The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: A heavy pillow on my tummy makes me sleep better at night -- is this common?  (Read 4093 times)

Offline Caleb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
I sleep on my back at night with sofa cushions under my knees, following back surgery about 15 years ago. (I am a male, not quite 65.) Recently I have been sleeping with a heavy pillow on my tummy, weighing about 12 pounds or so, and I really sleep better with the pillow. Also, now I do not have the inclination at night to sleep on my side. Somehow this pillow seems to be activating something like a swaddling response, etc.

Any thoughts on this?

Yours, Caleb


 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8126
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
More likely it's acting as a restraint reducing the odds you'll move into a position which would cause discomfort which would wake you up.

[ "12lb pillow" sounds more like a sandbag [:0] ]

« Last Edit: 26/10/2013 06:53:46 by RD »
 

Offline Caleb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
The weight may be less than 12 pounds -- I haven't put it on the scales. Stuck a handfull of folded pants into a pillow case and safety-pinned it closed.  Works pretty well, though.

Might be restraint at work, but I don't think that's all of it. I am wondering if there is a quieting response perhaps related to a selection for not rolling over on one's infants, etc. But I don't know.

Yours, Caleb
 

Offline cheryl j

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1460
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Well, the abdomen is kind of a vulnerable area, not protected by ribs or pelvis, maybe it does feel better to have it covered.  Why do many people curl up in a ball when they sleep? Is it a primitive response for warmth and protection?  Sometimes I think the reason why people use pillows under their head isn't to support the neck, but for that same sense of security, a response leftover from times when some bug or rodent might be creeping around while you slept. It's funny how primitive sleep is. Quite often men take the side of the bed closest to the door, even if neither partner is aware of making that choice.

But if it is related to your back problem, and the pillow is heavy, pressing down may increase the space between vertebrae, and relieve any pressure from neighboring ones.
« Last Edit: 26/10/2013 21:57:49 by cheryl j »
 

Offline Caleb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
   Cheryl -- I was thinking of your focus on the fetal position aspect. Perhaps once or twice a week, I flip to my side with a pillow under my waist, between my knees and under my head. With the pillow on my tummy, I seem not to have the urge to do so. (My usual style of sleeping is on my back with my knees-legs on two sofa cushions and a pillow under each shoulder. works great! Getting rid of the lordosis - the bend in the lower back and good for distributing the weight as widely as possible.)
   Also, I heard this evening a CFI presentation by Leonard Mlodinow here in Seattle -- great conference -- and he had mentioned, among many other things, the recent discovery of a sensory field on the chest area that is sensitive to touch, and maybe this is also related to that -- that is, maybe the body is selected to be still if one first anchors the baby on one's chest, abdomen area.
   I first started using a lighter pillow on my tummy about 3 years ago when my sister-in-law said she slept with a pillow on her tummy and I have since done it, and it has worked, but not as well as a heavier pillow which I started using about 3 weeks ago. For me a very, very noticeable improvement in sleeping.
   Yours,
Caleb
 

Offline Caleb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
Related to this issue of heavy pillows on one's tummy, I was talking about this today with a teenager and she said that this might be related to a tendency people have to sleep on their stomachs. Very, very good insight, I told her.

Also I finally weighed my pillow today and it's between 5 and 6 pounds.

And really, since i have been doing this about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I haven't flipped onto my side and thereby bend my body into a fetal position for several hours several nights a week. Seems to me that this current heavy pillow arrangement removes the desire to go onto my side, etc., and it also very greatly encourages a better night's sleep.

Caleb
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums