Steps Towards Making the Bedroom MG-Friendly
Last updated: June 2023
Many myasthenia gravis (MG) sufferers complain of insomnia or difficulty sleeping. For a while after my diagnosis, I had several MG symptoms, 1 of which was difficulty breathing, especially if I was on my back. I was almost afraid to go to sleep for fear I wouldn’t wake up! I had to come up with something that would help me.1
Adjustments to the bed
We chose to get another Sleep Number bed, but this time with an adjustable base. We’ve had this bed ever since and I love it! Both the head and foot portions can be raised together or separately. So, I’d raise the head of the bed, then adjust the foot end for comfort.
The raised foot end served another purpose, I had a lot of edema (swelling) due to my thyroid and the prednisone I was taking at the time. The elevation helped reduce the swelling.
If you can’t afford that type of bed or don’t want one, you have other options. You can get backrests, supports, or wedges. These will allow you to sit at any angle or straight up in bed. This head elevation helped me breathe much better. If you’ve had issues with your breathing and it’s keeping you awake, maybe this will help.
Other bed aids
Cervical (neck) pillows or rolls relieve pressure across your neck, ease tension, and provide the support we need.
Knee and leg raisers, pillows, or supports put a bend in your knee. You can choose the style you want.
Body pillows are often used by pregnant women, but have you thought of using it for your MG needs? It’s a long, narrow pillow that supports your arms, legs, and body. With the muscle and joint aches and pains we have, it would be great for providing relief. I’ve even heard it helps relieve sleep apnea and acid reflux.
Though usually intended for safety, bedrails sometimes help with turning over in bed. They come in adjustable heights, with or without safety straps, rail bumpers, and stability for getting in and out of bed. They come in different sizes and shapes. There are also rail bumpers to pad the rails and prevent injury.
You can also install a bed trapeze to aid you in sitting up or repositioning in bed. These come in different shapes and sizes.
Closet and door modifications
In order to access your clothing or hang up your clean clothes, have your closet rods lowered. At this time, I depend on my husband to help me. He’s a wonderful man and helps me way beyond what he should have to do, but sometimes I have to wait for a while for him to hang them up or get clothes I need to wear! If my closet rods were lowered, I could hang my clothes up much easier or get them out myself.
If opening and closing doors is a problem, consider a pocket or barn door, or even no door. In fact, we removed the door in our house to the laundry room. It was in the way and I hit it with my power chair every time I went over the threshold.
Making our lives easier with MG
Most of our electronics these days come with a remote control. However, if you don’t have one, I’d consider getting one, at least for the TV.
There are so many other products available today to make our life so much easier, why not utilize them, if we can?
My most frustrating MG symptom is _____.