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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sleep Aides: Remedies

Buckwheat Pillow for Sleep

Buckwheat-filled pillows aide sleep by reducing aches and pains by conforming perfectly to your head and neck and keeping the spine aligned. They not only help as a sleep aide, they also resist dust mites which will eliminate allergies that cause congestion while you sleep. You can purchase a buckwheat pillow online or at a medical facility, such as a chiropractor, physical therapist and doctor’s office. They usually cost somewhere between $15 - $75. On amazon.com a Rirakkusu Makura Natural Buckwheat Pillow costs $14.75. (see below)

Makura Miracle Pillow made by Tru-Makura Co., Orange CA, uses buckwheat hulls grown in the Dakotas. They clean the hulls to remove the flour residue that would normally cause allergies. Since buckwheat hulls do not compress health-care professionals recommend this pillow for relief of neck pain, headaches, muscle tension, snoring, sleeplessness and other medical conditions. Naturopathic physicians know if you support your cervical spine and neck you will sleep better. Just like a memory foam pillow, you will put a dent in it as it supports your neck when you lay on it. If you sleep on your side you can bunch up the pillow for added head support.

Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore findings show that people who have neck pain, caused by tense muscles are due to having poor posture during the day. Using a buckwheat pillow will keep your neck in a neutral position, reduce tension and give your tense muscles a chance to recover.

Many pillows will have a zipper which is a benefit because you can adjust the number of buckwheat hulls you require for your head and neck. After a number of years the pillow will flatten and all you have to do is add more hulls. On amazon.com a pound of hulls cost as little as $8.00+ while 5lbs of organic hulls are on sale right now for $24.95. At first your pillow may seem rock hard even after you adjust the number of hulls. It takes about 3-4 days of use before you and your pillow adjust and you see how it provides additional support over other pillows.

U.S. made buckwheat pillows are best because the hulls have been clean thoroughly. Studies have shown that Korean-made pillows have higher levels of a bacterial toxin that can aggravate asthma. There is no scientific evidence that buckwheat pillows resist dust mites, however there U.S. manufacturers claim their customers who have dust mite allergies are getting relief. Many websites that sell buckwheat pillows state that "the pillow does not house dust mites".

If you think your buckwheat pillow has mites you can easily kill them by freezing the pillow. Manufacturers do not recommend that you wash the pillow as the hulls do not dry easily. An allergic reaction may not be due to toxins or mites as some people may be allergic to the buckwheat itself. If you are allergic to buckwheat filled pillows there are other pillows you can try to get the same sleep aide remedies, such as memory foam or a pillow filled with lavender or hops.

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