You might find it comfortable, but it's usually best to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Fortunately, you can save yourself some neck and back pain with a well-placed pea.
Photo by Isabel Eyre.
Sleeping on your stomach can cause problems because you have to crane your neck in order to breathe. That craning strains the vertebrae in your neck and back, and can mess with the c-shaped curve of your neck. Dina Spector at Business Insider spoke with Cynthia Vaughn, an Austin-based chiropractor, and she recommends this simple trick to keep yourself from going back to laying on your stomach:
To break that sleeping pattern, Vaughn advises her patients to tape an uncooked pea to their stomach at bedtime. When they eventually roll over onto their stomach, "the pea will act as an irritant, and it will awaken them enough to discover they are on their stomach, make the correction and drift back to sleep..."
It doesn't have to be a pea, but it should be something round (not sharp), and roughly the same size. Sleeping on your back or on your side is better, so try to get comfortable in one of those positions. It will probably take a while to break a habit you've had for so long, but you'll be thankful you did in the long run.
Here's the Best Sleeping Position for Your Health [Business Insider]