Neck support and elevation while sleeping?

For the last month and a half my husband has been sleeping in a recliner to help with the mucositis. I bought him one of those airline neck pillows to help stabilize his head and neck but he still wakes up with a fairly stiff and uncomfortable neck from it falling forward or to the side as he sleeps. Can anyone recommend any good neck pillows or set-ups? We have an antique bed and low tech mattress- so no craftmatic bed etc. 



  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,030 Member

    My wife bought somewhere, 2 foam wedges that I could use. One I would say was roughly at a 15 degree angle and the other about 25 or 30 degrees. I used one or the other in the bed after my treatments to raise my back and shoulders up a bit. I did also have a pillow for my head. I was able to sleep on my sides once again. I am not a back sleeper, sides only.

    Of course, when I had my surgery, I had no choice in the matter and had to sleep on my back as I had a Trach, drains and Peg Tube, but like your husband, I slept in a recliner and yes, much neck pain and stiffness from that position.  

    The wedges also help with Lymphedema if he is having any of that going on as well.

    My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103

    I am the queen of pillows!  When I am at the hospital after surgeries, the nurses are running all over for extra pillows for me.  Yes, I also slept in the recliner.  Travel pillow (u shaped) at neck but also a regular pillow under each arm and sometimes a pillow on my tummy.  Seems the extra pillows help keep my head from rolling around.  Just keep trying.

  • SASH
    SASH Member Posts: 421 Member

    It is all trial and error until you find a good combination.  There are backrest pillows that have almost like arms when they sit the way they are designed.  I would use this, but I flipped them so that what should be on the bottom was on the backside leaving a nice angled pillow that I was able to lay on in a bed.  Put a pillow on top of that along with maybe small pillows next to the armrests which will now be on either side of the head for stability.  It might look strange, but it actually helped when I didn't end up sleeping the recliner.

  • Grandmax4
    Grandmax4 Member Posts: 723

    4 years out and I still sleep on a wedge. The hospital ordered mine, and I've since replaced it through a hospital supply near our area. I slept in a recliner at the hospital and at home for almost 2 years. Lying on a regular pillow doesn't work for me anymore


  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    Neck Support

    Mucositis is one of the most uncomfortable side effects.  I just smooshed pillows around me in bed until it was comfortable, but what really helped was Mucinex at night and a humidifier. It cut down on the gagging and choking quite a bit. I hope you find a solution soon.

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    The mouth sores made

    night time dry mouth was a choice to either wake up and have a little spit inside my mouth, but have to pry my lips apart....or have my lips apart, and my mouth screaming for liquid (all of which stung like crazy)...I somehow learned to hold my bottom lip inside and under my top lip, while leaning my chin on my closed fist.... I too was sleeping in a recliner...the elbow with the closed fist was sitting on the arm of the chair.  How I maintained this for 3 months I don't know....To this day, tho...I wake up with my bottom lip stuck under the top one sometimes.....

  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
    pillows and sleep

    I'm over 2 years out of treatment and I'm still trying to find the right combination of pillows.  I slept in a recliner for almost 6 months and had to lay on my back all propped up for over a year.  I can lay on one side comfortably right now but still am on two pillows. I'm not thrilled with my pillow choices, but I keep trying.