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Bed Positions For Sleeping




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11 replies to this topic

#1 qbounce

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 09:59 PM

No, this thread doesn't belong in Sexuality! :) I know the books say to use 5 pillows, turn every three hours, and breakdance to Barry Manilow's top 5 hits before getting some shut-eye. OK, I threw in the Manilow thing, but that's how I feel about the direction given before getting a good nights rest. :)
I currently sleep w/ one pillow under head, on my sides without crossing one leg over the other. So, if I'm turned left, my left leg is in front of the right one. I was told that not crossing the legs (i.e. putting the right leg over the left) isn't good for the hip joints. Also, I only turn once after 4 hours and getting up in the middle of the night to cath (IC). I'm 2 years post injury and like my routine, but am concerned about the hip joint thing.
Any senior members out there have advice?
All offers appriciated.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

#2 Tim13

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:28 PM

You forgot the giant padded boots that keep your feet from falling off or something, lol.
I'm one of those sleepers that flops around from side to side all night and usually end up on my back when i wake up. I have the normal pillow for my head and an extra one for general principals or "guests".

#3 kewlcatkez

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:46 PM

No, this thread doesn't belong in Sexuality! :) I know the books say to use 5 pillows, turn every three hours, and breakdance to Barry Manilow's top 5 hits before getting some shut-eye. OK, I threw in the Manilow thing, but that's how I feel about the direction given before getting a good nights rest. :)
I currently sleep w/ one pillow under head, on my sides without crossing one leg over the other. So, if I'm turned left, my left leg is in front of the right one. I was told that not crossing the legs (i.e. putting the right leg over the left) isn't good for the hip joints. Also, I only turn once after 4 hours and getting up in the middle of the night to cath (IC). I'm 2 years post injury and like my routine, but am concerned about the hip joint thing.
Any senior members out there have advice?
All offers appriciated.



Hi there.,

I am not a senior member, but I have dislocation issues ( ie hip especially) and I have been trained in positioning ( ohh err!) people in my previous life ( as an RN)....

Well, truth be told, I have a vested interest in this subject too... I actually need some help with this too. You see, as well as the paralysis, I dislocate all my joints with minimal trauma every day. In bed, my hips come out of joint ( completely dislocate- documented) by spasms and also if I am on my side, they pop out on their own, as do my shoulders etc etc the list goes on.. Also, my back vertebrae move quite a bit too, so I wind up with facial and hand/arm numbness in varying degrees the next day.

I try and lay down from 2 or 3am onwards, and snatch moments of sleep, but mostly I just am aware of my surroundings yet distant from them...Then every week or two weeks, I zonk out for 3 or 4 hours. My body claims back something...


I know that a "V" shape pillow has been useful for me in the past ( I used when pregnant and when my paralysis first occured) I would have the one part of the "V" inbetween my legs and a pillow under my back and them have the other side of the "V" come up my tummy and hug it...It has its problems though, not least pressure and the hip dislocation thing ( for me anyway).

Pillows under your Head, left or right buttock ( depending on which side you sort of wish to lay more on) and under both knees can work well...

I know that for paediatric clients, some hospitals use the "dreama night time positioning mattress" to prevent the pillows from moving out. I am not sure if this is something which would be useful or possible for an adult. The Dreama mattress can be seen HERE its a paediatric catalogue, and pls scroll down til you see it.

I was looking into a bed which we used in the hospital - one which I could lower and higher it in 3 sections, so that I could obtain the lift under my knees and under my shoulders but not have the worry of the pillows slipping out. It would also address pressure/skin integrity issues... Its all money though...


As with 'sexual positioning', wedges can be of use. I would however urge that if they are used for sleeping, that the wedges be approved for pressure relief. You can see some of the 'wedges' here

Further positioning products can be found HERE also

I have actually used kid's sized cot pillows for the same purpose, I have even tried 'troughs' for my legs to try and prevent dislocation ( when in hospital/rehab) unfortunately, it didn't work out too well for me, but its worth a try as long as skin integrity isn't risked...


Then there is a site which I have managed to find which explains better than I ever could how to position yourself in a way which has been approved by drs/PTS etc: http://www.bodyblock...positioning.htm
It does this by showing you photos of the positions.

Whilst some of the positions will not be suitable for some of us, some will be. The site sells pillow rolls, but also advises on positions.


With regards to the position you adopt now- with the leg above the other, it is ok as long as the leg is supported, so that it is level with the hip joint ( as high) and not able to drag down on it. I can demonstrate this by telling you that if my leg is supported at that height ( say by being over my hubby's body - he pulls it across for me) then it doesn't dislocate as easily, and I can tell there is less strain on the joint.

Hip strain is actually often got from too big a 'dump' in a w/chair which causes the pelvis to rotate back and curves the lower back...


When laying on your back, Its best to elevate the lower legs a little by putting a small thin pillow under your calfs, taking care not to add pressure to your heels ( that is why turning frequently is the key! too)

Do not EVER use donut shaped cushions as they have been proven to reduce blood flow to the area of the bum and have even cuased necrosis ( I mention this as many people use them to 'sit' on in bed!...If you need to 'sit' on something in bed---even to sleep, remember that you can a lot of times, use your pressure cushion from your w/chair in bed if you are wanting to lay in a more elevated position.

Use pillows - no wrinkles! (or small pressure pads) to keep the knees and ankles from touching.
Raise the head of the bed as little as possible around 30 degrees or less is best.

I hope that this helps some. I myself and still trying to find the position which helps me. I try the positions I was aught as I know that they are 'better' but sometimes they make me feel trapped ( if my legs twist over and are supported, I feel like I am trapped beneath them!)

