May 1, 2013

The anti-snoring marriage-saving pillow

When I first came across a Pillow Menu beside my bed at a hotel a few years back, I thought how posh. I was so intrigued by the idea that I buzzed said Pillow Menu number and ordered the full selection to be brought to my room for closer inspection.

There was a down one, a curved one, a hard as nails one, an allergy-free one… The poor guy was standing at my door with so many stacked up in his arms that I couldn’t see him.

I asked him to leave the lot, slept on the down, leaned on the curved and threw the other ones aside not thinking any more about it.

Pillow butler

The Silversea pillow menu

Until now.

I was on a Silversea cruise earlier this year and this time our butler (yes I had a personal butler) talked me through the Pillow Menu. He rattled off the usual: firm core, shaped foam, full body pillow (is that for lonely travellers?), cotton, polyester, down… Then he casually dropped in “Buckwheat pillow to relieve aches and pains, sleeplessness and help stop snoring”. Stop snoring?!

I looked at my husband who suffers from such an affliction and said, we’ll take one of those, quicker than he had a chance to meet my gaze.

The Buckwheat pillow arrived on a silver tray. Truly. And that night I had all my eggs in this wheatie bag basket in the hopes that I would not have to leave my cabin in the wee small hours and try to find an empty one somewhere along the hall.

It is basically a pillow-sized wheat bag. Weighs about as much as a bag of cement and feels like it to sleep on. BUT….. it works.

I can’t even tell you why – and I have done more than a little research into the phenomenon. But chuck out your snoring throat sprays. It seems that because grains are not spongy like feathers, cotton, wool or polyester, it simply molds to the shape of your spine/neck and there it stays, thereby keeping the airways open.

Suffice to say we bought one and now, 4 months later, we still sleep like logs.

Buckwheat flowers

Buckwheat growing in Japan. Pic from Flickr/tanaka_juuyoh

Some nerdy information about buckwheat:

Buckwheat is not actually a wheat. It is a triangular shaped grain related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb. It establishes quickly and is used as a summer cover and to make flour and noodles in mountainous regions where grains don’t grow easily (think soba noodles). The biggest producer is Russia and China and it’s most commonly consumed in Asia.

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I have found a bunch of companies in New Zealand who sell buckwheat pillows if you want to give it a try. Click on the titles and they’ll take you to their websites.

Pure Earth, In Nature, OOS, Furniture City, Futonz

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About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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