Each Chiropractor that you talk to will have a different reason for telling you what the best position to sleep in is. I developed this line of thinking in Chiropractic College by asking questions and observing why people do what they do.
I do not think that there is a perfect sleeping position that everyone should have. What I found is that your optimal sleeping position is one that provides your spine the support it needs. I have seen this for both the upper cervical spine and the low back.
If you sleep in a position that causes compromise of your back or neck. It will cause pain signals and wake you up in the middle of the night.
If you sleep in a position that supports your back or neck you will sleep better.
Sacro Occipital Technique: SOT Chiropractic
While in Chiropractic College I learned SOT and found it to be extremely powerful. I started using this as a great way to offer a low force adjustment to the low back and pelvis. I have seen results with this technique where other low back adjustments did not do much.
While studying this technique I had a client make a comment to me about his sleeping pattern. I noticed that his sleeping pattern matched his subluxation pattern or misalignment pattern. From there I started asking all patients who had low back, si pain or pelvic pain what position they slept in and all of them avoided a position that provoked the low back misalignment.
Upper cervical spine
This is a very vital portion of the spine. An adjustment at any part of the spine can affect the entire body. But, there is a stronger effect in the upper cervical spine than other parts of the spine.
People who sleep from this pattern could find support of the neck by sleeping on their side. You may find that your pillow has to be just right so that you can relax and go to sleep.
I have found that getting adjusted and having a good cervical support pillow makes all the difference.
SOT Low back category system
In SOT they describe three different subluxations or misalignments of the low back and pelvis. To answer the above question two of these categories are very important. For the most part you will settle into one of these categories and that could be your pattern because you grew into that category.
Each category has certain characteristics that will cause you to sleep the way that you sleep.
SOT Category 3
This is a misalignment in the low back that causes pain and tightness in the low back. This subluxation pattern is aggravated by laying on your back and relieved by laying face down.
What I found is that many of these people either will not sleep on their back or quickly move from sleeping on their back. These people will most commonly sleep on their side or face down.
SOT Category 2
What I found is that many of these people sleeping face down will aggravate their misalignment. These people will most commonly sleep on their side or on their back.
There is no perfect sleep position. There is only your perfect sleep position.