I also hope that you find a comfy position and that tonight is a good sleep night. I will be watching to see what the others have to advise...

take care,

K

edited to fix link, sorry K

Edited by kewlcatkez, 17 February 2008 - 10:48 PM.

Ex Nurse (med retired)
Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#4 nomis

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:25 PM

I'm another para answering (where have all the quads gone). I'm 37-something years playing at SCI. I started out woolly boots on feet and pillows, lying as you describe it. Worked for me.

Further down the track I discarded the boots (in cupboard, just in case) and extra pillows and changed position to leg-over. Works for me. :)

"We are all different - but we share the same human spirit. Perhaps it's human nature that we adapt - and survive." - Stephen Hawking 2013


#5 qbounce

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:46 PM

Hey Tim, I left the boots out on PURPOSE. . . HA!
Thanks Kewlcat for your take on things. Hopefully someone can give us both advice on somthing that doesn't involve to many extra pillows/ crazy air pump motors or foot/ hand splints. Although I do like Tim's use on pillow#2 for a guest. :)
I, like all of us, am trying to simplify my life, and am actually sleeping ok. I've just recenly noticed my hip joints popping now and again when I dress in the morning. Any coorelation to how I lay at night. . .I dunno?
Hey Nomis . . . your advise is highly noted, thanks.

Edited by qbounce, 17 February 2008 - 11:50 PM.

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

#6 kewlcatkez

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 12:12 AM

Hey Tim, I left the boots out on PURPOSE. . . HA!
Thanks Kewlcat for your take on things. Hopefully someone can give us both advice on somthing that doesn't involve to many extra pillows/ crazy air pump motors or foot/ hand splints. Although I do like Tim's use on pillow#2 for a guest. :)
I, like all of us, am trying to simplify my life, and am actually sleeping ok. I've just recenly noticed my hip joints popping now and again when I dress in the morning. Any coorelation to how I lay at night. . .I dunno?
Hey Nomis . . . your advise is highly noted, thanks.



Hi again,

the SCI will have a varying effect in the hip flexors and can lead to loosening at the joint, or the opposite (too stiff). Of course, loss in muscle mass and atrophy also have an effect on this, causing more 'play' in the joint. The Hip is actually the most stable in the body. Although it is easier for a paralysed person to subluxate ( partially dislocate) it, full dislocations are more rare.. My full dislocations are due to a genetic disorder which we has worsened, so don't worry that you will wind up dislocating like me! :)
Other things to be aware of are the risks of Osteoporosis ( due to not being able to weight bear and the acceleration SCI/D paralysis brings. I mention this as we don't want to position in such a way that it puts greater pressure on bones and joints. That said, the body is usually pretty good at finding a position which is neutral - IF you CAN get to sleep. Spasms, if ya get them can alert to ad positioning..lol) The risk of pressure sores is of course something to always be mindful of! Yes be mindful of the stress on joints, healthy respect is great, but try not to allow it to put you off sleep!

I hope this helps, and yes, please do share anything you glean :)

Take Care,

K
Ex Nurse (med retired)
Connective tissue disorder & associated paralysis.

#7 hanguk

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:33 AM

After rehab I never used boots on my feet or anything like that when sleeping. I sleep on either side with legs bent at the knee. I haven't had any pressure sores from sleeping positions, only from sitting. I try to sleep on my stomach because I think it might be good for stretching out the muscles and getting completely off the butt. It's not comfortable for long because my head and neck feel uncomfortable and sometimes it makes my nose stuffy. So it's back to the side. I never sleep on my back.

#8 qbounce

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:35 PM

Sorry about the word choice "senior members". . .I really meant "ADVANCED MEMBERS" :scooter:
My mistake!
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

#9 buffie

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:20 PM

I am not an advanced member but I managed to find a comfortable way to sleep once leaving rehab. I sleep on either side with pillows between my knees and one leg crossed over with the leg on the bottom slightly stretched out. I can sleep all night like this. I generally stay like this for about 12 hours and I haven't had any problems yet. I am about 1 year post sci. Hope that helps.

#10 edlee

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:45 PM

A little over three years post, for me. I've been sleeping on my back the whole time. Can't get comfortable in any other position.

Even when I do try to sleep on my side, I will end up twisted up when I wake, from trying to roll back over.

I know this isn't much help, but I figured another view wouldn't be out of place.
ed

#11 Ches

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 03:40 AM

Sleeping, what a great subject. It's my favorite hobby, I think I can help a little here. Everyones abilities are a little different so forgive me if this doesnt apply to you...
If your legs are fairly tame and wont curl up too much and tightly then just starting out sleeping on your back, rolling to one side to rotate, back to your back, then the opposite side can be pretty pracical. Its like 4 shifts minimized to a few swings of the shoulders and arms. Another way is to start out on your belly, and shift to your side. You can get two different comfy sleeping positions out of this, on your side. Figure out whats comfortable and praticle for your situation. Everyones gonna be different. Depends on the size of your bed and space as well.
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#12 xeena

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:47 PM

Hi Guys,
I havent posted stuff in a while. About the sleepingpostions. Ik know all about the pillow stuff but i was always uncomfortable and really couldnt get any sleep.So, i ditched the pillows and use basically one under my head and the second i hug or put on my back. Usually i start out sleeping on my tummy i then turn to one side then on my back and later on on the other side. this gives me at least three different positions, i dont even have to really think i just turn and well so far so good. I need my beauty sleep. Speaking of sleep, Good night guys. :)


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