Help a special snowflake sleep
March 18, 2014 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I can't fall asleep comfortably unless my head is elevated above my pillow. Is there a pillow that will solve this, or another standard solution?

I like to sleep on my front, with my head turned to one side, but if I sleep directly on my pillow, breathing is more difficult and uncomfortable, and my ear creates a seal with the pillow which is also uncomfortable. Currently, I sleep with a stuffed animal and I put my head on the animal's head to elevate it slightly. I don't sleep with the stuffed animal for sentimental reasons anymore, so I'd be happy to simplify this problem by using a different type of pillow, or something that's specifically made for people who have this problem.

This issue is only related to falling asleep; I often wake up in a different position than I fell asleep, and the stuffed animal doesn't always stay under my head. I don't think this is medical (sleep apnea or similar). It's just a comfort thing.
posted by capricorn to Shopping (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a buckwheat pillow would help?
posted by Michele in California at 2:58 PM on March 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Maybe you've tried this, or it won't work in your preferred position, but I like to sleep with my hand between the top of my pillow and the top of my head, so that my ear is elevated above the pillow.
posted by ubiquity at 3:07 PM on March 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I sleep like you, but with my arm bent at an angle under the pillow. It keeps my head elevated and the crook of my arm creates this pocket where the pillow is nice and soft and non-vaccuumy.
posted by mochapickle at 3:09 PM on March 18, 2014

You could consider some sort of face down pillow. An image search for that phrase yields some intriguing results.
posted by baby beluga at 3:13 PM on March 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might try a CPAP pillow.

They're designed for people wearing masks on their faces, but the little hollows for your nose and mouth are fantastic.
posted by colin_l at 3:46 PM on March 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I sometimes use a c-shaped travel pillow for this purpose. Rather than wrapped around my neck, I lay flat with the c shape around my ear.
posted by politikitty at 4:08 PM on March 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Stack two pillows?
posted by dekathelon at 4:18 PM on March 18, 2014

Try a cylindrical pillow. It supports your neck and elevates the whole head. Every night I wake up around 4 am and then tuck my cylindrical pillow under my neck (I place it on top of my other 2-3 pillows). I turn from my side to my back and sleep soundly for the rest of the night.
posted by zagyzebra at 4:35 PM on March 18, 2014

I hate having my face squished up against the pillow, so I have a smaller pillow that I use on top of the regular one just under the side of my head. I believe I pilfered it off an airplane.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:32 PM on March 18, 2014

I sleep on my front with my head to the side so I am familiar with the issues you're facing (so to speak). I use a super floppy pillow and sort of squish it into place so that it supports my head but leaves some room for breathing/ears. It ends up in a sort of c shape, but squished and fluffed appropriately so it balances my head.
posted by MadamM at 6:38 PM on March 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am in love with my Soba pillow. I sleep on my stomach and I can mould my pillow to my specifications.

I got mine in Japan, but they're available on-line. It's a good bit smaller than a standard pillow, I customize my pillow cases to the size.

If you want to experiment, get a Sobakawa pillow (As Seen On TV!) I got mine at CVS. I have one in the living room that I use when watching TV, it's also lighter for travel, and it's pretty great. Instead of buckwheat hulls, I think it's styrofoam balls. So it won't last as long.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:34 AM on March 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use a half circle pillow designed for nursing mothers.
posted by Kazimirovna at 9:27 AM on March 23, 2014

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