A: Although there are many studies in the psychology fields about personality types and sleep position, you may be surprised by how important sleep position may be for some of you. If you normally like to sleep on your back and are able to sleep well, waking up refreshed in the morning, then continue to do so. If you prefer to sleep on your side or stomach, then keep doing what you’re doing. But if you used to love sleeping on your stomach and now have to sleep on your back due to a neck, shoulder or back injury, then try to do everything possible to go back to your side or stomach again. If your grandmother told you that it’s healthy to sleep on your back, but you love to sleep on your stomach, ignore your grandmother. If your dermatologist tells you to sleep on your back to prevent facial wrinkles, then ignore your dermatologist as well. Sleeping better will be much more to prevent wrinkles and aging than keeping your face off your pillow.
The reason that sleep position is so important is that for many people, due to certain oral cavity features, the tongue falls back somewhat due to gravity. But if your jaw is on the small side, then the tongue falls back even more, and then when you go into deep sleep on your back, due to muscle relaxation, you obstruct and wake up. You can wake up subconsciously to light sleep or completely awake. People with these issues generally compensate well by not sleeping on their backs, but can never get deep refreshing sleep.