I’m a side-sleeper with chronicChronic illness is a pretty big umbrella, and it would be impossible to list them all. Some of them are triggered by an injury like a car accident, or something… More pain and chronic muscle spasms who prefers fetal most of the time but also likes yearner. Some pillow rules-of-thumb I’ve developed in my quest for relief and sleepWe can joke fondly about it now, but my forty-two-consecutive-month campaign against a full night’s sleep nearly broke my parents. They managed to hone hour-of-the-wolf parenting into a fine art… More are:
It starts with the tuck. I tuck one arm of a U-shaped pregnancy pillow in along my back. I tuck the other arm in along my front. No matter which side of my body I’m currently sleeping on, I have a pillow arm tucked front and back. I’m pressure spooned both ways.
With the pregnancy pillow in a bolstering squeeze, I wrap my top arm and leg around a body pillow in a fetal hug that separates my knees and ankles and bolsters my top arm and leg. The top of the body pillow tucks below my chin, bolstering my head and separating it from my easily cramped and locked jaw. My down arm, when lying in yearner, is between the arm of the pregnancy pillow and the body pillow: separated, isolated, bolstered, and squeezed.
The pregnancy pillow has a built-in head pillow. On the downward slope of that pillow I put a thin (for a side-sleeper) standard-sized head pillow. My down arm, when lying in fetal, rests at a 45-ish degree angle on top of the pregnancy pillow and tucks beneath the head pillow. My down arm has to be propped at just the right angle to avoid pain. The total thickness of pregnancy pillow plus head pillow must be within the range my neck can tolerate, so the head pillow has to be somewhat thin while also providing enough loft to separate my jaw from my shoulder and down arm. By using adjustable loft and moldable head pillows and situating them a bit below the built-in head of the pregnancy pillow, I am able to dial in separated, isolated, bolstered, and squeezed relief.
When so ensconced, I come the closest I get to a reprieve from gravity. It’s wonderful. The gravitudinous mass of the earth never stops sucking at my bones, but the delta of relief afforded by my pillows as I sink into bed can nearly par the cool settling of morphine.
My Current Coping Trio
What pillows am I separating, isolating, bolstering, and squeezing with right now? What did I sleep with last night?
- Snuggle-Pedic body pillow, US$60
- Sleep Number PlushComfort Pillow Ultimate head pillow, US$80
- Moonlight Comfort-U Total Body Pregnancy Support Pillow, US$100
The Snuggle-Pedic body pillow has the perfect fill for me. It’s a satisfying squeeze that isn’t too heavy or hard to bend and mold. Wirecutter recommends the Snuggle-Pedic for those who need more support and The Company Store body pillow for those who need less. The Company Store body pillow is very nice and easy to wrangle, but it was under-filled for my huggy bear needs.
Tuck’s review of best body pillows says this about the Snuggle-Pedic:
Side sleepers who use a body pillow often like to hug or snuggle with it. The Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Body Pillow lends itself well to those sleepers, due to its highly moldable design.The Best Body Pillows – 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
If you’re a fetal hugger, the Snuggle-Pedic is satisfying. Our house has five Snuggle-Pedics so that I always have an accommodating squeeze nearby. I take one with me whenever we go on car trips, both to endure the car ride and to endure the hotel. I don’t travel by air for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that I can’t take a big, plush snuggly with me. Without my body pillow, life is pain.
I’ve tried a lot of head pillows over the years, including several Wirecutter and Tuck recommendations. Now that I’m combining a head pillow with a pregnancy pillow, I go for head pillows that can be adjusted to just the right loft to complement the pregnancy pillow. Having two pillows stacked is not generally necessary or a good idea, but having a channel between the two pillows for my down arm is crucial to avoiding elbow, shoulder, and jaw pain. Adjustable pillows allow me to set the height of the pillow stack to a neck compatible position whole affording sufficient jaw support. Being out of range provokes pain in either.
Most pillows we’ve tried come in soft, medium, or firm densities, but the PlushComfort Ultimate includes all three options in one pillow: It offers three sealed, removable layers of fill to help you get the best fit for your body shape. Most of our testers (even some back- and side-sleepers, who generally prefer shredded foam) found a comfortable height and enjoyed the cushioned support of the PlushComfort Ultimate.
