The Bridgeham Pillow
If you've ever woken up in the night with tingly 'dead' fingers (commonly the little finger side of the hand, or even the whole hand) then this is the pillow for you.
Lying on your back with your head on a regular pillow is fine, but when you turn onto your side there is not enough height to bridge the gap between your shoulders and the side of your head. Your neck then side-bends down towards the pillow. This can give you numb heavy arms and tingly dead fingers.
And if you lie on your side with two regular pillows to keep this from happening, the pillows are too high when you then turn onto your back. This forces your head forward and can also give you numb heavy arms and tingly dead fingers.
Couple this scenario with the fact that the brain stem very cleverly inhibits our muscles during the night (to stop us acting out our dreams). As the supporting muscles are 'switched off', we then rely on the support from our choice of pillow.
So in lying on our back we need a shallower support than when lying on our sides.
THE SOLUTION is The Bridgeham Pillow. This unique design supports you in both side-lying and back-lying positions.
During deep REM sleep when your muscles are switched "off" the support of the Bridgeham pillow is "on"; and with you the whole night through.
The BRIDGEHAM PILLOW has been designed for the person who enjoys sleeping either on their back or lying on their side, or alternating between the two.
Lying on your back, the central lower section gently cradles your head to rest. As you relax the weight of your body on the mattress this applies a very mild and gentle traction effect to your neck. This has a calming effect on the activity of the muscles under the base of the skull*.
* Clinical Technical note:
The torso sinks into the mattress away from the pillow. The weight of the head into the memory foam means that gentle sustained pressure is applied to the mastoid processes and suboccipital area. The resultant cross fibre inhibition effect calms the suboccipital area, together with a gentle traction effect.
During sleep, when you choose to roll onto your side, the Bridgeham Pillow's elevation means that your head will be comfortably supported in a more natural position* *.
* * Clinical Technical note:
This means that the mid and lower cervical spine is kept closer to a neutral position. This helps optimise both venous and lymphatic drainage from the arms, together with maintaining adequate spacing at the vertebral foramen for the exiting nerve roots at the brachial plexus. For patients already suffering with paraesthesia of the upper limb this will reduce stress at the cervical thoracic junction and improve drainage of inflamed structures.
Turning onto one’s side, the head naturally needs higher support to compensate for the width of the shoulders. Otherwise the head drops to the downward side and compromises the nerves and blood vessels around the neck. This is why people often put one hand under the pillow in this position (and then wake up with a 'dead arm').
Having the higher sides means that you can turn onto either side during the night and have the correct height support there for you.
“Should I use 1 or 2 pillows?” is a frequently asked question from patients.
“Do you sleep on your back or your front?” often brings the reply “Both”.
Ah. We can see the predicament. If you puff or punch your way through the night, the BRIDGEHAM PILLOW should help.
Made of professional grade memory foam (not the cheap stuff you can get on the Internet!), the pillow will mould with you during the night to increase comfort with even pressure distribution on the vascular, lymphatic and nerve structures, particularly the brachial plexus, the large nerve complex that exits from your lower neck to supply the arm.
For those who enjoy sleeping on their front the pillow should be turned longways and be placed under the torso. This is kinder to neck and shoulders than lying flat on the mattress.
For those with 'super-wide' shoulders, an additional spacer * * *is available to go under the Bridgeham Pillow to rise the sides up higher.
Clinical Technical note * * *
Those with a fixed kyphosis or increased thoracic curvature will need additional spacers.
We believe the Bridgeham Pillow is a three in one pillow! It will support you as you sleep on your side, your front and also on
your back. We hope you sleep well… Please do send us your feedback!
Some history behind the BRIDGEHAM PILLOW
Whilst on a happy family holiday, Trevor Strutt (a registered osteopath and Pilates rehab practitioner) was unhappy with his bed at night. He kept waking during the night with heavy dead tingly arms and kept fluffing pillows up to try and alleviate this. When daylight came and his wife Jo was awake, he showed her how we had got a few pillows together and made them into the shape that is now the Bridgeham Pillow.
"Look", he said, "this is how an ideal pillow should be!” "Well make one then", said Jo, "I dare you!"
On return from holiday Trevor bought some cheap foam locally and borrowed an electric carving knife from a lady at his church.
He then spent months fine tuning the design, trialling each one until he came up with the correct dimensions. Lindsey, the lady at church, even bought him his own carving knife for Christmas so she could have her own one back! Lindsey's been promised the first pillow.
Trevor and Jo were lecturing at a national Osteopathic conference and got speaking to one of the exhibitors, Neil from Able 2 Ltd, specialists in rehabilitation products. Trevor explained his design and said that he would like to make one from memory foam to enhance the comfort. Neil visited Trevor at his practice near Gatwick airport, and took the home-made prototype to the product design team at Able 2.
Able 2 have made it professionally using computer guided cutters and upholstered a fitted removable and washable cover. Undergoing more extensive trials, the Bridgeham Pillow will soon be available for general purchase.
13th November 2013