Sleepless in Houston or How To Lay Like a Corpse

No, I am NOT going to become one of those whiners and complainers due to a debilitating physical condition. Besides, I spent plenty of blog time on that condition in my previous blog, here.

So instead I must ask you a very personal question and I am not trying to be fresh. What position do you prefer in bed?

I am questioning your sleeping pose, for any of you with thoughts in the gutter! In other words, how do you sleep – in what position?

Prior to injuring my neck, I slept in the womb position – curled on the side, without a thought to my neck’s positioning. Many nights I would curl to the opposite side after a brief period of wakefulness, but again, this was my true sleep position: lying on the side of my body, head and legs curled in.

Due to a herniated disc in my neck that is still healing with continued therapy, I must lay flat on my back with my neck and head propped into a pillow with a neck hump – the better to support the neck.

This is NOT a natural position for me, laying like a corpse. So it is difficult to sleep. Even if I am dead tired, I will fall asleep in that position, only to awaken a few hours later with my legs and body trying to curl to the side. When I get a twinge in my neck for doing that, I correct back into the corpse position and lay awake until I can doze off again.

And on and on it goes, night after night.

I can’t say I am losing sleep due to pain or discomfort any more from the injury. Now I am only losing sleep because my body’s natural sleep position is disturbed and I am uncomfortable in that respect.

I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in over a month and it is bound to cause some crankiness. (Well that and the hectic, stressful pace I had to zoom back into the moment I arrived home from vacation.)

Some people are okay with just a few hours of solid sleep. I have to say, that is not me. I tend to binge on coffee, and run around red and wild eyed for the day. And then I am ready to crash for bed at 8 pm, but of course can’t because there is so much still to do!

So my question today, dear readers – is HOW to train my body into accepting a new sleep position? My fragile neck is not going away any time soon, so laying flat on my back will be required for a long period of time.

I hate to start with sleeping pills, but I am almost there. Any ideas or suggestions? Sign me: Sleepless in Houston.


  • I have slept on my back for years and it all started with my back injury. It is hard to get used to but if you can manage it, it is so much better for you. I first bought one of those wedge pillows because before and after my surgery, I found that my head/neck needed to be elevated. I get a stuff neck without that. To train myself not to roll over, I put a large pillow on either side of me. Once I fell asleep, it was almost like having someone up against me to prevent me from rolling. After some time, I was able to do it without the pillows being there all the time but sometimes I still use them because it’s hard not to roll over and curl. I actually cross my arms on my chest and pull the flat sheet up over my nose before I’m asleep. It’s just very relaxing for me that way. Thanks to menopause, I’m up and down more than ever through the night a few weeks out of the month but when I’m comfortable, this really works for me.

  • Oh, and my cats also take up half the bed on my side, and probably caused me to sleep on my side in the first place.

  • I trained myself to stop sleeping on my left side because it was causing hip and lower back problems. I just woke myself up periodically and changed to another position. But perhaps it’s the mattress too?

  • My dog dictates my sleeping position. And he doesn’t believe in giving me a lot of room. And he still tears up comforters, quilts, and pillowcases. Our sheets have so many holes I feel like an Orthodox bride. But my sleep would be greatly disturbed if I kicked him out as I should. I’d rather curl up than hear wailing and barking all night long:)

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