Having a proper, uninterrupted night’s sleep can be the game-changer of your day. People often tend to be irritable or grumpy when they don’t get natural sleep the night before. Multiple reasons can cause inadequate or scattered sleep. It could be stress, it could be your lifestyle, it can even be your pillow. Yes, you read that right. Your pillow might be causing unreasonable tension in your muscles and disrupted sleep.
The debate on whether a pillow is necessary is unending. While from the viewpoint of comfort, people consider a pillow mandatory. On the other hand, taking into consideration a few physical withdrawals using a pillow might be detrimental. If you are wondering whether sleeping without cushions is a good practice or not? Then, there doesn’t lie any specific answer to it. It depends on various factors and from person to person.
However, sleeping without one is indeed beneficial at many levels. In this article, we will examine:
- Benefits of sleeping without a pillow
- Should you get rid of the pillow?
Benefits of sleeping without a pillow
Although you wouldn’t generally find someone sleeping without a pillow, it does have certain health benefits. The following benefits are, however, subject to personal sleeping postures and other similar factors.
Relief from back and neck aches
Your pillow might hinder your usual posture to some extent. Most people prefer piling up pillows for a more comfortable position. Little do they realize that their spine is suffering in the process. Especially if you are habituated to sleeping on your stomach, a pillow might cause tension around the neck and spine.
Research states that in such a position, your spine cannot retain its natural stance. With the use of a pillow, your neck and back might have to hold on to your curved posture, causing tension. Eliminating the pillow helps keep your head flat. As a result, your neck and back aren’t stressed anymore and promote proper alignment (1).
Benefits for the skin
Sleeping without a pillow can have several benefits for your skin health. Firstly, if you are prone to acne, a pillow might aggravate the process. Acnes result from the accumulation of dirt and oil on the face and when your skin pores get blocked. A dirty pillow or a pillow that keeps lying open on your bed can accumulate enough dirt.
Your pillow acquires saliva, sweat, and dirt, and at night your face comes in contact with it. Additionally, your face keeps pressed against the pillow at night, making it impossible for your pores to breathe. Thus, acne is inevitable. Sleeping without a pillow also helps prevent untimely sleep wrinkles that make signs of aging visible too early.
Hair health has not been directly linked to the use of pillows. However, the material of your pillowcase may pose some problems. For instance, if you use cotton materials, it is bound to absorb your hair’s essential oils and make your hair crinkled and rough in the morning. You can combat this issue by replacing your pillowcases with silk ones.
Helps against headaches and stress
Waking up with a morning headache is prevalent across the globe. If you’re trying to figure out the cause of the headache but cannot find any, then it is probably your pillow. Pillows, especially the excessively soft ones, can reduce blood flow reaching your head. As a result, the oxygen supply to your brain is also interrupted. This might be the underlying cause of your unwanted morning headache.
Although pillows might not directly impact your stress levels, they may interrupt your sleep. If your pillow is causing you to transition into sleep, it adds to your unconscious stress. This may cause you to be irritable for no reason. Furthermore, this unspotted stress might lead to expediting other mental conditions.
Should you get rid of the pillow?
Noticing the above benefits must have convinced you to get rid of your pillow right now. But being so impulsive will not help you in this case. Different people prefer sleeping in various postures. While stomach sleepers might benefit from sleeping without a pillow, back or side sleepers will complain about neck and back pains. Even if you are a stomach sleeper, you might not want to switch immediately to sleeping without a pillow. A sudden change may aggravate your body aches even further. These tips will make your transition to a pillowless bed easier.
- Change the angle of your head by each day.
- Gradually switch to thinning your pillow until you finally remove it.
- To avoid turning over when sleeping, create a pool of pillows around you.
- Find a better mattress in case your neck or backache persists. It is probably not the pillow but the mattress.
Interruptions during sleep or unnatural sleeping positions may fuel various health conditions. If you usually prefer sleeping on your stomach, consider gradually eliminating your head pillows. Your pillow might provide surreal comfort initially, but the discomforts at night go unnoticed. If you’re having terrible morning headaches, back pain, neck pain, too much acne, getting rid of your pillow might be the solution.
Madelline completed her studies in community healthcare education. Apart from being a freelance writer, she also volunteers at the local non-profit organisations that help people suffering from mental disorders like depression and anxiety.