How changing my bedding helped me at the gym

You don’t often think about the things you have forever believed to be right for you.

My shoulders have troubled me for years — OK, they weren’t exactly helped by a couple of accidents that caused rotator cuff damage, but the problem has gone one much longer than that. And in October it got to the point that it was holding everything up at the gym; and for three months I got very frustrated with that, as anyone who follows me on twitter will attest.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that, in order to let them calm down, I needed to sleep flat on my back at night. Now, I don’t like doing that. I snore. But the snoring’s mitigated by a special gumshield now, and anyway, the shoulders are more important. So I dug the specially-shaped memory foam pillows out the attic, and put them on the bed.

It didn’t work. Just like last time. The time they ended up in the attic in the first place. I kept turning on my side and curling up — as I always have done. So much so that my posture is very poor: my left shoulder is usually carried a little forward, caused by always sleeping on my right hand side.

So I began to think about why I do that. I had never considered it before. OK, I like curling up, but that’s not enough of a reason, especially when asleep. Then I finally realised why I do this.

My duvet is too light.

I’m getting cold.

I’m curling for warmth.

After that blinding flash of the obvious, I dug out my 15 tog duvet (for comparison, I was previously using a 4.5 tog one, throughout the year) and tried it out.

My goodness, it’s heavy. But I don’t find myself automatically curling up now. And lying flat at night is having a slow but significant effect on the shoulders — they’re nowhere near perfect yet, but I’m able to work out properly, without pain. I’m not at full strength, but that will come back in time. Too lightweight a duvet. Who would have spotted that one?