more sleeping questions

nona

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  • For those of you who are side sleepers, what do you do with your arms?
  • For those of you who are back sleepers, presumably upright in a hospital bed or something else, how do you keep from aspirating saliva?
 

KarenNWendyn

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I still have some ability to turn about in bed. For side sleeping, my arms are stretched out in front of me and I cuddle a small pillow between my arms. So if I’m sleeping on my left side, this means my left shoulder rolls slightly in. Left elbow is bent. I can see how that could be a problem for someone with unstable shoulders. A larger pillow up against the back could help take some of the weight off the dependent shoulder. Legs also have to be positioned one in front of the other. Sometimes I have to abandon this position because of too much pressure against the ear that’s on the pillow.

If I roll onto my back.... my mouth is so dry that I haven’t had to deal with aspirating saliva so far.
 

KimT

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I sleep on my right side and back. Medical cannabis makes my mouth so dry I often have to drink some water during the night. I can flip around in bed with no problem and usually watch a couple of hours of TV while on my back with a heating pad on before I turn off the TV, flip to my right side and fall asleep. I wake up a few times during the night to pee and I'm usually on my back again when I wake up.

I have a torn left rotator cuff so I'm glad I sleep on my right side. I could never handle sleeping on my left side because it gives me heart palpitations. My left side position is exactly as Karen describes.
 

ShiftKicker

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I am a side sleeper now. I used to be a front sleeper, but a bipap mask puts paid to that.
I build a careful fortress of pillows- a pillow between my knees and another up higher to keep my arms apart and my shoulder propped up at an angle that reduces pain on my lower shoulder (as Karen and Kim describe!). I use another pillow for my head- with a cut out where my ear may rest to prevent a pressure sore (I don't move my head much at night- the anti-spasticity drugs are good!). A longer body pillow at my back props my head pillow at a comfy angle and my shoulder up, should I flop over backwards at night.

It is quite the procedure, but I appreciate the comfort!
 

nona

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II use another pillow for my head- with a cut out where my ear may rest to prevent a pressure sore
Did you buy a pillow or cut into one you already had? My ear is getting worse and the pillow I have with a hole in it doesn't do the trick. I slide off it and can't get back to the right spot, if I even had it right to begin with.
 

ShiftKicker

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A memory foam pillow with another insert inside the pillowcase with the cut-out seems to help me. I struggle to turn over, so once I'm wedged in, I'm usually there for the night.

I use a base pillow and tried a variety of different types of inserts/cut-outs to lay on top. I found a memory foam pillow worked the best, as my head kind of sinks in to it and it cradles my head enough to prevent me from sliding off or moving away from the cut-out. The piece of foam I used for the cut out is also memory foam, but a slightly firmer type- about 1 1/2" thick, cut to the same dimensions as my pillow and just tucked into the same pillowcase. Before that, I used that egg carton foam as a topper with no cut out and it worked pretty well too.
 

Doglady

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I’ve become a back sleeper. I haven’t had a problem with choking but do always have the head end of my hospital bed elevated. Maybe that helps. I wish I could sleep on my side again but learning new things!
 

Kristina1

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I used to be a side and tummy sleeper. But bipap and my hand splints force me on my back which im still a little bitter about (it's the small things right?). I do occasionally aspirate on saliva during the night (maybe 3x/week) but my bipap dries my mouth out like a desert, so it can only happen in the beginning of my sleep and therefore doesn't happen that often.

Im taking notes on some of these pillow arrangements...i get worse spasticity at night and wake up sore and stiff most mornings.
 

nona

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I can't deal with my hand splints at night, they get so hot! I sleep at the edge of my pillow so my mask hangs off it. But I can only sleep on my left side. My right hip gets sore within an hour if I'm on it.
 

KarenNWendyn

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I’m also supposed to be wearing hand splints at night but can’t deal with it.
Kristina, I can relate to what you said about dry mouth from Bipap. I call it “desert tortoise tongue”.
 

nona

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I find dry mouth to be worse during the day, no matter how hydrated I am. How can I have drool and dry mouth at the same time?
 
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