Why the Horseshoe Pillow is Bad for how we Sleep Today

“Travel has evolved. Your travel pillow should evolve with it.”


There were many reasons why my mother told me to sit up straight and not slouch. It wasn’t just that it looked bad or was embarrassing when she and my dad had friends over for dinner, but it was also bad for my back and neck.

She would know. When I was 3 years old, my mom was in an automobile accident that left her with two compressed vertebrae. I walked away without a scratch. My mom had to endure a life of neck and back pain. Her suffering would have been worse had she not practiced good posture throughout her life. Shoulders back, head balanced over her shoulders when she sat. A firm mattress with a matching firm supportive pillow to maintain healthy alignment of her neck and back when she slept. Healthy spinal alignment was the key to managing her pain, and over time this would become a fundamental principle for how she wanted me to protect my health.

Today, many traditional travel pillows are odds with this principle. Burdened with thick neck padding, these pillows can unintentionally misalign our cervical spine. This was not intentional. Long ago, when we had more room to recline when sitting on a plane, the weight of our neck and head compressed this traditional padding into comfortable healthy support, allowing us to sleep soundly and with healthy spinal alignment – making it a reasonable design.



That period is long gone. Recent economic decisions made within the airline industry have lead to an increase in seats being added in economy class. With less room to recline, the use of these traditional pillows in today’s travel environment can not only make falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult, but can also cause spinal misalignment.



Once essential for providing comfort and healthy support, the neck padding found in many traditional travel pillows now bulges our neck outward away from our seats, causing forward head displacement.  According to Dr. Adalbert Kapandji in the Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3, this forward displacement increases the amount of work our neck and upper back muscles must do in order to hold up our heads. This forces the suboccipital muscles responsible for raising the chin to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the three suboccipital nerves.  Compression of these nerves can cause headaches at the base of the skull and mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.

Back Lit Business People Traveling Airport Passenger Concept



We are a society on the go. Advances in transportation have allowed us to more frequently transport ourselves to ever-greater distances from our homes and places of business. Many of us now rely on unconventional sleeping practices to get us through our day, making how we sleep while in transit, increasingly more important. A travel pillow solution that can both properly align the cervical spine and support the head without head slump is sorely needed – pun intended.




The SkyDreamer Travel Pillow was designed for how we travel today. Optimized for spinal alignment and comfort, its Adjustable Slim Neckband allows the cervical vertebra to lean back into healthy alignment with the thoracic vertebra.

We set out to design a travel pillow that would go Mano a Mano with gravity. Our aim was to create a modern travel pillow for our time – a creation that would be practical, convenient, and simple to use.

Sign up on our website and be one of the first to get the new SkyDreamer Travel Pillow when our Kickstarter campaign launches on January 4, 2016!

Learn more about the revolutionary SkyDreamer Travel Pillow at www.outlierinspired.com.  Also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for exciting new announcements and traveling tips.

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