July 20th, 2013

I guess I don’t need…

this pillow, because I sleep on my back.

I’ve always been a very quiet sleeper, without a whole lot of position changes during the night. When I was a kid at camp, I used to pride myself on being able to slip into my bed at night so carefully that I didn’t disturb the covers much and could even leave them all tucked in, and then in the morning get out again so that I only had to smooth them over a bit and not make the bed at all. Success!

That doesn’t quite work any more. But when I hurt my back and arms many many years ago, I found the best sleeping position for myself, on my back with pillows under my legs, and have stuck with it ever since through thick and thin. I had no idea at the time that it might reduce the production of wrinkles, but hey, I’ll take it.

13 Responses to “I guess I don’t need…”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    I’m the opposite of the quiet calm back sleeper. Or so I’m told. I’m told I thrash about, hang one leg over the side of the bed, pull on the bedpost with one hand and, in general, make a bother of myself as I snore my way to morning.

  2. Paul A'Barge Says:

    What do the men say in the morning?

  3. Don Carlos Says:

    I read a report on positions of sleep a decade ago. Sleeping supine is infrequent (~10% of sleepers), and it has been called the “Royal position” because it is the same position as shown on sarcophagus lids. (Curious word, sarcophagus- means eater of flesh from Latin). Interestingly, it was averred therein that supine sleep was associated with an absence of stress perception-these folks were said to be calmer than average.

    I took a rare nap today–supine, hands folded on chest; and woke up that way 90min. later. I guess I am more calm, as a result of ageing, doubtless. Something for Vanderleun to look forward to!

  4. Michael Adams Says:

    Pity poor Kris had no such pillow!

  5. davisbr Says:

    …lol: that’s exactly how I sleep, sans pillow under head, but w/pillow under knees, flat on my back.

    But I didn’t come to that because of back problems.

    Experimenting around a long time ago (I finally recalled that I slept best on a sandy beach, sand kind of hollowed out under my butt, and shoulders “wiggled in” lol), I found “flat w/no pillow, legs raised” to be the position that allows me to breathe best all night long.

    If I sleep on my side, I get stuffed up. If I sleep with a pillow (even flat on my back), I get stuffed up. Vicks don’t work. A humidifier don’t work.

    Sinuses, I s’pose.

    Flat on the back, head flat on mattress …that’s gold.

    …took awhile to get used to it. Now it seems to weird to use a pillow.

    Pillows are best for propping you up to operate your laptop in bed.

  6. expat Says:

    I’m a side sleeper, but I’m also pretty quiet. Once, in college, I was waiting for my hair to dry. You must remember the days of rollers and portable hairdryers with plastic head covers. It took about an hour to get the hair dry. Anyway, I fell asleeep during this wait with a mug of coffee next to me on the bed. I must have turned thr dryer off at some point, but when I woke up the next morning, not a drop of coffee had spilled. I wouldn’t try that again.

  7. expat Says:

    BTW, the blow dryer is one of the world’s great inventions.

  8. Ray Says:

    I’m 70 years old and my whole body is becoming wrinkled. Does this pillow work on just the face or will it work on the whole body?

  9. neo-neocon Says:



  10. IGotBupkis, "Faeces Evenio", Mr. Holder? Says:

    }}} I guess I don’t need… …this pillow, because I sleep on my back.

    Heh. I recall an old Bloom County:

    Did you hear about the new corduroy pillowcases?


    How did you miss it? They’re making headlines!


  11. IGotBupkis, "Faeces Evenio", Mr. Holder? Says:

    }}} Flat on the back, head flat on mattress …that’s gold.

    Actually, davis, that’s very odd. That should be the worst position for anyone with active sinuses, because the sinuses will drain right into the lungs.

    Sleeping on your side should be preferable because then the sinuses either clog up from not draining at all, or they drain out (yeah, it sounds disgusting, but it’s better than pneumonia).

  12. IGotBupkis, "Faeces Evenio", Mr. Holder? Says:

    BTW, I personally mostly sleep on my side for the reasons above — active sinuses. I’ve always hated foam pillows because you practically have to roll them up to get any support at all, so I prefer feather pillows or (nowadays) memory foam pillows are as good.

    As I’ve gotten older, my neck has gotten a lot more sensitive to lack of support, so I do tend to be pretty careful about how the pillows are set up so as to be sure I’ve got full support from the shoulder upwards.

    I’ve also noted that I seem to need another between my legs because my “upper” knee gets stressed from being unsupported and is stiff and tender if I don’t.

  13. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I am normally a side sleeper and quite restless, changing sides, pulling the covers up and down, and generally readjusting fairly often all night. A couple of years ago, after a serious accident, I had to sleep flat on my back for a month or two, all night, every night, pretty much motionless because I couldn’t change position without assistance or major effort. It was awful. Even with pillows rigged all sorts of elaborate ways to support my knees and prop up my feet and cushion the injured parts and generally create an illusion of comfort, I just could not fall asleep. I’d lie there waiting for morning, staring at the ceiling and fantasizing about rolling onto my side the way a dieter might fantasize about eating a hot fudge sundae. The silver lining turned out to be how much I’ve noticed and appreciated the ordinary luxury of being able to move freely in the night and turn over when I need to, ever since.

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