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Is It Better For Your Neck To Sleep Without A Pillow?

Ever woken up with a sore neck accompanied by a terrible headache? As much as these could be indicators of poor sleeping positions or lack of quality sleep, it might as well be attributed to by the kind of pillow you use. As much as pillows are soft, they are not essential for good night sleep. As a matter of fact, they could be harming your body without you suspecting it. There are various reasons why it is better to sleep without a pillow for your neck. Nonetheless, if you must use a pillow, it is crucial that you are aware of the best way to use it while you’re asleep or the best kind of pillow to use.[1]

Is It Better For Your Neck To Sleep Without A Pillow?

Is It Better For Your Neck To Sleep Without A Pillow?

Sleeping without a pillow will be beneficial to your neck and back in that you will sleep in a natural position that won’t result in any aches. Many of us may think that soft pillows are better for sleeping. However, they can strain your neck muscles and decrease the blood flow to your head. Needless say, if your head tilts downwards on the pillow it can result in reduced airflow through your respiratory system while asleep. That is why you may find that when you wake up in the morning, you’re light-headed or have a headache. Otherwise, if you use a thick pillow, it can deform your spine position and attribute to back pains.

Since sleeping without a pillow allows you to sleep in your most natural position, you will awake fresh and well-rested in the morning. In addition to that, your facial skin will breathe and perspire much better. Basically, when you lie on a pillow, your face will be plastered on it which can prevent your skin from perspiring and breathing well. This is because your pores will be closed and as a result, your face will be greasy and oily, which leads to blackheads on your skin. Furthermore, you will sleep on the same pillow surface for several days, thus dust and impurities will collect there, resulting in acne.[1]

Other than that, sleeping without a pillow will improve the quality of your sleep. It will prevent sleep problems including insomnia and waking up often through the night. If you sleep with a pillow and don’t sleep properly, it can prompt you to worry about why you’re not sleeping correctly and why you’re sleeping poorly. So, you should try sleeping without a pillow to eliminate any scope of stress. Sleeping without a pillow also helps improve your memory. How you ask. Well, if you do sleep in a bad position, you cannot properly boost your memory. However, if you don’t sleep with a pillow, you can be guaranteed of good quality sleeping, which will enhance your memory when you’re awake.[3]

The Effect Of A Pillow On Your Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position has a lot of impact on whether you should or shouldn’t sleep without a pillow. For side sleepers, a pillow may be essential so that together with the mattress, their spine can be straight as they sleep. The best kind of pillow for side sleepers should be thick, preferable cervical pillows or contour memory foam pillows. On the other hand, back sleepers require a thin contouring pillow, so that it can help poise your body in an optimal position. For back sleepers, when they lay flat on the mattress, there may be gaps, especially between the mattress and lower back. The thin contouring pillow helps fill these gaps, thus prompting one to sleep in a better position. As for those who sleep on their stomachs, a pillow is not necessary. As a matter of fact, they would benefit most for not sleeping with a pillow. But, if you feel uncomfortable sleeping without a pillow, a very thin pillow would be the best choice.


Sleeping without a pillow has its benefits, but the ultimate choice is yours. It all comes down to your preference and sleep needs.[2] On the other hand, if you do choose to get rid of your pillow, you can start by placing a folded cloth to support your head in the meantime. You can start with a thickly folded cloth then reduce the thickness with time. Once you learn how to sleep without a pillow, you will never go back to sleeping with one.[1]


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 1, 2019

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