Is it better for your Neck & Spine to sleep with or without a Pillow?

All humans have some distinct features and characteristics which make them different from every other person on the world and as the physical appearances are different likewise the non-tangible qualities as well such as sleeping patterns and postures. Whereas some people adore sleeping on big or fat or fluffy pillows, others don’t feel comfortable sleeping on them. Although if you often wake up with neck or back pains then you might be one of those who are enticed to sleep without a pillow. However, there are some advantages of sleeping without a pillow, but these are not one-size-fits-all because sleeping without a pillow can also be beneficial to you if you adopt a certain sleeping posture.

Getting a good night’s sleep is very vital for maintaining mental & physical health and it can be very tough if you have neck or back pain as it is a vicious cycle. You need to have proper sleep to heal your pains, but you can’t sleep because your back hurts, and you can’t heal that pain because you’re not sleeping, and the pain is growing from the back to the neck & shoulders that’s why it’s a vicious cycle.


The non-restorative sleep which is typical when the person is in severe pain prevents the muscles from relaxation and impairs the healing process that naturally occurs when we sleep. On the contrary, when you’re having a restful sleep, your brain releases those hormones which helps in stimulating tissue growth and repair blood vessels as the heart and blood pressure is running slow therefore the body is able to produce more white blood cells which directly boasts the immune system.


Before we go into the importance of sleeping well in a proper posture and how to do it? The Top Rated Buyer Guides advice people to select a pillow that suits the way they sleep: 


Benefits of pillow-less Sleeping

If you are ready to ditch your pillow because of neck or back pain, then you may experience the following advantages depending upon your sleeping position and posture.


Sleeping Posture

Pillows are meant to keep your spine in a neutral position. To support a good sleeping posture, the pillow(s) must align your neck with the rest of your body. Depending on how you sleep, it is possible that you feel much better after sleeping on a flat surface. Unfortunately, Scientists haven’t studied how much pillow-less sleeping affects the spine because the focus always remained on the best types of pillow to support posture. However, ditching the pillow may be beneficial for stomach sleepers.

According to research & studies, people who sleeps on their stomach puts their spine in an unnatural position. The major portion of our weight lies in the middle of our body. It adds stress on your back and neck; therefore, the spine couldn’t maintain its natural curve.

One of the benefits of sleeping without a pillow is that you can keep your head flat and it may reduce some stress on your neck & promote better alignment. But it won’t do you any good if you’ve a habit of sleeping on your back or side, in that instance pillow-less sleeping may do more harm than good. If that’s the case, it’s better to use a pillow to keep your spine neutral.


Reduce Neck Pain

When you’re sleeping on your stomach, your head is turned to the side due to which your neck is extended backwards putting it at an awkward angle, that causes severe pain and discomfort. However, stomach sleepers can benefit from pillow-less sleeping as it can minimize the unnatural positions & awkward angles and may also reduce neck and back pain.

In this sleeping position, having a pillow would only add to your pain as it increases the awkward angle of the neck.  Although if you ditch your pillow it’ll decrease strain on the spine while minimizing the unnatural position of the neck.

Regardless of these benefits of pillow-less sleeping, research is still lacking on this subject as most studies about pillows & neck pains focus on the best types of pillow for healing neck pain. If you’re waking up with neck or back pains, you should probably go or talk to a doctor before going pillow-less.


Benefits for your hair

There aren’t many authentic research or links between hair health and using or ditching a pillow but there are few talks about how the material of you sleep surface can affect your hair, however, researchers haven’t studied how sleeping with or without a pillow affects your hair. The idea is that a Silk pillowcase is way better for your hair than a cotton pillowcase which can make your hair frizzy as it absorbs the natural oils that nourishes your hair & your scalp as well.


Sleeping Positions

The most important and most simple thing you need to understand about sleeping positions is that if a sleeping position is not comfortable, it may not be right for you. The bottom line is that You should sleep in whatever position that makes you feel comfortable and helps you to rest. Although its best to choose sleeping positions that are recommended and allows for some modifications as well. However, the key to a good sleep posture is Alignment which means your head, shoulders and hips should be (more or less) in a straight line. Naturally, there are some gaps between spaces on your body and the mattress which causes strain in your back and neck muscles.

Secondly, we often move around while sleeping, that’s why it doesn’t pay to worry and add more stress about keeping one sleep position. Although, if you do move you can keep more pillows around yourself to help support vulnerable areas in different sleep positions.


Sleep Position to heal Back Pain

If you’re having pain in your lower back, then the best sleep position for you is to be on your back. When you’re sleeping on your back your entire weight is distributed along the entire spinal cord. To maintain the natural curve of your spine you should keep a medium-sized pillow beneath your knees.

Side sleepers should place a firm pillow between their knees that helps to maintain the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine as well. Those who sleep on their side should definitely try to sleep on alternate sides, to avoid the risk of muscle imbalance and perhaps even scoliosis.

If you have back pain, then lying on your stomach is considered the worst sleeping position. However, if you’re unable to change sleeping positions, place a thin pillow underneath your hips and stomach to improve the alignment of your spine.


Sleep Position to reduce Neck Pain

If you’re experiencing neck pain, the best sleep position for you is to sleep on your back or on your side. However, sleeping on your back is specifically recommended but you should always use a pillow to support the natural curvature of your neck and a flatter pillow that’ll cushion your head as well.

Side sleepers should use a taller pillow under their neck to support the position of their neck and also to align your neck with your head. This will help you to keep the spine straight and it’ll also relieve any strain on your neck. The problem with sleeping on your stomach is that your neck is twisted which puts pressure on your nerves. You should train yourself to change your position and adopt a new one. However, if you cannot do it then use a very slim and thin pillow or no pillow at all that should minimize the chances of awkward angles while sleeping.



Some people who sleep on their front can benefit from sleeping without a pillow. It can ease neck and back pain by keeping the spine and neck in place while sleeping. However, it is not a good idea for everybody. People who sleep on their backs or sides can experience neck or back pain if they don’t use a pillow.

Although sleeping without a pillow can also help reduce wrinkles, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, however, there is no proof that it can treat acne or strengthen people’s hair.

Anyone who has been having sleep problems for a long time should seek professional care.


Many different types of pillows are available for purchase online:

Pillows come in a range of shapes and colors, and you can buy them all online, we recommend: 

  • Thin pillows will reduce the pressure on your neck and prevent back and shoulder pain in the morning. There is a significant difference between a thin pillow and a low-quality pillow. Pillows of poor quality can be flat, but this is due to the fact that they are made of materials that are not suitable for sleeping.
  • Body pillows are long pillows that people sleep on their sides with between their thighs. Body pillows can enhance sleep quality by increasing relaxation and reducing pressure on the joints, according to some people.
  • Memory foam pillow: Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, edges to heat and pressure. The material is suitable for use in pillows because it offers a comfortable, pressure-relieving base.

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