You can also unzip the Easy Breather’s cover and scoop out as much shredded-foam filling as necessary to get your ideal loft; it can be a messy process, but it does let you achieve a precise fit.The Best Bed Pillows for 2021 | Reviews by Wirecutter
For their adjustability and compatibility with pregnancy pillows, the “Sleep Number PlushComfort Pillow Ultimate” and “Nest Easy Breather” have become my regular rotation.
- Sleep Number PlushComfort Pillow Ultimate, US$80
- Nest Easy Breather, US$100
With the PlushComfort, I remove one of the three inserts to get the loft I need. With the Easy Breather, I scoop out the fill until I get it just right.
I have another Easy Breather left fully filled for use as a bolster when I set up in bed. It’s also quite huggy.
The pillow has a versatile U-shape that can be used in a variety of positions. Side sleepers may prefer to tuck themselves in the space between its arms to feel supported on all sides, while those with joint pain can use the arms as added support underneath the knees or lower back.The Best Body Pillows – 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
I’ve tried several U-shaped pregnancy pillows and found my style of sleep to be compatible with all of them. Here are three I like at differentOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals… More price points.
- Bluestone Pregnancy Pillow, Full Body Maternity Pillow with Contoured U-Shape by Bluestone, Back Support: Home & Kitchen, US$40
- Moonlight Comfort-U Total Body Pregnancy Support Pillow, US$100
- Yana: The Premium Body Pillow Made for 360* Comfort, US$200
Tuck says of the Moonlight Comfort-U:
The Comfort-U from Moonlight Slumber is a polyester microfiber body pillow that measures 60″ in length, making it suitable for sleepers of most heights. It can be curved between the legs and around to the back, which is ideal for pregnant woman and other sleepers who prefer extra pillow support in these areas. The Comfort-U makes a comfy headrest for readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and… More or watching TV in bed, too.The Best Body Pillows – 2021 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
When I’m side-sleeping, the pregnancy pillow bolsters and squeezes me on each side and supports my down arm. When I’m restingWe urgently need a society that’s better at letting people get the rest they need.Fergus Murray WIP by Kristina Daniele I’m in pain. Mental. Physical. The result’s the same. Retreating… More on my back, the arms of the pregnancy pillow support my arms along my sides and also tuck under my knees. When everything is arranged just right, I almost feel a repeal of gravity. I float.
I can’t work without reading pillows. I work from bed. Reading pillows sit me up to where I can be productive at a keyboard.
After reading Amazon reviews on various reading pillows, I settled on the Linenspa Reading Pillow – Large Design for Adults – Shredded Memory Foam Blend Fill. I liked it enough to buy a second one. Shredded foam really works for me in this application. It conforms and supports nicely. The arms are in a good place for me and can be pushed aside when I don’t want them.
This pillow is big and rather heavy. I invert mine to fluff it every few days. The size makes the process a bit of a wrestle.
This pillow doesn’t provide head support (at least not at my 5’8” height), so I supplement with the shredded foam stuffed sham mentioned earlier. I made it the thickness I need to fill the gap between my head and the wall. Pillows that are stuffed even just a little bit too thick pitch my head forward uncomfortably.
Of the travel/neck pillows I’ve tried, only the Travelrest Ultimate Memory Foam Travel Pillow suits my needs because it removes the thickness at the back of the pillow so that my head doesn’t pitch forward. Pillows that don’t reduce thickness behind the head are non-starters.
Like so many travel pillows, the Travelrest presses against my AirPods and over-ear cans. Someday, I’ll find a pillow that removes the rear thickness, contours around headphones, and still supports my head when it’s lolling to the side.
I use neck pillows in the car and also, at times, while working from bed. There are days when my neck gets tired of keeping my head on.
Microbead pillows are great for bolstering joints. Their squishiness is very stimmySelf-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects Stimming – Wikipedia Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as… More.
Lunix Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow
The Lunix wedge system has gotten us through post-surgery recovery and the every day coping of chronic pain. It’s great for working from bed. Ryan uses it in combo with his pillow trio and an overbed table.