Week 13: To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

We slept without pillows all week. What were we thinking? This week was definitely interesting and very unexpected.

Things got off to a very rocky start. Sunday evening was one of the worst nights of sleep in our entire lives. We got rid of our pillows and tried to sleep with nothing but our blankets and arms. We tossed and turned all night. We were unable to fall asleep for more than twenty or thirty minutes at a time.

Work on Monday was rough. Joshua had some neck pain and Bethany struggled to be alert and energetic. We were very close to throwing in the towel. We talked extensively about our options.

The unique thing about our challenge this year is that we are the ones making the rules. That means there isn’t a whole lot in terms of consequences if we fail a challenge. One of the big reasons we are sharing our journey with friends and family is for the accountability. We set the challenges, we make the rules, but our friends and family members help ensure completion.

We decided to give it another chance. We both used tightly rolled up blankets to elevate our heads. Research shows that side and back sleepers need some type of elevation to ensure proper head alignment. This helps us stay asleep longer and avoid neck pain.

Sleeping with the tightly rolled blanket under head was difficult for Joshua especially. He typically sleeps with his arm up, underneath his pillow. He was unable to use this sleeping position with the blanket. Further research indicated that an adjustment to his sleeping position could be very beneficial. Adjustments were made, and the number of times he woke up after bedtime was fewer.

Bethany slept a bit better Monday night as compared to Sunday night; but starting Tuesday night, we both slept straight through without waking up. More than that, our quality of sleep improved. Truth be told, it was some of the best nights of sleep we have had in a long time!

We believe that sleeping with firmer support and proper sleeping posture are what helped us sleep very well. Joshua has had trouble sleeping for many years, and the remainder of the week included some of the highest quality sleep cycles he has had in ages. We believe this past week was really a reset for some of our sleeping habits.

Our Major Takeaways:

Our pillows will be brought back into our lives during this upcoming week. One of the things we will be looking at is the quality of our pillows. Our week without pillows showed us the importance of firm, high quality sleeping support. We will also be working to maintain proper sleeping posture in the future.

Our hope is that better sleeping posture plus firm head support will allow us to continue sleeping well while also making life more comfortable.

This week without pillows was more difficult than either of us imagined. But we learned so much. It made us more thankful, but it also helped us reexamine the way we sleep. Hopefully the challenge of this past week will lead to many nights of high quality sleep in the future.

Check out the next post to see what we are going without next week.

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