About the project
There was a time when gravity only pulled our heads laterally while we slept. This was the Golden Age of Flight, a period when our necks could relax, thanks to the generous angles at which we slept.
Today, as more seats are added in economy class, there is less room to recline. Gravity now pulls our heads forward requiring our necks to hold up our heads, making it virtually impossible to have a restful sleep.
With less personal space, we now tend to sleep in increasingly more awkward positions which can cause muscle strain and misalignment of the spine. How we look and feel upon arrival at our destinations can also be affected as we travel more and sleep less.
"My name is Beau Borders, and I’m a racing car driver. During a competition weekend, I often find myself sitting behind the wheel of my car mentally preparing for what’s to come. I close my eyes and drive imaginary laps with a stopwatch in my hand as sort of a meditation technique. Being 6’-4” with racing-induced neck injuries, I can’t say that I’m ever physically comfortable in any race car. I began using my SkyDreamer during this process, and now my only problem is staying awake!! My pre-race meditation has turned into a pre-race nap, thanks to the SkyDreamer!"
– Beau Borders, Academy Award nominated Sound Mixer and Race Car Driver
We threw out all conventional preconceptions and put in place a set of visionary design goals aimed at creating a streamlined travel pillow for our time – a creation that would be practical, convenient, and simple to use.
We tend to reposition ourselves while we sleep. Our Twin Cradle is designed to allow your head to gently tilt to either side when those moments occur, while still providing unprecedented support and alignment when sleeping in a near upright position. And when that moment comes to have a bite to eat or stretch your legs, our symmetrically designed pillow quickly disconnects to balance conveniently around your neck.
Our Slim NeckBand does not push the neck and head forward into unnatural positions. Adjustable to support most any head position and neck size, while providing light, breathable support.
When we sleep in a near upright position, our heads are more prone to tilt forward. The logical solution would be to apply direct inline support to prevent this motion. This would create an uncomfortable pressure on the center of the chest. Our CenterLine Arch redistributes this pressure across the outer chest and shoulders and away from the center of the chest for a more comfortable sleeping experience.
Never have to look for your tote bag again after arriving at the gate! Our built-in hideaway tote bag unfurls to protect and transport your SkyDreamer. With a single downward flick of your hand, our unique SingleDraw Carry-On Loop draws your bag close to keep your pillow clean for easy attachment to your luggage.
Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office allowed the first of our applications for issuance as a patent. In plain English, we have our first patent! A testament to our unique design.
"My husband, Kent and I, traveled a 'red eye' flight from San Jose to Denver and back over the recent Memorial Day weekend. We got to try out your new product and were both impressed with our experiences.
I never have been able to sleep on a plane, even on the overnight flights to Europe. I was eager to see if your new collar could help. It took me awhile to figure out the best adjustment of the back neck strap. I found that adjusting it fairly 'snug' was best for me. I was surprised that this snug felt embracing and supportive rather than 'tight'. It was not choking at all. I found the SkyDreamer comfortable.
On the first leg of our trip, another passenger saw me with the SkyDreamer on and wanted to know where he could get one for his wife. He wanted one so much that he gave my husband his email address so that he could be contacted when it becomes available to purchase.
On our trip back home our flight was delayed 2 hours. As we sit in the very uncomfortable chairs in the airport terminal at almost midnight Kent said, 'the SkyDreamer would be good to use right now.' He was right.
I had an overall very positive experience with SkyDreamer."
- Bonnie Lewallen, Registered Nurse
Essentially, it comes down to our futile attempts to find clever ways to support our heads. The unavoidable truth is that we cannot hold up our heads once we fall asleep. Attempts to do so tend to lead to awkward sleeping positions. Over time, these habits can have long-term health consequences.
When we sleep at a more reclined position, our head is pulled back towards our headrest and into a stable position.
This stability allows us to fall asleep and stay asleep because the muscles responsible for holding up our heads, called the extensor muscles, are being allowed to relax.
Conversely, when we sleep in a more upright position, our head is pulled forward causing it to become unstable. As a result, our head becomes susceptible to forward rotation and cervical spine misalignment.
To prevent this, our neck extensor muscles must hold up our head against the pull of gravity while we sleep. This is impossible once asleep because our brain switches off the specialized cells responsible for moving our skeletal muscles called motor neurons, which unfortunately includes those extensor muscles in our neck.
According to Dr. Adalbert Kapandji, author of the Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3., this creates an additional workload that our neck and upper back muscles must overcome in order to hold up our heads as it moves further forward.
As a result, our bodies may experience:
- Higher compression loads on the upper thoracic vertebra.
- Compressed suboccipital nerves in the neck.
- A diminished ability of the hyoid muscles to lift the first rib during inhalation.
We may feel this as:
- Muscle strain and soreness.
- Headaches felt at the base of the skull or pain/pressure around the sinuses.
- An inhibited ability to take full breaths while sleeping.
“I was strangled up in economy on my recent flight from San Francisco to London, but I had 'The Pillow' to fully support my head. I slept so long that even the flight attendant commented as I was leaving the plane.”
-Maeve Daugharty, Oceanographer
During the Golden Age of Flight, gravity compressed the neck padding into comfortable healthy support, allowing us to sleep soundly with healthy spinal alignment.
Today, gravity, no longer compresses this rear neck padding, making it a nonessential and unhealthy design component. As a consequence, this uncompressed padding pushes our necks and heads forward and away from our headrests.
