Updated at: 22-11-2021 - By: Jane

Some people prefer to sleep on huge, fluffy pillows, while others despise them. If you frequently wake up with neck or back pain, you might consider sleeping without one.

Sleeping without a pillow has some advantages. As a result, these benefits aren’t universally applicable. If you sleep in a certain position, going without a pillow may be beneficial.

If you’re curious about the benefits and drawbacks of pillowless sleep, keep reading for advice on how to get started.

Benefits of sleeping without a pillow

Depending on how you sleep, a level surface may make you feel more rested.

Can sleeping without a pillow help posture?

Keep your spine in an upright position by using pillows. As a result, they help you maintain proper posture by aligning your neck with the rest of your body.

Only research focusing on posture pillows has been conducted. Scientists haven’t looked at the effects on the spine of sleeping without a pillow.

However, stomach sleepers may be able to get away with not using a pillow at all.

Sleeping on your stomach puts your spine in an uncomfortable position, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. That’s because the bulk of your body weight is concentrated in the middle. Stress on your back and neck makes it difficult to preserve your spine’s natural bend.

When you don’t use a pillow at night, your head will stay flat. This could help alleviate some of the strain on your neck and improve your posture.


Other sleeping postures, however, don’t fall under this category. If you sleep on your back or side, a lack of a pillow could actually be harmful. Using a pillow will help keep your spine in a neutral position.

Can sleeping without a pillow alleviate neck pain?

It is possible to minimize neck pain by sleeping without a pillow if you sleep on your stomach.

Your head is twisted to one side when you’re lying on your stomach. In addition, your neck is bent backward. This causes pain and discomfort by putting it in an unnatural position.

Using a pillow in this position will just worsen the discomfort in your neck. It is possible to sleep more comfortably by avoiding a pillow if you do not have one.

Research is insufficient, despite the potential benefits. Only a small number of research have looked at how pillows affect neck discomfort. If you wake up in the morning with a sore neck, see a doctor before ditching the pillow.

Is sleeping without a pillow good for your hair?

There is no evidence that using a pillow affects one’s hair health. Therefore, no studies have been done on the effects of sleeping without a pillow on the hair..

However, there is some speculation that the substance of your sleeping surface may have an impact on the health of your locks. A cotton pillowcase absorbs your natural oils, which can cause your hair to become brittle and prone to breakage. It’s been suggested that silk is better for hair than other fabrics.

If you don’t use a cushion, your hair generally won’t be affected.


Disadvantages of sleeping without a pillow

Sleeping without a pillow has its advantages, but it also has a number of cons.

Poor posture

In order to better align your spine while sleeping on your stomach, it is recommended that you scrape the pillow. It won’t, however, be enough to make up for the uncomfortable position. Since your center of gravity is in the middle of your body, neutralizing your spine will be challenging.

Placing a pillow between your stomach and pelvis as you sleep on your stomach will help you maintain better posture. Even if you don’t have a pillow for your head, this will help to elevate your center of gravity and relieve pressure on your spine.

Other positions necessitate the use of a pillow. Stresses your joints and muscles by putting your spine in an uncomfortable position If you sleep on your back or side, you should use a pillow.

Neck pain

Similarly, the link between sleeping without a pillow and neck pain includes a number of qualifiers that need to be taken into account.

It’s a good idea to get rid of your pillow if you sleep on your stomach. However, it does not diminish the necessity of doing so. This can put undue stress on the joints and muscles of your neck, resulting in discomfort.

Other sleeping postures can induce or worsen neck pain if you don’t utilize a cushion. The reason for this is that sleeping on your back or side puts undue strain on your neck. Your neck will remain in this posture all night if you don’t use a pillow.

The strain on your neck muscles will also be uneven if you don’t utilize a pillow. In addition to neck discomfort and stiffness, headaches are more prevalent.


Tips for starting to sleep without a pillow

Getting used to sleeping without one will take some time if you’ve always used a pillow. If you’re thinking of sleeping without a pillow, here are some suggestions:

  • Gradually decrease the support you give your head. Instead of removing your pillow right away, begin by folding a blanket or towel in half and keeping it nearby. It’s best to gradually remove the towel from your bed until you’re comfortable sleeping without one.
  • Pillows can help to support the rest of your body. Put a pillow under your stomach and pelvis to keep your spine in a neutral position as you sleep on your stomach. When lying on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees; when lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
  • Mattress selection is critical. Without a cushion, a mattress with enough support is even more critical. Back discomfort might be caused by a mattress that is too soft.


While it may be difficult at first, you’ll soon get the hang of sleeping without one. Trying pillowless sleeping? Here are some pointers:

Reduce the amount of support you give to your head over time.

Begin by placing a folded blanket or towel over your head before removing your pillow. When you’re ready to go to bed without a towel, gradually unroll it.
Your back, legs, and arms will thank you.
Using a pillow to support your stomach and pelvis as you sleep on your stomach can ensure that your spine remains in a neutral position. Sit with a pillow under or between your legs, depending on whether you’re on your back or your side.
Make the right mattress selection. Having a mattress that provides proper support is much more critical without a pillow. Back pain can be caused by a mattress that is overly soft, as it will allow your spine to slump.

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