Whether you’re a front sleeper, a side sleeper or “King Tut” sleeper on your back, your favorite position could be causing you health problems. Anything from premature aging, to back and neck pain, to stomach trouble. So here are the best sleep positions for curing common complaints, and two positions you might want to avoid. 

  • First up, if you have back and neck pain, or acid reflux, you might want to sleep on your back. The experts say it keeps your head, neck and spine in a neutral position, which puts less strain on those parts of the body. Back sleeping also keeps your stomach well below your esophagus, and that means acid and food won’t reverse course. The other bonus to being a back sleeper: it prevents wrinkles because you don’t have your face mashed into a pillow all night. Only one problem: if you’re a snorer, back-sleeping isn’t for you. The tongue has a tendency to fall back into the throat making snoring worse. 

  • Next, if you’re pregnant, have a bad back or are a snorer, sleeping on your side is your best bet. It keeps your spine elongated. If you’re pregnant, sleep on the left side. That allows for the more blood-flow to the baby. Just make sure you get a nice thick pillow. You’ll need lots of bulk to fill the space between your head and shoulder and keep your body in a neutral position.

Two sleep positions to avoid: the stomach and the fetal position. Sleeping curled up restricts breathing and stresses your back and neck causing pain. And sleeping on your stomach may curb snoring but it puts pressure on your joints and muscles which can irritate nerves and lead to numbness and discomfort.