Help me stop stomach sleeping.
October 11, 2009 4:59 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop sleeping on my stomach?

When I go to bed at night I try my best to fall asleep on my back but it almost never works so I move on to my side and sometimes that works but more often than not I find that I wake up having been sleeping on my stomach. Whether I'm consciously doing it or not I need to stop sleeping on my stomach. It hurts my back when I wake up and I have to learn to sleep on a wedge pillow for reflux.

What can I do to train myself to sleep on my back?
posted by Thrillhouse to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some people advocate sewing a few old tennis balls to the front of your PJ's. You can just poke a hefty needle through the tennis balls, and use some heavy cotton mercerized thread in a few whip stitches to do this. Takes 5 minutes.

No help for those who sleep commando, however.
posted by paulsc at 5:04 AM on October 11, 2009

I imagine this would be difficult, so maybe try mitigating it by getting a better mattress (for the back) and popping an Alka-Seltzer (or whatever it is you personally use for reflux) or two before you go to bed. Other than that I'd maybe try piling up loads of pillows on either side of me, so that when you automatically roll over onto your belly in the night there's an obstacle and you likely wake up for a split-second and blearily think "Right, back".
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:14 AM on October 11, 2009

Response by poster: Neat idea Paulsc, but unfortunately I'm one of those people. Maybe I can come up with a variation on that theme...
Turgid, my Tempurpedic mattress is fantastic for sleeping on my back. Unfortunately it's also fantastic for sleeping on my front, which is why I do it.
posted by Thrillhouse at 5:32 AM on October 11, 2009

When I was pregnant I had to train myself to sleep on my side when I normally sleep on my stomach. My baby bump was not enough of a deterrent to make me sleep on my side, so I got a body pillow and slept with my arms and legs wrapped around it. Maybe doing something like that would be enough to break the stomach habit, and then once the habit is broken you could start sleeping on your back.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:57 AM on October 11, 2009

Previously. This happens to a lot of mefites.
posted by hooray at 6:28 AM on October 11, 2009

This might be a red herring for you personally but-- do you have any other sleep difficulties? Sometimes if you're an obligate stomach sleeper, it's due to obstructive sleep apnea--sleeping on your stomach can be your body's attempt at clearing any airway obstruction (created by tongue positioning).
posted by availablelight at 7:43 AM on October 11, 2009

I used to sleep on my stomach. I loved it. It was, and pretty much still is, the only way I sleep comfortably. Bear that in mind when I tell you, sleep with a big fluffy, yet dense and form keeping pillow between your thighs, reaching down to your knees. Sleeping on your side puts your hips out of alignment, since one leg dangles down from your pelvis. Stuff the pillow there, and make yourself believe it's important to keep it there. Even if you do try to turn on your side, the pillow will be in the way.

Bear in mind, though, that while this is what I do, I don't sleep well anymore. If I turn over, I need to adjust the pillow, so, well, I haven't really had much good, deep sleep in a long time. It might help, though, in keeping you from sleeping on your stomach.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:19 AM on October 11, 2009

I had surgery two weeks ago that's required me to sleep on my back, slightly elevated. Two pillows under my knees, two behind my back in a wedge shape, and one on my left side has worked pretty well. I sleep on the right side of the bed, so the left side pillow keeps me from rolling over and the knee pillows keep me in a comfy recliner position.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:11 AM on October 11, 2009

When I needed to learn to sleep on my back, I found that one of those neck pillows designed for sleeping on planes really helped. If you position it correctly, it adds a lot of support around the head and neck, which seems to reduce the urge to change positions (at least for me).
posted by GraceCathedral at 10:16 AM on October 11, 2009

Abdominal surgery. Appendectomy with the traditional six-inch incision works well, but only for about two months.

After that, I used two big pillows, one on either side, and sort of tucked myself in between them. It is so snug and comfy you on't really feel that need to flip over in order to fall asleep.
posted by variella at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2009

String up a hammock, sleeping in a hammock kind of trained me to sleep on my back.
posted by titanium_geek at 11:03 PM on October 11, 2009

Out of curiosity, what is the issue with sleeping on your stomach?
posted by Nameless at 8:08 PM on October 22, 2009

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