Due to various reasons (my father visiting, and my 1 year old son sleeping in a Pack-And-Play crib in the living room), I ended up sleeping on our old leather sofa the other night. Although I only slept for 5 hours, I woke up much more refreshed than my usual night's sleep. I do remember that I had a similar experience a few months ago when I had a bad cold with severe cough, and I felt better sleeping on the same sofa. Now I realize that it wasn't a coincidence. The curvature of the armrest is a low gentle slope, with my feet resting on the other side's armrest (preventing me from sliding down).
What I realized was that due to the armrest lifting up my upper back/shoulders and tilting back my head slightly, my airway must have opened up. This is a normal situation for almost everyone. Whenever you tilt your head forward slightly, the space behind your tongue narrows, whereas tilting the head back opens the airway. This is also why in many cases, "Contour" pillows have this same effect: By lifting up your neck and cocking your head back slightly, you're opening up your airway. Most contour pillows, however, don't function the way they're meant to work, since as you slide down, the the lower part of the pillow that's raised ends up tilting your head slightly forward.
As a result of this experience, since I like to sleep on my back, I added a bit of support using a rolled up towel, just below my Contour Pillow, slightly lifting up my shoulders. Not too surprisingly, I did seem to sleep better. Next, I'm going to add one more thing: Breathe Right strips. By artificially opening up my nasal passageways by using these nasal dilator strips, perhaps I can finally sleep more deeply and wake up much more refreshed in the morning.
Does sleeping in strange environment or bed make you sleep better or much worse than your normal nights' sleep? Please enter your answers in the comments box below.