Settling into your perfect sleep position can mean lots of tossing and turning, especially when your pillow doesn’t support your head and neck properly.
For stomach sleepers, finding a position that doesn’t stress the neck can be tricky, since most pillows offer thick cushioning and push the head into an unnatural upward position.
“Any pillow with high loft is going to push your neck back a little bit and give you neck pain or cause some discomfort in the lower back,” says Rocco Monto, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Nantucket, Mass. He recommends searching for a thinner pillow—one that’s about three inches thick ensures your spine stays aligned while you snooze.
Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution, suggests a pillow with a slightly inclined surface to create proper spine alignment while laying face down.