Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good for You?

Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good for You?

Categories Better SleepPosted on
is sleeping without a pillow good for you

I was in Walmart the other day, checking out some new pillows to replace some of my old ones. I try to replace them every year or so. Do we even need pillows? Is sleeping without a pillow good for you? I always ask myself tons of questions when presented with options. You are replacing yours regularly, too, right? Right? Right…. 

Is sleeping without a pillow good or bad? Here are some quick Pros and Cons of sleeping without a pillow:

Pros for Sleeping with a Pillow:

  1. Neck Alignment
  2. Reduced Pressure Points
  3. Enhanced Circulation

Cons of Sleeping Without a Pillow

  1. Lack of Support
  2. Increased Snoring or Sleep Apnea

Believe it or not, sleeping without a pillow can affect everyone differently. Some are positive, and some are negative. First, let’s dive into sleeping without a pillow’s benefits and potential positives.

  1. Neck Alignment: Stiff or high pillows can lead to a misalignment of the neck and spine. This misalignment is painful for most people and could require surgery or chiropractic to correct it. Sleeping without a pillow will help your body maintain a more natural alignment to reduce the stress and pressure on the spine.
  2. Reduced Pressure Points: Some pillows can create pressure points on your body, usually around the neck, head, and shoulders. Removing the pillow from your sleeping space can relieve the pressure on these points, leading to a more restful sleep.
  3. Enhanced Circulation: Sleeping without a pillow might promote better blood circulation by helping to keep your head and spine aligned properly.

Sleeping without a pillow may not be suitable for everyone, either. Pick a side, right? Well, it’s different for everyone! My down pillow works best after testing different pillows through the years.

sleeping with pillows

With that said, let’s explore some potential drawbacks of sleeping without a pillow, including the following:

  1. Lack of Support: Some people need more neck or spinal support for different reasons. Personal preferences, health conditions, or surgery recovery are reasons you may need to get rid of the pillow.
  2. Increased Snoring or Sleep Apnea: If you suffer from sleep apnea or snore, lifting your head while you sleep can help open the airways and give you better breathing support.

Ultimately, your decision to sleep with or without a pillow depends on personal preference, as long as there are no medical conditions to be aware of. Personal comfort is your choice, and I recommend trying out some different pillows and finding something you like! You might think you love your pillow now, but only by trying others will you either confirm that or find your new pillow type!

Does Sleeping Without a Pillow Help Posture?

The best answer I came up with for this question is sometimes. I know this doesn’t give the definitive answer, but everyone is built a little differently!

People that slouch or have a forward head posture find that sleeping without a pillow has helped their posture. Without the pillow, the spine’s natural alignment can be supported while they sleep, which helps their posture.

We also need to think about the sleeping position of the individual. Some people sleep like maniacs and twist and contort their bodies like in a bad horror movie, and others sleep in more simple and comfortable positions.

Lytton Sleep Savings

Some people suffer from different conditions, like sleep apnea, back or neck pain, or even pregnancy, that force them to change their sleep habits. If you are concerned about your posture and correction, let your doctor know first. Your answer isn’t in your pillow, but it may help!

sleeping without pillows

Sleeping without a pillow has side effects.

Sleeping without a pillow can have specific side effects for some individuals, while others may find it comfortable and beneficial. Here are some potential side effects:

1. Neck and back pain: Without a pillow, the head and neck may not receive proper support, leading to strain on the muscles and ligaments. This can result in neck and back pain, especially for individuals who sleep on their sides or stomach.

2. Poor spinal alignment: A pillow helps maintain the spine’s natural curvature, promoting proper alignment throughout the night. The spine may be forced into an unnatural position without a pillow, leading to discomfort and potential long-term spinal issues.

3. Disrupted sleep: Lack of proper support from a pillow can cause discomfort and make it challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. This may result in disrupted sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and other sleep-related issues.

4. Increased snoring or sleep apnea symptoms: People who suffer from snoring to sleep apnea without a pillow might worsen these situations. With these conditions, an elevated pillow can help open the airway and help to reduce the symptoms of snoring or sleep apnea.

5. Facial wrinkles: No, sleeping without a pillow is not the fountain of youth. A lack of sleep lines can help keep your face looking smoother longer, but facial contact with a mattress can potentially lead to more wrinkles over time. I always recommend silk or bamboo pillowcases if facial wrinkles are an issue.

It’s also important to mention that the sleep position, unnatural sleep angle, sleeping habits, and type of pillow can make a difference in your sleep quality. A thinner pillow, or a firm pillow, can benefit your body’s natural curves, leading to better sleep overall.

Any medical advice overrides all of this, though. I feel like I am getting really “wishy-washy” with this article, with no real side on this issue. Look at soft pillows, fluffy pillows, comfortable pillows, firm mattresses, memory foam pillows, and it doesn’t matter. What matters here is COMFORT.

