Aches, Pains, Headaches and Sleep

I wanted to write this post 2 weeks ago, but my wife persuaded me (rightfully so) that I needed to give it a few weeks before writing it.

At my age (60), you find yourself with more aches and pains than you ever thought about in your 30’s. In fact, i kind of wish someone had warned me, not that it would have made any difference, but i would have been less surprised.

My back aches, my shoulders both hurt, my neck is tight as a cliff, and i get a lot of headaches. Sleeping actually makes all of those things worse. For several years now i’ve been waking up with the most pain of the day which would sometimes gradually, slowly, ease somewhat during the day. I don’t think these are unusual symptoms for us older folk. I would also wake up regularly around 4 a.m. with a horrendous headache.

Over the years, i’ve tried many different types of pillows in a search for relief and sleep. We got a sleep number mattress about 10 years ago, which actually does help some. I’ve tried cervical pillows from chiropractors, i’ve tried special high-priced pillows sold at mattress stores like the sleep number store, i’ve tried tempurpedic pillows sold by the Relax The Back Stores (very pricey). The next to last pillow i tried was called a Chiroflow Pillow which was actually half filled with water on the bottom with normal polly fill above that. It helped a little.

Then i heard or read about buckwheat filled pillows. NOT the ones you see on TV. I have a firm policy not to buy things hawked on TV as miracle cures. So i Googled buckwheat hull pillows for varieties and prices and was a bit overwhelmed. Then i Googled reviews of buckwheat hull pillows and that helped. I also, as i always do, checked Amazon because their reviews tend to be mostly honest and reliable.

To my surprise, there seemed to be a substantial consensus that these pillows actually helped with the aches and pains i was experiencing along with the lack of good sleep. I then began investigating differences among the brands, types, styles, etc. I discovered that those manufactured outside of the US were fumigated to kill bugs before being imported. For someone like me who experiences migraines, that was a huge consideration and it quickly eliminated many of the brands.

Based on reviews and information i had gathered i settled on trying a “standard size” (20′ x 26″) Buckwheat filled pillow made by Beans72 which also claimed to be organic (as in not fumigated or pesticided). Beans72 heats the buckwheat hulls to high temperatures to kill the vermin. The price is high for a normal pillow, but much less than some of the other pillows i’ve purchased over the years.

The Good

I could tell the difference the first night. I told Jan that i needed to write a blog post about the pillow. She advised me to wait a few weeks. So, i’m writing the blog post now. After two weeks, i can tell you that I am sleeping much better, more soundly than i have in years. I’ve only awakened once in these 2 weeks with a 4 a.m. headache. I would estimate that my back pain is about 75% less severe in the morning and the pain in both my shoulders is about 50% less. I consider this a great success.

The Downside

There is always a downside. The buckwheat hulls move around inside the pillow case when you move on the pillow. This is noisier than you might think. It takes a little getting used to, though it did not bother me much. Also, the nature of the buckwheat hulls is that they do not compress like foam, feathers, polly or other fillers. To some, the pillow might feel hard. This does not at all bother me, and i found it tremendously helpful for easing the pressure on my shoulders (i mostly sleep on my sides) and on my neck (when i occasionally roll onto my back). I suspect this pillow would not work as well if you sleep on your stomach.

You are able to remove and store some of the buckwheat hulls if you find the pillow to be too filled or hard. I did this the first few nights (it helped me get used to the pillow), but i’ve since put them back in. I suspect that your size/stature might effect how much of the buckwheat hulls you might wish (or not) to remove.

I’m not shilling for Amazon or Beans72. I no longer have affiliate links, so there is no monetary reward for me, but if any of you are interested, this is the pillow i bought. You should probably do your own research before jumping on this bandwagon. This pillow helped me, but your mileage may vary. Also, do not buy a pillow from a TV advertisement.

Beans72 Buckwheat Pillow on Amazon.

I’m sleeping better and feeling better, so i wanted to share this just in case it might help someone else with these aches and pains.

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