"I’m Karl Chicca, race car driver and owner of auto racing business and professional race team, Life’s Good Racing!™
In my previous life, I circled the globe racking up over a million miles in charge of global materials and supply chain management for Seagate Technology, a Silicon Valley high-tech firm and the world’s largest producer of hard disc drives. After an international flight, going to morning meetings were the worst because of the lingering effects of not having slept well. Even domestic flights were problematic because of the poor posture created by airline seats. At 30,000 feet, there were many sleepless miles and sore necks.
My first impression of SkyDreamer is 'Brilliant!' I no longer have to force my neck and head back against my pillow. The neck padding was just thick enough to provide comfort without creating discomfort. It’s adjustable, so I could put my head exactly where I wanted. I never felt overheated and my head never fell forward, which meant that I was able to sleep comfortable throughout the flight and even enjoy a brief nap on shorter trips.
I’m still a frequent flyer. In fact, I just returned from Hawaii with my SkyDreamer in tow! This pillow gives me the comfort that I want and support I need. I can finally sleep peacefully at 30,000 feet!"
- Karl Chicca, CEO Life’s Good Racing
1. We try to balance our head.
2. Our neck instinctively pushes against our pillow to achieve balance.
3. We fall asleep; our pillow then pushes back, thrusting our head forward.
4. We wake. And the cycle starts all over.
Consistently putting this unnecessary strain on our neck muscles has the potential for long-term health problems.
Provide a proxy for the extensor muscles that holds the head upright in a stable and aligned position while the neck muscles are at rest.
We don't always have control over our sleeping environments when traveling. But we should have a choice in how we sleep in these confined environments - an ergonomic choice that doesn’t put our spinal health at risk.
Falling into a deep, perfectly aligned sleep without worry of being jolted back into consciousness from your head flying forward.
“I am an admittedly terrible sleeper on flights. I often end up taking the red eye so that I will have the following day free, only to find that I am too exhausted to actually stay awake throughout the following day. A major bummer. Travel pillows have never helped me that much, but now that I've taken trips with the Skydreamer from Los Angeles to Scandinavia, Alaska, Hawaii and back, I can attest that it actually does allow me to sleep through overnight flights!
I have known Cedric, the designer of Skydreamer, for over a year and I have seen first hand how meticulous he is in every aspect of his design. He has been open and adaptable with feedback from all his prototype testers and attention to design detail is in his blood. Listen up Kickstarter: you can back this project with confidence that the team is dedicated to delivering the best travel pillow available!”
- Joseph Sliker, Filmmaker
"Amazing pillow! Thank you so much Outlier Inspired for letting me take this 'bad-boy' with me on my trip. It provided me much needed neck support and I had one of the most comfortable trips to Cancun using this!"
- Thao Tran, Doctor of Pharmacy
I have self-funded the design, development, and testing for SkyDreamer to this point. Our final prototype has been well tested and our manufacturer and vendors are ready to go. Every dollar pledged will go towards the manufacturing, quality assurance, packaging and shipping of your SkyDreamer.
When you back our project, you will see shipping prices for your home country. We will be fulfilling your orders from San Diego, California, United States. Please note that if you live outside of the United States, you may be responsible for local duties, fees and taxes.
They call me Bear! And I’ve been a lifelong friend of Cedric.
First, let me say that English is not my first language. Second, I can only speak to Cedric’s character. Why? It’s because I’m a stomach sleeper. So, unless I critique the SkyDreamer in how well it could replace my favorite bone or one of Cedric’s shoes, I can’t really give credible feedback.
What I can say about my two-legged upright walking Homo sapien is that he has always feed me on time. He’s very competitive. We race all the time! He usually wins, but it’s only because he’s behind the wheel of a 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. Burgundy, if that makes any difference!
Sometimes he talks too much, but I don’t hold that against him. I’m a fantastic therapeutic listener!
I’m not particularly cool with his wanting me to wear glasses from time to time, but I don’t bite him in his rear britches when he’s not looking because of it. We’re best mates!
Let me end with this: Cedric has done a fantastic job in creating comfortable sleeping accommodations for me and I’m absolutely certain that he and the other hounds down at Outlier Inspired will do the same for you with the SkyDreamer!
Cheers! And may you always have your favorite bone! Woof!!!
-Bear "Catch me if you can" Walker
Motivator, Therapist, Guard Dog, and Best Mate.
Water has a freedom that I didn’t have as a boy. It would snake through our farm along the creek bed while my dog Bear and I would watch and ponder. Where had it come from? Where was it going?
These experiences inspired me to look beyond the farm in Mississippi. Little did I know it would make possible the SkyDreamer!
When I was younger, I didn’t mine sleeping with my head slumped into my chest and enduring the sore neck that came with it, if it meant I could see and experience yet another far off corner of our world! But then something changed!
Read more in Update #1 (will post on 6 Jan) or on our Blog.
Risks and challenges
While we realize that it is virtually impossible to foresee every possible risk and challenge that we will face in the future, we have made every attempt to address those that we have anticipated.
Our San Francisco-based designer has over 20 years of experience in bringing new products to market, and we already have one patent and several more pending to safeguard our interests going forward. We've exhaustively vetted manufacturers and chosen a young and highly ambitious manufacturer that we can work closely with.
Issues may arise going forward; this is the nature of business. It’s also an opportunity for us to use our expertise to proactively seek efficient solutions, something we take pride in and had gotten us to this point. We promise to be transparent and prompt about any issues that arise - we will let our backers know if there are any issues affecting timing, quality, or shipment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)