Friday, 23 December 2011

‘Twas the Night before Christmas (A Tale of Four Pillows)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and you’re in your bed
Another long night seems to beckon ahead.
Your shoulders are aching as they always do.
Your neck and your low back are hurting you too.

These pains - every one of them keeps you awake.
Just how many more sleepless nights can you take?
You’d love to sleep on your side, if you could.
But the weight on your shoulder, it just isn’t good.

You’d sleep on your back if you could, but no way.
You know you’d end up on your side anyway.
So you lie there and wonder and worry and fuss.
Is there no hope at all for people like us?

But here is a secret I hope you will try.
“It’s worth a shot. It works sometimes,” say I.
All it takes is four pillows. That’s all... only four.
If this works you’ll get sleep and maybe much more.

First, find a thin pillow that’s so, so soft.
The thinnest you have. The softest you’ve got.
And then place it not to use for your head
But a bit further down along on your bed.

In fact, it should be right under your chest.
Tucked up in your arm pit a bit - THAT is best.
It will lift your weight up off your shoulder... it’s true.
It’s amazing just what that slight difference can do.

The last three pillows – two normal, one thin
Put down to support your head, neck and chin.
For full neck support, to fill all the space
Tuck them up to your shoulder, angled slightly in place.

Use the line of your jaw, to angle them right.
Those pillows should snuggle right up to it tight.
Now... try it. Lie down - whate’er side you choose
Put your hand by your head... close your eyes... and just snooze.

It doesn’t work every time; but I say
I’ve seen it work more often than not in my day.
You may ask “just why does it work? Tell me why.”
“It’s all in the physics” will be my reply.

That pillow beneath you has straightened your back
And lifted the weight off your shoulder by half.
Your neck’s now supported; and so too your head.
And now you’ve a place for your arm on your bed.

So this Christmas Eve, as you’re trying to sleep,
I hope you’re successful. I hope your sleep’s deep.
And as you sleep deeply, or even sleep light.
I say Merry Christmas, and to ALL a good night!

Copyrighted 22-12-2011, Kevin P. White, MD, PhD


  1. Wonderful share. So very true. Proper body alignment can make a huge difference on the development of myofascial trigger points (MPS/CMP)found in abundance in the FM patient. TY, Celeste, author, FM expert for Dr. Oz at Sharecare.

  2. Love the poem. But I think I need a photo to be able to visualize it!