We’re going to do a simple overview of some pros and cons of sleep positions, because this may be one of the most common questions I hear each week!  People always want to know what position is best, and my usual answer is “on your back with a thin pillow pulled slightly under your neck for support.”  My answer for the worse sleep position is: your stomach, because of the necessity of turning your head one way or the other for hours at a time.  Side-sleeping can be good or bad depending in the positioning of your shoulders and knees/hips.  The main thing to remember is try to keep things as “aligned” as possible especially in your neck and pelvis.  So, here are some basics:

BACK  pros: evenly distributes weight, can reduce pressure on discs, no abnormal stress on the spine or other joints; cons: you must make sure your neck is supported (hence the recommendation of a thin pillow pulled slightly under the neck for support), using too thick of a pillow can make your posture worse because it can push your head forward; back sleeping oftne correlates with snoring  

SIDE  pros: less snoring; left side sleeping can reduce acid reflux, with a pillow between the knees it supports the pelvis and keeps it level; cons: can cause nerve compression in the neck and back, if too thin or too thick of a pillow it can cause your neck to strain one way or the other, no pillow between knees can rotate your pelvis out of alignment

STOMACH  pros: you’re less likely to move around, so may be easier to get deeper sleep; cons: not good for digestion or circulation, neck has to twist one way or the other to allow breathing which strains both the neck and upper back, and also causes an undue rotation throughout the spine for hours at a time, increases pressure in the lower back, puts pressure on internal organs, may complicate sleep apnea