Sleeping positions that help alleviate neck pain are on the back or side, according to Harvard Health Publications. Sleeping on the stomach is the worst position for neck pain because the head and neck are turned to either side, cricking the neck and stressing the muscles.
There is some debate about whether the back or side position is the best for alleviating neck pain, says CNN. While the back position supposedly relieves both neck and back pain, it can cause other problems such as snoring. Those sleeping on their backs should use a single puffy pillow to keep the vertebrae supported without wrenching the neck. Back sleeping also has other benefits such as reducing acid reflux.
The next best sleeping position in which to reduce neck pain is on the side, states CNN. This keeps the spine elongated and straight, although it can cause sagging in the skin and may result in developing wrinkles. The best pillow for this position is a thick one so that the head, shoulders and neck are aligned with the rest of the spine. However, a side sleeper should avoid curling into a fetal position, which can increase neck and back pain instead of decreasing it.