Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good for You?

The majority of us go to bed every night and rest our weary heads on a plush pillow, falling asleep to recuperate from our busy day. If only that pillow could talk, would it repeat your subconscious night time mumbles? 

We consider our pillows to add a layer of nighttime comfort but have you ever considered Sleeping without pillow? The concept may seem alien to most people but there could be some benefits of sleeping without a pillow. Let’s find out. 

we use a pillow under our head at night to allow the spine to better align

Why do we use Pillows?

The reason we use a pillow under our head at night is to allow the spine to better align, sleeping without a pillow neck pain could otherwise occur. This could lead to insomnia, irritability, impacted sleep, and physical health.

Other benefits of sleeping with a pillow under your head include: 

  • Better quality of sleep  
  • Reduced allergies
  • Better spinal health 
  • Lower chance of neck and shoulder pain

Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Better for You?

There is no hard and fast rule for sleeping with a pillow under your head. It all comes down to your favored sleep position and personal preference.    

Sleeping with no pillow is typically a stomach sleeper, as the lower back could hurt while using a pillow under your head when sleeping on your tummy. If you’re wondering Is it good to sleep without a pillow, it all depends on how you physically feel in the mornings.

If you use a pillow as a side or back sleeper and find yourself with neck pain, it may be down to the type of pillow you’re using. As opposed to the reasoning of using neck pain to abandon your pillow completely.   

Sleep without pillow, a quality pillow at least, could lead to neck pain or skin problems as a stomach sleeper (wrinkles or acne may become more pronounced, as your face is squashed into the mattress all night). 

Therefore, using a pillow is beneficial for side and back sleepers to better align the spine, stomach sleepers may find it more comfortable on their back to forgo the pillow. 

Stomach sleepers may sleep better without a pillow  

Advantages & Disadvantages of Sleeping Without a Pillow

  • Stomach sleepers may sleep better without a pillow
  • Side sleepers and back sleepers could experience neck strain without a pillow
  • Side sleepers and back sleepers experience greater spinal alignment when using a pillow
  • Sleep health could be improved when using a pillow
  • Insomnia could be reduced when using a pillow
  • Physical health could be improved as a consequence of quality sleep every night- when using a pillow  

There are no benefits of sleeping without a pillow for side sleepers

Side Sleepers: Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Better for You?

There are no benefits of sleeping without a pillow for side sleepers. As a side sleeper, your sensitive shoulders and hips require adequate support. Correct spinal alignment can only be achieved by sleeping on a pressure relieving mattress and using a plush supportive pillow under your head. 

Back Sleepers: Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good for You?

The benefits of sleeping without a pillow for back sleepers are few and far between. Much like side sleepers, sleeping on your back also requires a pressure relieving mattress and quality pillow under your head. Correct spinal alignment is also an issue, therefore, a pillow is necessary to avoid any strain on this sensitive area.  

Stomach Sleepers: Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good for You?

The benefits of sleeping without a pillow for stomach sleepers seem to be apparent in this sleep position. Although, stomach sleepers are prone to lower back pain so put a pillow under your tunny to counteract any negative strain. You could also use a very thin pillow under your head but be mindful of your lower back.  

Sleeping without a pillow posture could result in a lot of strain on your sensitive neck and shoulder areas 

Is it Better to Sleep With or Without a Pillow? 

Sleeping without a pillow posture could result in a lot of strain on your sensitive neck and shoulder areas as a side and back sleeper. Stomach sleepers are also not immune to aches and pains of not using a pillow. 

It all comes down to personal preference but ensure your spinal alignment is comfortable to avoid strain. If you’re set on forgoing your pillow entirely, start slow with sleeping on a folded towel or baby blanket. 

It may be a shock to your sleep health if you abandon your pillow all of a sudden, so take small steps and evaluate how you feel as you go. If you suffer from back pain, digestive problems such as acid reflux, or suffer migraines or shoulder pain, it would be advisable to always use a pillow under your head. Sleeping without pillow posture could exacerbate current strains and aches.  

How do I Start Sleeping Without a Pillow?

8 Fantastic Tips for Sleeping Without a Pillow

8 fantastic tips for sleeping without a pillow:

  1. Phase-out your current pillow, don’t remove it suddenly. 
  2. Sleep with your head on a folded towel or baby blanket.
  3. Put a pillow under your knees if you’re a back sleeper.
  4. Put a pillow between your knees if you’re a side sleeper.
  5. Put a thin pillow under your tummy if you’re a stomach sleeper.
  6. A rolled-up hand towel under your neck could provide some comfort. 
  7. Do some stretching exercises before bed and when you wake up to avoid neck strain. 
  8. Monitor how you feel if you’re waking up with aches and pains, sleeping without a pillow may not be the best option for your sleep health.

Conclusion 

When contemplating should i sleep with a pillow, the only way to find out if it’s a viable sleep option for you is to try. However, start slow as removing your pillow suddenly could result in some unwelcome side effects.

The only way to discover is it bad to sleep without a pillow is to try for yourself.  If you’re dealing with chronic back or neck pain, suffer IBS or acid reflux, sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder, it might be better for your physical and sleep health to sleep with a pillow under your head.  

Sleep Better With a Temperature neutral AirFoam™ pillow with cooling phase-change Outlast® cotton cover.

Side Sleepers: Is it better to sleep without a pillow?

If you’re a side sleeper and you’re sleeping without a pillow you could be putting your sleep health at risk. Spine alignment is crucial to sleep health and as a side sleeper, it may be more beneficial to your sleep health to sleep with a quality pillow under your head and between your knees.  

Stomach Sleepers: Is sleeping without a pillow good for you?

The benefits of sleeping without a pillow for stomach sleepers are felt here than any other sleep position. Sleeping without a pillow posture as a stomach sleeper is to put a thin pillow under your stomach so as not to strain the lower back. You could also try a folded baby blanket as a small pillow under your head.   

Back Sleepers: Is sleeping without a pillow good for you?

Sleeping with no pillow as a back sleeper may not be the most comfortable sleep position. Your neck could suffer some strain and your spine may not be as aligned as it could be with a pillow under your head. You could try a folded sheet or baby blanket if you are certain you want to remove the pillow. 

How do I start sleeping without a pillow?

It’s best to start small if you’ve decided to remove the pillows from your life. If the pillow is removed suddenly, it may be a shock to your sleep health. Therefore, begin by sleeping on a folded baby blanket or sheet a couple of nights per week and watch out for morning aches and pains that will be your guide.