Waking Up With A Sore Neck Or Headache? Try Sleeping Without A Pillow

Sleeping Without Pillow

Pillow and sleep are made for each other, at least to most of us. Certainly, there are benefits and comfort of resting in a head pillow after a hard day’s work. Most individuals consider pillows to be a vital component of their sleep regimen since they are designed to encourage good alignment of the head, neck, and spine. Some health experts, on the other hand, argue that the opposite is true. They claim that sleeping on a level surface helps to relieve neck and back pain. It may also help to prevent wrinkles and improve the texture of your hair.

All sleeping postures, however, are not compatible with sleeping without pillows. The absence of a head pillow is likely to have a negative impact on sleep posture for most people. Before you begin sleeping without pillows, think about your preferred sleeping position, your medical conditions, and your doctor’s advice.


Here are the Pros and Cons of Sleeping Without Pillows:


Relieves Neck Pain and Headache

Sleeping without pillows will allow your back to stretch and help you to slumber in a natural position without any discomfort or aches. Using an overly soft pillow might strain your neck muscles and potentially reduce blood flow to your head. Your airflow through the respiratory system will be greatly diminished if your head is tilted downward on a cushioned pillow that does not provide appropriate support for your head. As a result, you may feel light-headed or have a headache when you wake up in the morning.

Alleviates Back Pain

Using a heavy pillow under your head and neck, or even stacking multiple cushions beneath your head and neck, will deform your spine and cause back pain. Sleeping in this position for an extended period of time can only result in chronic back discomfort and recurrent muscular strain. If you’re having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, try sleeping without a pillow for a few nights to see if it helps.

Helpful for Stomach Sleepers

If you lie on your stomach, sleeping without a pillow can help relieve neck pain. Your head is rotated to the side when you’re on your stomach. Backward extension of your neck is also present. This causes pain and discomfort by putting it in an unnatural position. Using a head pillow in this position will just exacerbate the unnatural angle of your neck. However, sleeping without a pillow can help to correct the uncomfortable position while also reducing spine strain. For stomach sleepers, sleeping with a thin pillow or no pillow at all can help to align the head and neck with the rest of the spine, reducing pain and tension.

Feeling Fresh in the Morning

If you don’t use any neck or head support while sleeping, your body will be able to select the best position for rest. When we use head pillows that don’t give enough support, our bodies have to compensate by using muscles in the neck and back. This puts your body under even greater strain at a time when it should be recovering from daily stress through sleep. Muscles and tendons will work overtime due to uncomfortable pillows, accumulating additional pressure that will emerge as pain.

Cures Acne

Aside from relieving aches and pains, not using a pillow can also help your complexion. Keeping your face pressed against a pillow for hours at a time isn’t great for your skin since it restricts your pores from breathing. Increased perspiration and a build-up of grease and oil can occur as a result of this. The result is the repeated occurrence of acne. Acne can also develop when dust and pollutants on the surface of your pillow come into touch with your face. Dirt and filth can harm your skin during the night.

Prevents Wrinkles

According to certain studies, there is a link between pillows and wrinkle growth. A pillow that rubs against your face may generate more skin impressions than a bare mattress. Sleeping on your back, directly on the mattress, of course, is the most efficient approach to avoid wrinkles. Your face, in that case, has the least amount of contact with a mattress.

Protects the Hair

Hair may be harmed by pillows. Cotton pillowcases, in particular, cause greater friction and absorb oils that are designed to preserve the hair, according to medical professionals. This may be particularly important for persons who move around a lot when sleeping. If you suspect your pillow is causing dry, frizzy hair or knots, switching to a flatbed may help reduce these symptoms.


Posture Problems

 Back Sleeper: When a sleeper lays flat on his or her back, the head and neck may lean downward, putting strain on the region.

Side Sleeper: Without a pillow, a side sleeper’s neck might overextend, making neutral spine alignment extremely impossible.


Side and back sleepers may have stiffness or pain in the lumbar or cervical spine if they don’t use a head pillow. Tension headaches may be caused by referred neck pain from not utilizing a pillow. Neck pain isn’t always unavoidable for stomach sleepers too, who don’t utilize a pillow. With or without a pillow, turning your head to the side might cause muscle stiffness.

Heartburn/Sleep Apnea

Folks who suffer from heartburn or obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from pillows. Acid reflux and Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms can be relieved by cushions, particularly wedge pillows, especially at night. Wedge pillows prevent acid from spilling out of your stomach and into your esophagus by slightly lifting your head, shoulders, and chest while you sleep. Many types of pillows can help to alleviate sleep apnea. They can be used with or without a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. They are available in a variety of forms, including a wedge shape that elevates your upper body.

Steps to Eliminate your Pillow

Sleeping without a pillow has numerous health benefits. But an abrupt switch to such a sleeping style will exacerbate your aches and pains. You must gradually become accustomed to the new manner. The following suggestions will assist you in giving up your pillow:

  • Small steps first: Starting with a thin, tiny pillow or folded blanket allows your body to adjust to a flatter surface over time.
  • Check the mattress: Make sure you have a mattress that is appropriate for your sleeping style and body size. A nice pillow can’t make up for a mattress that can’t support excellent posture. But a good mattress may make sleeping without a pillow a lot more comfortable and long-lasting.
  • Use body/side pillows: Place a tiny pillow beneath your hips if you sleep on your stomach. The cushion supports a straighter spine by lifting the midsection. Side and back sleepers will also find support from side pillows.

A Final Word

You may not go back to sleeping with pillows after you’ve settled in and started sleeping this way. We can fairly conclude that even occasional sleeping in this manner can benefit and help relieve some of the concerns associated with spinal and neck-related injury or any other form of discomfort. This is based on the positive response from users who observed improvements in their backache problems and neck pain.