Will I ever get used to sleeping on my bed wedge?

I have a problem with my voice which my doctor says is caused by reflux, so among other things, I’ve been sleeping with a wedge-shaped piece of foam rubber called a bed wedge under my pillows for about 2 months now. It is still driving me nuts, mainly because it pretty much necessitates that I sleep on my back.

My normal sleeping position is sort of half on my side, half on my stomach, and it’s very difficult for me to get back to sleep on my back if I wake up in the middle of the night. Ironically, this is a marvelous position to nap in, as I’ve proven on any number of evenings in my recliner, but for whatever reason, it’s just a nuisance to my regular sleep.

Any Dopers use bed wedges? Did you ever get used to it?

I’m not sure about the wedge, but is your reflux really bad? I noticed that not eating a few hours and sleeping on my left side really helped with it. Maybe you could try something less drastic?

The bed wedge was one of my final concessions. Here’s the story: my voice began going around Christmas, was for all intents and purposes completely gone by the end of the first week of January. G.P. visit. “Bronchitis.” Two rounds of antibiotics, no improvement. Specialist visit. Polyp on vocal cord. No talking above “arm’s length volume” for a month, started regimen of no eating 3 hours before bed, anti-reflux meds, and antacid right before bed. Follow-up after a month: polyp had grown and was now actually jeopardizing my airway. Surgery the next day. Two-week followup: so far so good. Two month followup: polyp returning. That’s when I opted for the bed wedge.

God’s honest truth, this polyp is my one and only symptom of reflux (edit: aside from what the specialist described as a “very red” esophagus at my first visit, which frankly, I would have attributed to eating Luden’s cough drops like … well, like candy), and if it weren’t for the specialist’s repeated insistence, I still wouldn’t believe I have reflux.

Have they tested you (I mean medically tested) for the condition? From what I understand, and mind you this is a layman’s understanding, this condition can only be positively diagnosed after a very specific test (which I don’t recall the name of). A tube is inserted up the nose and down into the throat and measures the amount of acid that goes into the esophagus. Each time the person coughs, eats, etc. they push the appropriate button on a monitor they wear on their belt. After 24 hours, the tube is removed.

As for the bed wedge, I can only wish you the best of luck!

You could try blocking the entire head end of the bed up instead of the wedge. I’ve also seen a wedge that goes between the box spring and mattress that elevates the head end.

If the polyp gets any bigger, I may start shopping second opinions, including getting tested as you suggest. As much as I hate the idea of living for 24 hours with an NG tube, I’d hate to be going to all this trouble to deal with something that might not even be the cause of my problem!

I have considered both options. The second option sounds like a sure-fire way to wind up replacing my mattress early, due to the constant strain on that one row of springs. I may have to try the other option, but I fear that what will result is my mattress sliding slowly off the box spring. Still, occasional mattress repositionings may wind up being a small price to pay!

I’ve slept curled on my side (as much as possible) on an elevated bed, and with a bed wedge. Not the most comfortable, but skillful placement of pillows helps.

I’m a dedicated side sleeper, so I truly feel your back-sleeping pain.

I bought a wedge pillow a couple of months ago (and started a thread about it!), and embarked with high hopes that I’d sleep a little better. I’m a bit apneic, and I’d heard that the wedge pillow was helpful. No dice – of course. Useless against the apnea. But I don’t mind sleeping on it. I kind of like it, in fact, though at a certain point during the course of the night, I need to sleep on my side or stomach. I’ve done it on the wedge, but end up bent in a strange way and don’t stay asleep like that for long.

Bottom line – it’s an expensive reading pillow.

I think they have a surgery to fix acid reflux (my brother-in-law had it done) - are you not at that level yet, or are you still looking for a diagnosis?

I am also a dedicated side sleeper, but I have gotten used to sleeping on my back since my shoulder got adhesive capsulitis in it. It can be done.

I sleep on my side/stomach too, and find that if I hitch myself a bit higher up the bed wedge (so my head is near the top) and adjust my pillow to help me stay there, I can sleep in the side/stomach position more easily. I can’t do it at all if my head is closer to the bottom of the wedge.

Is sleeping on the recliner at night an option?