There’s a country western song that goes like this: “I’m a two pillow sleeper. One catches the teardrops that fall. One right beside me to lie in your place.”
Those lyrics played in my head like a stuck record as I lay on a hard linoleum floor at the Westport Inn. Light from a lamp over the dock shone through a gap in the window shade. Cold air crept from a two-inch crack under the front door. I would have been nestled like a mouse in a sock on a queen-size Beauty Rest except that Leroy changed his mind about sleeping in his van. “Your friend has already checked in,” the clerk said, when Paul presented his confirmation sheet. Since Paul paid for the room in advance and a rollaway bed was not available, I was relegated to either sleeping on the floor or shelling out for a separate room.
Okay. I admit it. I opted to put the 3 lb poly-fill, child-size sleeping bag that was stashed under the backseat of my truck to good use. Sometimes you cheap out and get away with it and other times, “You get what you pay for,” as my friend Bill often stated. Anyway, I set up in the hallway with a headrest made of spare underwear balled up in a sweatshirt. When it came time to turn out the lights, I asked Leroy if I could have one of his bed pillows to cushion my body.
“No. I need them both,” he replied
I knew that some people favored sleeping with more than one pillow but was surprised when Leroy didn’t oblige. First of all, he stole my bed. Second, he never used two pillows when we camped out on my boat. It was always that same ratty old pillow with a brown knit cover that resembled a sweater your grandma gave you when you were 8 years old. One you held on to like a snot-stained stuffed animal until it fell apart. However, I also knew that once Leroy made up his mind, there was no use arguing, so I looked to Paul. Paul diverted his gaze and shook his head from side to side. “I need both of mine also,“ he said, as if it was all too obvious.
What the heck? Dang pillow hogs! Whatever. Obviously, benevolence was not in the air. As a consequence, I spent a restless night on a cold hard floor. Not to mention getting stepped on when my pillow-hog companions visited the bathroom.
The Westport pillow incident was forgotten until Ken and I traveled to the Grande Ronde River to fish for rainbows and smallies. The interior of our modest pre-fab log cabin included twin beds pushed against the wall, separated by the width of the front door. Due to close proximity, I noticed that Ken grabbed a second pillow from the closet when it came time to retire.
“Miss the spousal unit already,” I said.
“I need one over my head,” Ken replied.
“You mean to muffle your snoring?” I said, remembering the last traveling companion who snored. After listening to the guy saw logs for an hour, I whacked him over the head with my pillow.
“No. I’ve got earplugs for that,” he said. “It’s just the way I sleep.”
I snuck a look to see what made the second pillow so integral to Ken’s sleeping habits. After my eyes adjusted to the dark, a swami appeared. Ken lay on his side, with the pillow wrapped around his head like a turban.
I’ve since given two pillows a fair amount of thought, although after researching the topic I found no mention of head wraps. What I found was that stomach sleepers should place an extra pillow under their hips or ankles to take stress off the lower back. Side sleepers, or those who rest in a fetal position, might place a second pillow under their head and neck to ensure their spine remains straight. Placing a pillow between your knees helps open the hips. Two pillows can help alleviate snoring for back sleepers if one is placed under the head and another under the knees. Yet another option is a body pillow, which provides an amicable “partner.” However, neither option is reason to make a fishing buddy sleep on cold hard floor while you dream the night away.