I’ve always been a side sleeper, usually my left side. I naturally gravitate that way. Though over the years it’s caused some lower back issues or neck kinks,
I’ve done everything to make it the most comfortable sleeping position possible for years and years. Even buying one of those long pregnancy pillows which made it feel like there was another entire person in the bed beside me. (Does this count as “cheating?” Ha!) Mr. Longpillow did seem to help with the morning kinks.
It rested lovingly between my knees and under my shoulder, raising my head high enough not to wake up crunched. For decades. I’ve happily slept on my left side. Who knows why?
As the years have gone by, sleeping on my left side has begun to leave me crimped in the morning. A sore neck. A headache only on my left temple. A left shoulder right under my ear. Things like that. A massage therapist, told me, the best way to sleep is on your back. That somehow, I must train myself from being a side sleeper to being a back sleeper. I’m thinking, “How? How can I possibly do that?” I’ve always laid down and flopped over to the left. Can I really lay down and stay? In one place? On my back? All night long?”
If I could really train myself to do this, would it help? Would I sleep better? Would I not wake up numerous times? Is there something to this whole thing?
During this pandemic year, I have tried to train myself to go from side sleeping to back sleeping.
It has taken a lot of work to retrain my subconscious mind. I start out consciously sleeping on my back, sometimes with my knees a little bent.
After a while to my surprise, I adjusted to getting into bed and laying on my back with my legs stretched out. I kinda liked it, because when you’re sleeping on your side, your knees are bent.
Due to force of habit, I kept waking up either on my right side or my left side. Then I found sleeping on my right side left me all cramped up because I wasn’t used to it. I was doing weird things with my right arm under the pillow and waking up with a completely numb hand. Switching side-sleeping sides from left to right was not going to be the answer. I continued every time I woke up on either side to get back on my back and try to lay as flat as possible, in the hope of waking up in a cramp-free state.
It took time, patience, and practice, but after many pandemic months of trying (what else did I have to do?), I proudly proclaim myself a back sleeper.
No dead hand. Headaches gone. Back kinks unkinked. It’s a whole new morning!
I knew it would be good for me in the long run. Kind of like starting your life over at fifty. You know for twenty-four years being with this person sleeping side by side, well it was a good thing. Didn’t cause any aches or pains. Until he cheated and left me and then of course there was a big ache and a big pain. I had to make some major adjustments so I could feel better.
After going through all of that, the journey from side sleeper to back sleeper was well, I had some tools to use. I knew I had to take it easy. Not judge myself. Not rush anything or do too much. But not be too static.
Through persistence, I was able to literally change the way I’ve slept my whole, entire life. It’s just one of the things we go through on this Life Restart. If you are waking up still bent out of shape, give it try!
We all go through major life transitions when relationships end… Through this website, I will share my thoughts as I walk the path of “New-Self” discovery. It doesn’t matter which side of 50 you are on. The real question is, Are you ready to live life? To forge a Path of Your Own Making (For a change!)? Then stop dwelling over the What-Might-Have-Beens and join me. Share your thoughts here, comment on mine, and let’s do this together!