Health Update

My pillow was stopping me sleeping

In today’s post I want to talk about how my pillow was stopping me sleeping and how I think I have finally found the answer!

my pillow was stopping me sleeping
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Image description: two crumpled white pillows on a white bed with a white wall behind

Ever since I first got sick, I have been struggling with neck and shoulder pain which is a symptom of Fibromyalgia. I also have a lot of joint pain and spine pain thanks to Ehlers Danlos, so I need to do all I can to support those areas of my body.

For years now I have been trying different pillows, buying whatever other chronic illness bloggers suggest and trying to find the magic formula. I have tried soft pillows, hard pillows, memory foam, and feathers, you name it!

My last pillow was a shredded memory foam pillow and oh my goodness did I have problems! It was so hard I would wake up with so much pain on the side of my head and I worried I was starting to get a pressure sore there as I don’t move much in my sleep.

That pain would then wrap around my head, and down my neck causing headaches and migraines every day. I was losing sleep and waking with so much pain in my upper spine from it having no give to it that I had to make a change.

My lovely husband went to our local supermarket and bought me my first medium firm pillow, which felt just perfect on my face. It was such a relief, the fear of a pressure sore or the pain in my ear cartilage being gone for the first time in years felt amazing!

On top of this, I treated myself to a memory foam cervical neck pillow which is simply a small bolster cushion for your neck. So, last night for the first time, I had a supportive neck pillow, and a separate medium firmness pillow for my face.

I woke up this morning feeling actually rested, I had very little neck pain and no face pain, and that was so lovely! I cannot express to you how nice it was to wake up and not feel as groggy or exhausted it was so wonderful.

I wish there was some kind of guide for this sort of thing, because honestly when you have chronic pain or when your pillow is stopping your sleeping, you are lost. And all the pillows I have tried, I have paid for out of the small amount of money I get in disability benefits. <br><br>

The NHS is an incredible service and when I worked for them, I loved it, and now I am using it I love it too. The government sees it as nothing more than taking money out of the public purse, not realising actually how many people couldn’t afford to use a private system.

However, the NHS does not see a person holistically, which means they see each symptom separately and often correlations are missed. Sleep, or rather lack of it, has a big knock-on effect on your health as a whole, and I wish it was talked about more in doctors’ appointments.

This is especially true for illnesses that cause chronic pain that could lead to painsomnia, or chronic fatigue issues that cause sleep issues. I have both, yet my sleeping has never been bought up or asked about, and so I have never thought to take that problem to my doctor.

I have struggled so much because my pillow was stopping me sleeping, it has created so much pain, and made me so tired and foggy. I do not think I realised just how much until I woke up this morning after finding at last what pillows actually worked for me.

If you struggle with anything like this let me know what works for you, and isn’t it frustrating that we have to figure it out alone? I am just glad that my pillow was stopping me sleeping, but now I have found what works.

Thank you xx

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  • Flowersstorms

    I’m so glad you found a pillow combo that worked for you, Beverley! For me it was box pillows that were the magic solution- I generally sleep on my front or on my side (although I wriggle around a lot because of my hypermobility). Good quality of sleep is absolutely essential when you’re managing chronic illnesses x

  • Kaz

    It has taken me years and different pillows to find out what works for me. Due to my hypermobility I move in my sleep. I use a body pillow on one side of the bed, and a travel pillow to support my neck while my head uses a supermarket pillow. The travel pillow was a game changer as most of my chronic pain is around my neck area. I have 2 so can still use one while the other is in the laundry basket. So glad you found what works for you. We really need our sleep.

    • admin

      I think it takes so much patience to keep trying different things to try and find what works, but when you do… it feels so nice to get comfy and fall asleep.

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