Let’s talk about some benefits of sleeping without a pillow. I feel like I have talked about everything from stomach sleepers to the spinal alignment being wrong, but there are a lot of positives!

Benefits of Sleeping Without a Pillow

Sleeping without a pillow can provide various advantages for specific individuals, such as:

  1. Spinal Alignment: Sleeping without a pillow can assist in maintaining a neutral position for your spine, which can potentially lessen the likelihood of experiencing neck or back pain. Using a pillow that is too high or too firm can cause unnatural curvature of the spine.
  1. Improved blood circulation: Sleeping without a pillow can improve blood circulation by allowing for better blood flow. This may be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing numbness or tingling in their arms or hands during sleep due to poor circulation.
  1. Reduced Wrinkles: Sleeping without a pillow can potentially reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. The absence of a pillow means less pressure on the face, which may help prevent the formation of wrinkles and lines caused by prolonged pressure on the skin.


  1. Enhanced breathing: Sleeping without a pillow can benefit some individuals, as it promotes improved breathing by keeping the airways open and reducing symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. This is achieved by allowing the head and neck a more natural position.
  1. Muscle relaxation: The absence of a pillow can facilitate the relaxation of the muscles in the neck and shoulders, resulting in reduced tension and stiffness. This can be especially advantageous if you frequently experience discomfort or stiffness in your neck upon waking.
  1. Better digestion: Elevating the head with a pillow might lead to acid reflux or heartburn in some people. Sleeping without a pillow can help you maintain proper alignment of the digestive system and decrease the chances of experiencing reflux symptoms at night.
  1. Cost-effective: Not using a pillow can be a cost-effective option as it eliminates the need for purchasing and replacing pillows over time, resulting in long-term savings. I like savings! I also like pillows, so this is a no-go for me, but maybe good for you!

The benefits of sleeping without a pillow can vary from person to person. Some people may not notice any advantages, or may even feel discomfort. Different sleep positions and pillow options can help you find what works best. It’s also important to consider your body type, sleep preferences, and any medical conditions or concerns you may have.

Does Your Pillow Really Matter?

The pillow you choose is essential for several reasons.

The pillow you choose to sleep on is essential in ensuring a good night’s sleep. Pillows provide comfort and support for your neck, spine, and head, helping them stay aligned while you sleep. The wrong pillow can contribute to poor sleeping posture, resulting in aches and pains in the morning.

Firstly, A good pillow offers proper support and alignment for your head, neck, and spine during sleep. Maintaining neutral spinal alignment prevents morning aches, pains, and stiffness.

Secondly, your pillow type can also affect your sleep quality. Different pillows have different materials and firmness levels, which can impact factors like comfort, temperature regulation, and pressure relief. Finding a pillow that suits your preferences and style can greatly enhance your overall sleep experience for a restful night.

Lastly, pillows can also play a role in managing certain medical conditions such as sleep apnea, snoring, allergies, or acid reflux. Specialized pillows designed to address these issues can provide targeted support and alleviate symptoms, significantly impacting your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Not only can you get a better night’s sleep, but it can also improve your mental health and help with a sore neck or muscles. A good pillow can work wonders in conditions such as acid reflux or neck strain, helping you conquer the next day with less pain.

sleeeping with a pillow

Therefore, choosing the right pillow that suits your needs and preferences can noticeably impact your sleep comfort, quality, and overall health.

How Did Humans Sleep Without Pillows?

Before the invention of pillows, humans likely used various natural materials such as leaves, grass, straw, or even animal hides as makeshift pillows or padding for their heads. These materials would have provided some better cushioning and neck support while sleeping. The use of pillows has been documented in ancient civilizations as far back as 7,000 BCE, so pillows have been a part of human sleep habits for a long time.

Recent research suggests that sleeping without a pillow may be beneficial in certain situations. Pillowless sleep can help reduce neck and back pain, as well as improve the quality of sleep. It can also lead to improved posture since there is less material around the head and neck to cause tension or stress in those areas.

What is the best pillow?

The best pillow for you can differ from the best for me. I like big, soft pillows, while my wife likes the stiff pillow for better support. The best pillow is the pillow you like.

I’ll recommend some pages here when I update some posts in the future, but you have about 14 different types of pillows, per, for every type of sleeper.

You can always put a Bamboo Pillowcase on it! Check out the Pro’s and Cons of Bamboo Sheets and find out why my favorite bedsheets and pillowcases are made from bamboo.

Happy Sleeping!

Of all of my hobbies and passions, I love sleep the most! Most people treat sleep as just something you do, but if you make some positive changes in your routine, you can have the a great nights sleep. A great nights sleep will change your life!

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