A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I sleep on my stomach.
I know what you’re thinking: “Do you have some kind of death wish? Sleeping on your stomach is the worst possible way to sleep!!”
Well, first of all… two exclamation points? I don’t think that’s necessary.
Second of all, I know experts seem to think side-sleeping is the way to go, but I never really made the choice to be a stomach sleeper. Maybe I got too much tummy time as a baby. Maybe it’s too hard to sleep on your back when you’ve eaten your way through 35 out-of-season chocolate Easter bunnies. We’ll never know for sure.
I would love to be a side sleeper. I’ve been sleeping on my stomach, dreaming of sleeping on my side while dreaming of out-of-season chocolate Easter bunnies!
And don’t think I haven’t put in the effort. (I am, after all, the curator of the most comprehensive baby sleep guide ever devised.) I’ve tried sleeping on my back, on my side, on my hands, on my shoulders with my legs up in the air… and none of it has worked. (It certainly hasn’t helped when my little miracle baby jumped into my bed…)
But if we’re being honest here – and I think we are – I was happy to go through life as a stomach-sleeper.
Until I became a daddy.
Everything I do revolves around my son – his smile, his laugh, the foul language he’s picked up from my lady friend… all of it. And one day, he came into my bedroom (not to be confused with the couch bedroom, aka the living room) and found me sleeping on my stomach.
“Daddy’s dead!” he screamed.
I jolted awake.
“I’m not dead!” I shrieked.
Then he looked at me with those impossible to resist toddler eyes and asked, “Why do you sleep on your stomach?”
“Because it’s comfortable, son,” I said, patting his adorable head.
“So it’s not because you’re trying to stop your huge tummy from jiggling all night and keeping Mum and the neighbours awake?” he said.
“No,” I said – and vowed then and there to start sleeping on my side.
But I was going to need help.
And that’s where the Side Sleeper Pro came in. Developed by the Spine Research Institute in San Diego (that’s in the United States of America – maybe you’ve heard of it), the pillow is shaped to help you sleep on your side with proper posture. There’s a hole for your ear and a long tail to keep your back straight and it fits perfectly.
(I could see how you might have some problems if your ears are the size of an elephant’s, but then side sleeping is probably the least of your worries, isn’t it, Dumbo.)
When I started using the pillow, I felt a bit constricted and my first impulse was to flee. To flee! But eventually the position became more and more comfortable, especially compared to the old pillows I was using:
Of course, the Side Sleeper Pro isn’t just for incredibly handsome fathers who turn words into magic. It’s also useful for pregnant men (and women) who have to maintain the same sleep position throughout the night, especially if they’re suffering from back pain.
The therapeutic pillow, available at Big W and Target for $59.95, aligns the neck and spine and can help with other pregnancy related sleep problems like heartburn and shortness of breath.
Don’t believe me? Just look at how happy this bald woman is in the diagram included with the pillow:
As for me, I still can’t sleep through the night on my side. As an active sleeper, I move around quite a bit throughout the night, twisting, turning, doing high kicks and throwing punches. So my quest for proper sleep position is certainly a work in progress. But I’m determined to succeed.
Because sometimes, sleep success is what good parenting’s all about.