Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to Sleep

My back - particularly my shoulders - are all kinds of jacked-up.

I've had a knot in my right shoulder for about 20 years now. It was dissolved for about a week around three years ago when my dear, dear friend Kikr treated me to her favorite massage therapist. If only I could afford to visit a 6' 7", 260lb, ex-marine-turned- massage-therapist in San Francisco once a week - perhaps I could keep that knot at bay.

I can't, so the knot is stubbornly at the base of my neck and screaming at me on a daily basis.
It screams really loudly in the mornings as I wake up laying on my back with my right shoulder next to my ear. It takes a good hour and a hot shower to ease the stiff pain.
This morning, I woke up with my right arm above my head, as if I were in a dramatic fainting scene in a silent film. Shoulder firmly planted next to my ear.

My chiropractor does not find this amusing. She enjoys my rendition of the story of course, but once she gets me on the table and starts cracking away she tells me just how out of alignment I am. Today even my ribs were out of place!! Not kidding.
If only I could afford to see her each week!

Today, she reminded me that lying on one's stomach immediately moves one's spine out of alignment. I knew it wasn't good for me, but I never before realized that it was that bad! I told her that I thought I was making progress because for the past year I've been waking up on my back. Yay me!
But the fact that I crawl into bed, ease to my right side for about 5 minutes then roll onto my stomach, cradling my pillow between my arms and my head until I fall asleep has her concerned. We don't know what time of the night or morning I move to my back.

She told me that some folks sew pockets on the front of their PJs and fill them with tennis balls to avoid rolling onto their tummy. I imagined that it would take just two attempts to roll over before those tennis balls find themselves across the room!!

How do you fall asleep? Have you ever had to break the habit of sleeping on your stomach - and how did you do it?


Jenni said...

I think I am a rotisserie chicken in my sleep, at least evidenced by my crazy covers....but I do start on my side/stomach. Didn't realize it was so so bad for my back!!

Krissie said...

I am so in the same boat as you. I'm currently in Physical Therapy trying to resolve some back pain issue, and as I was told, bad bio mechanics, and I've already been scolded for sleeping on my stomach, but I don't know what to do about it. I don't fall asleep in other positions.

Elaine said...

I prefer sleeping on my side or my back but my husband ALWAYS sleeps on his stomach...

As for the closet comment....We have a tiny hall closet by the door where we store our shoes. It's convenient beccause we don't like to wear shoes in the house!

TRS said...

Thanks for the support ladies! Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Good news. I successfully slept on my back last night! I did ease onto my side just for relaxation-sake but then forced myself to stay on my back. I think it took me longer to fall asleep because of it.

I did nearly succumb to stomach sleeping, but when I rolled onto my tummy and snuggled my pillow - I couldn't get comfortable.
That's what my Chiro said, if your back is properly aligned - you would never even WANT to lie on your tummy.

If you have a good Chiro - go get aligned and try it.
I'll report back as I try to sleep on my back for consecutive nights.

Rachel said...

Wow! I always go to sleep on my tummy. But I did get cured of it for awhile but that was cause I had a child growing in me and it started to feel very uncomfortable. :) Hope you get rid of your knot.

erinannie said...

I always have to sleep on my side. Occasionally I will move to my tummy, but always on my side. But not just one side, oh no. I always start on my left, and then, just as I'm about to fall asleep I flop over onto my right. Can I sleep just starting on my right? Nope. Never works. I must start on the left, then switch to the right.
However! There is one strange exception to the rule. When I am exhausted beyond belief. The truly painfully kind of tired I have to fall asleep on my back with my knees up. Its a bad habit and muscle memory thing from when I was a kid. I had a sleep disorder and would fall asleep in that position, holding a book and a flashlight. I would wake up in the morning with my hand still holding the flashlight, and my other hand still holding up the book. I NEVER move in my sleep. (i have fallen asleep- more than once- holding a cup or glass. i've never spilled.) Now as an adult, when I'm painfully tired, I can fall asleep almost instantly if I get in that same position. Sadly, it doesn't work on not painfully tired nights.
How's that for warped?

TRS said...

ErinAnn - you are wonderfully, delightfully warped!