Sleeping Without A Pillow: Health Benefits And How To Sleep Without A Pillow

Human beings have been elevating their heads as they sleep for thousands of years. There is more than enough evidence to show that people in the early civilizations of Egypt and Greece would use stones and wood to elevate their heads. However, this does not mean that a pillow is essential for a good night’s sleep.

Many people around the world do not use any pillow when sleeping and they still manage to get comfortable and enough rest.

Children also find it comfortable to sleep anywhere whether there is a pillow or not because their bodies are adaptable and resilient.

But even for adults, it is still possible to sleep well without a pillow provided you can get your body into a comfortable position and also ensure that you align the neck and spine well. And the good thing is that there are many benefits that you can get from sleeping without elevating the head.

​Benefits Of Sleeping Without A Pillow

Sleeping without a pillow is all about personal preference, but in recent years more and more people are training their bodies to do it. So is it better to sleep without a pillow? The benefits of sleeping without one below will show you why you need to consider it.

​1. Prevents Acne And Wrinkles

benefits of sleeping on the floor

Pillows not only act as support for your head but also as a sponge that absorbs oils and bacteria which in the long run can lead to the development of acne.

You might not always remember to change the pillow case, and so this means that all the elements that result in the development of acne will continue accumulating on the headrest and transferring to your face.

But, even if you make sure that your pillow is always clean, it will still lead to or speed up the development of wrinkles. Every time you use a headrest, you will be squishing your face against it which is what leads to the wrinkling.

2. It Improves Spine Health​

If you have chronic back pain and use a pillow every night, you should try sleeping without one before you decide to seek medical help.

The headrest that you are using might not be helping the spine to align well as you sleep and this can be the cause of the back pain. Sleeping without one will ensure that the spine remains in a natural position and there will be no displacements that can result in severe back pain.

3. Prevents Neck Pain​

How To Fall Asleep When Not Tired

One of the main reasons why most people use memory foam or latex pillows is to ensure that their necks remain in a comfortable position as they sleep. However, this is not always the case because in some instances elevating the head as you sleep will cause more harm than good.

Sleeping on a flat surface will help to maintain better circulation around the neck area and hence eradicating the pain while also making sure that you do not get aches around the neck area.

4. You Sleep Better​

sleeping without a pillow

You cannot know the difference that sleeping without a pillow can make until you try it. Sleeping without elevating your head or forcing your body to adopt an unnatural position or alignment will help you sleep well.

And this is because the body can relax and you can get a comfortable position quickly. Also, you will not have to restrict or build your sleep position around the pillow as you can make use of all the space in the bed to ensure maximum comfort for a good night's snooze.

5. You Can Sleep Anywhere Comfortably​

sleeping on the floor

Whether you are traveling or camping it is not always easy to sleep because you prefer slumbering in certain conditions and with a comfortable pillow. However, once you get accustomed to sleeping without one, you can always be confident of getting comfortable rest regardless of where you might be sleeping.

Sleeping without a headrest is also a good way of training your body to sleep on other environments away from your cozy bed such as the ground which also has many health benefits.

Easy Ways To Sleep Without A Pillow​

You cannot just decide to start sleeping without a pillow and expect everything to work out well. If you snooze on a comfortable pillow, going even for one night without one can be unbearable. And so it is important to train your body and mind to do it, and the points below will demonstrate the correct way to do it.

1. Make The Switch Slow​

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Before you decide to throw out your pillow, you should first try sleeping without it to determine how comfortable and easy it will be for you to snooze.

A good way to do this is by having it in the bed next to you but do not lay your head on it. Keeping the pillow close will ensure that you can always use it if you find it hard to fall asleep.

Another simple trick that seems to work well for most people entails changing to a thinner pillow than what you use and then continuing to reduce the thickness until you can sleep without one.

2. Use A Towel For The Transition​

If you do not want to waste any extra cash buying a thin pillow you can still make the change with a folded bed sheet or towel. You should start by folding the sheet to the same height of your pillow and then unfold it gradually so as to reduce the height. Make sure that you keep unfolding the sheet until you find lying flat without raising the head comfortable enough.

3. Do Some Stretch Exercises And Keep The Neck Aligned​

how to Sleeping Without A Pillow

​Some stretch exercises will be very helpful as you transition from sleeping with a pillow to snoozing without one.

You should always remember to work on the neck and shoulder stretches as you continue to reduce the height of the pillow or unfold the towel because this will prevent aches and sprains.

Also, ensuring proper alignment of the neck and spine will help to make the transition easier and also prevent aches and pain.

Bottom Line​

Sleeping without a pillow might sound uncomfortable, but it is not. It has a lot of benefits, and for some people, it is way much better than using a thick and soft headrest.

However, when you decide to do it, you might not like it at first because it will feel uncomfortable. But, if you do it well by following the tips above you might never need to use a pillow again as you will be sleeping well and without any back or neck pains.​

  • Jane
  • Updated November 24, 2017

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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