Can buckwheat pillows improve my sleep? 10 good reasons to give them a try.

4 November, 2011


buckwheat pillows

buckwheat pillows

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” Lyn Yutang.

Not sleeping well? You could do worse than taking a close look at your pillow. A good pillow can make or break your sleep and a buckwheat pillow may be the answer.

There are plenty of hi-tech man-made pillows available on the market, but there is also a tried and tested, natural solution that has been around for hundreds of years.

Buckwheat pillows have been used in Asia for at least 600 years. In Korea, children have traditionally been given buckwheat pillows by their grandmothers to assure sound sleep. They are also very common in Japan, where buckwheat is known as sobakawa or sobagara.

Although often mistaken for a grain, buckwheat is actually a fruit related to rhubarb. The fruit is made up of a single seed contained within a hard pyramid-shaped hull. The seed, or groats, are usually extracted by roasting and used as gluten-free flour for noodles or porridge and even beer.

The fibrous hulls, once just a bi-product of the flour production process, make an excellent filling for pillows. When roasted to remove their kernel, the pyramid-shaped husks split down one edge, creating an irregular shape that doesn’t neatly fit into the husks around it. This gives buckwheat hull pillows some advantages over fibre-filled, feather or down pillows.

1. Natural
2. Inexpensive
3. Renewable resource (unlike petroleum-based foam pillows)
4. Excellent support for the head, neck and back as the hulls naturally contour to the shape and weight of the body
5. Provide natural ventilation and air circulation which maintains the head at optimal temperature for sleep
6. Hypoallergenic (provided they use high quality, dust-free hulls)
7. Natural shape of the hulls minimizes the flattening and compression characteristic of other pillows
8. Adjustable – hulls can be added or removed to customize
9. Long life
10. Readily available

If they work for you, buckwheat hulls can also be found in neck pillows, eye pillows, yoga pillows and zafu cushions, used in zazen Zen meditation. You might even find buckwheat pillows in upmarket hotel rooms. For even better sleep, they can be filled with buckwheat hulls mixed with lavender or chamomile, giving the additional benefits of aromatherapy.

As well as improving the quality of sleep, buckwheat pillows can help with

• snoring
• menopausal night sweats
• headaches
• migraines
• stress
• spine alignment issues

They are great for side-sleepers, giving much better support for the neck and shoulders than most conventional pillows. But, whatever your sleeping position, you may well find that buckwheat pillows improve your sleep.

Buenas noches.

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