I have been a side sleeper for as long as I can remember. Much like being right-handed, only being able to fall asleep when I’m curled up like a gigantic fetus feels like an innate, unchangeable function of my body. I couldn’t fall asleep on my back or stomach if you paid me. So you can imagine my distress when I turned to Twitter for advice on soothing my chronic back pain and several people asked if I was a side sleeper—because, they said, that could be exacerbating the problem.
At least, it could be exacerbating the problem if I was doing it wrong. Which I kind of was. It’s important to keep your neck, back, and hips aligned in a way that supports the natural curves in your spine even when you’re sleeping. Not doing this—like by sleeping on your side without adequate support—can lead to or worsen back pain. Experts often recommend placing a regular pillow between your legs to help with this, but that just wasn’t enough for me. I only opted for a pillow half the time, and even when I did, I still wound up contorting my body into several pretzel-like configurations that I can’t imagine helped with my back pain.
Enter my PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow. The unexpected suggestion that I look into pregnancy pillows popped up among recommendations like massages, stretches, and heating pads. Given that I’m decidedly Not Pregnant, I was intrigued to say the least.
For those who haven’t seen one, the standard maternity pillow is body-size and made for snuggling. Sometimes U-shaped or C-shaped, these pillows offer support to pregnant people trying to find comfortable sleeping positions that accommodate their growing bellies.
Turns out pregnancy pillows can also be great for the nonpregnant just trying to find comfortable sleeping positions that don’t put pressure on our spines. After trying mine out, I’m a BELIEVER. My new pillow/best friend sits between my legs so I can follow the best sleeping posture practices I mentioned above. Because of its C-shape, it envelops my whole body, but I can also wrap my arms around it to stay in a stable position. It’s basically like I’m getting spooned by a giant teddy bear. So damn cozy.
The pillow comes in eight different colors, and no matter which you get, all the covers are removable and machine-washable. In case my praise isn’t enough, this pregnancy pillow was also a favorite among the pregnant people we polled on the subject and is the number one bestseller for pregnancy pillows on Amazon. I’m definitely not in the minority when it comes to loving this thing.
Full disclosure: I’ve only been koala-ing this pillow for, like, three and a half weeks, but I can’t ignore how much more soundly I’ve been sleeping in that time. I no longer toss and turn to accommodate my back pain, which I didn’t even realize was such a problem until the pillow helped me sleep through the night. Truly a revelation. And—knock on wood—I’m waking up super achy less and less often.
There is one downside, admittedly: I’m slightly worried I’ll grow to love this pregnancy pillow so much that there won’t be enough room in my bed for it and an eventual partner. But I can say with confidence that this pregnancy pillow is a lot better at cuddling than any human I’ve ever shared a bed with.
Buy it: PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow, $40, amazon.com
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