Sleeping without a pillow: Does it help?

Some people may find that sleeping without a pillow has benefits, but it is not a good idea for everyone.

The type of pillow that a person uses can affect their quality of sleep. Using the wrong one can cause sleep loss and physical aches, such as neck or back pain.

In this article, we look at the role of a pillow during sleep and explain the risks and benefits of sleeping without one. We also offer advice on choosing the right pillow and provide some general tips on improving sleep quality.

Benefits of sleeping without a pillow

Poor posture during the night interferes with a person’s quality of sleep and can lead to aches and pains during the day. The individual might also experience neck or back pain when they wake up.

Pillows are important because they keep the head aligned with the neck and backbone during sleep. If a person’s spine or neck is not in a neutral position, they may wake up during the night, causing sleep loss.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the goal should be to keep the head in a neutral position. In this position, it rests squarely on the shoulders and is neither too far back nor too far forward.

Neck and back pain

People who sleep on their stomach may benefit from sleeping without a pillow, but it is not a good idea for everyone.

Stomach sleepers often find that using a pillow puts stress on their lower back. It can do this if it pushes their head too far back, leading to an arching of the spine.

Sleeping without a pillow can align the spine during sleep, helping ease back or neck pain during the day. Alternatively, using a very thin pillow may help.