Quick update & double stack pillow dilemma

Hi Phoenix & all,

Just wanted to provide you with a quick update. We’ve had our Sovn (Berkeley Ergonomics) Willow ‘C’ mattress for a few months now. Firm pocket coils + 2" of 25ILD latex. We added a 1" 20ILD latex topper and so far so good. We’ve been quite happy with it. We did change from the euroslats to the regular wood foundation, which we prefer.

Here’s my only dilemma- there are still some days when I wake up with just a bit of soreness in my mid to upper back in the morning, and like I need to crack my back. I crack my back and then the pressure or soreness pretty much goes away soon after and I’m good. A few weeks ago I had a cold and decided to add another pillow (not super full- maybe a few inches- just regular old pillow) under my Tempurpedic Cloud pillow to elevate my head and I realized I was not waking up with any back pain or soreness at all. So, I’ve slept with double stacked pillows for about two weeks now with zero back pain in the morning.

The irony is that I feel like my back is flat and in good alignment when I lay on my back with just one pillow and frankly I feel like my back is probably out of alignment with the two pillows- especially when sleeping on my side. So, I am totally perplexed as to how that is allowing me to wake up with zero back pain for many days in a row now. I am of course not sleeping on my stomach this way. I’ve been spending much more time on my back and side.

Very curious!

Hi SleeplessinDallas,

It sounds to me that this is one of those paradoxical issues that has very much to do with how each of us are built differently or even more likely have developed a less than ideal posture over a long period of time. It has been the topic of several conversations I’ve had with both mattress manufacturers and Chiropractors.

In effect … if our body is used to poor posture and has lost some of its flexibility and become more “rigid” (that’s code for aging :)) … and I remember previous posts where you mentioned you tend to spend time hunched over a computer … then sleeping in alignment can actually be painful for some people. While an aligned position can help in a healing and “straightening” process over the long term, it can cause symptoms in the short term. In these cases it’s best to go with what is working and supports the position your spine is used to … even if it seems “wrong”. If you work on other areas that leads to more flexibility and a better posture (when awake or sleeping) … then you can always make adjustments in the other direction to accommodate this.

This is one of the reasons that even those who buy a mattress that keeps them in “perfect” alignment can feel pain during an adjustment period and in some cases it can even be better to sleep on something that isn’t right but is what the body has become used to … as long as it’s not too far in the other direction.

So I wouldn’t worry and I’d keep the two pillows … until it stops working if and when you get any “straighter” :slight_smile:

Personal experience always trumps even the “best” theories!


Thanks Phoenix! Then I’ll keep the double pillows and see how that goes for a while. You are probably very right–I do sit at a computer too much and probably have indeed developed poor posture. I also have very mild scoliosis in my upper back, but the pain doesnt ever seem to really be in that area. But, may contribute to the stiffness?

Maybe I will try eventually to slowly flatten back out and see how it goes.

Still enjoy reading your mattress forum!!

Hi SleeplessinDallas,

While I am not of course a medical expert, one thing I know for certain is that issues in one area of the spine or the body can often cause symptoms in another as the body tries to compensate in ways that are not always obvious. This is always one of the most challenging parts of fitting a mattress to a person and an important part of why personal testing is so important. Each of us is made very differently and even the natural curvature of the spine between people can be very different. Sometimes “wrong” can be “right” … at least to a degree. One of the things that can help more than anything though is flexibility exercises because one of the “side effects” of being further away from our childhood (using diplomatic terms for “aging” :)) is that we often become more “rigid” in our joints and spine.

On a personal level though … as long as the “rigidity” doesn’t start to affect my mind it’s not such a bad price to pay for the “wisdom” that goes with “maturity” . I’ve never been able to answer why all the best habits are also the most inconvenient and difficult to fit in though!

And I enjoy having you here. Your long journey to “mattress success” and your posts and feedback along the way will I believe help many others.


Well thank you Phoenix :slight_smile: I love your very politically correct aging references - ha ha. So true indeed!!
I do try to practice yoga regularly, but sometimes I do fall the wagon from time to time. But I try to keep yoga in the schedule once or twice a week to help with stretching and flexibility.

Hi SleeplessinDallass,

At least you’ve only fallen off … sometimes I think that the wagon has run right over me and then the horses have taken off so fast that I might never catch it.

At night while I’m trying to catch up on the forum and on my web research… I watch my DH who is way better than I am (in many ways :)) do her 5-6 times a week exercises and yoga stretches and I keep thinking to myself that some day I might actually find the time to do the same. I keep hoping that wishful thinking about doing “stuff” that I know is good for me would be more effective than it is!