillow, pillow case or cooling strip comprise a Peltier cooler module.

[00073] The bladder cooling section which includes a Peltier cooler of the pillow, pillow case, or cooling strip associated with a pillow or pillow case can include a vibration source. The bladder cooling section can include an audio source. The bladder cooling section can include a speaker(s). The bladder cooling section can include a clock. The vibration source can be controlled by the user. The audio source can be controlled by the user. The speaker(s) can be controlled by the user. The clock can be controlled by the user. The clock can include a timer associated therewith. The bladder cooling section can include a sensor. The bladder cooling section can comprise a speaker(s). The bladder cooling section can comprise a plurality of different sensors. The sensor can be a thermal sensor. The sensor can be a pressure sensor. The sensor can be an acoustic sensor that recognizes snoring. The bladder cooling section can comprise a receiver. The bladder cooling section can comprise a transceiver. The vibration source can be used to wake the user when snoring occurs. The vibration source can be used to help the user fall asleep.

[00074] In other embodiments, the system includes a timer. In other embodiments, the system includes an alarm, which may be used to alert the user to poor sleep, snoring, breathing changes, sleep apnea, medical sleeping conditions, temperature(s), temperature changes, time(s), waking time(s) (e.g., as an alarm clock), or other reasons for alerting a user of the pillow. The bladder cooling section can comprise a power source. The power source can be an AC or DC power source. The power source can be rechargeable.

[00075] In another embodiment a cooling strip is associated with a pillow or pillow case and comprises a Peltier cooler module. The cooling strip can comprise a bladder cooling section.

The cooling strip can comprise a bladder cooling section that comprises a Peltier cooler module.

The cooling strip can be self-contained. The cooling strip can include a vibration source. The cooling strip can include an audio source. The cooling strip can comprise a speaker(s). The cooling strip can comprise a clock. The cooling strip can comprise a speaker(s). The cooling strip can comprise a plurality of different sensors. The vibration source can be controlled by the user. The audio source can be controlled by the user. The speaker(s) can be controlled by the user. The clock can be controlled by the user. The clock can comprise a timer associated therewith. The cooling strip can comprise a sensor. The sensor can be a thermal sensor. The sensor can be a pressure sensor. The sensor can be an acoustic sensor that recognizes snoring. The cooling strip can comprise a receiver. The cooling strip can comprise a transceiver. The cooling strip can comprise a vibration source. The vibration source can be used to wake the user when snoring occurs. The vibration source can be used to help the user fall asleep. The cooling strip can comprise an alarm. The cooling strip can comprise a power source. The power source can be an AC or DC power source. The power source can be rechargeable.

[00076] As used herein the bladder cooling section comprises a Peltier cooling module. As used herein a cooling strip comprises the Peltier cooling module.

[00077] The present invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments having various features. In light of the disclosure provided above, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the practice of the present invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. One skilled in the art will recognize that the disclosed features may be used singularly, in any combination, or omitted based on the requirements and specifications of a given application or design. When an embodiment refers to“comprising” certain features, it is to be understood that the embodiments can alternatively“consist of’ or“consist essentially of’ any one or more of the features. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention.

[00078] It is noted in particular that where a range of values is provided in this specification, each value between the upper and lower limits of that range is also specifically disclosed. The upper and lower limits of these smaller ranges may independently be included or excluded in the range as well. The singular forms“a,”“an,” and“the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary in nature and that variations that do not depart from the essence of the invention fall within the scope of the invention. Further, all of the references cited in this disclosure are each individually incorporated by reference herein in their entireties and as such are intended to provide an efficient way of supplementing the enabling disclosure of this invention as well as provide background detailing the level of ordinary skill in the art.