Sleeping with a pillow and a probably bolster is the common norm around the world. Nobody seems to ever question why it’s necessary to put something under our heads when we sleep. Because we’ve been doing this since the day we were born, not having pillows under our heads when we sleep can feel very uncomfortable. Many people can’t even get on an airplane and fly without a carryon pillow.
No wonder that the pillow business has been always on the rising trend because people keep inventing better technology for more comfortable pillows. But have you ever thought about sleeping without any pillows at all? Maybe we all should because sleeping without a pillow turns out to be beneficial for our health.
1. Prevents Facial Acnes
Acne is caused by dirt and oil that attaches to your face and clog the pores. The inflammation causes swelling, redness, and sometimes infection. If you are the type of person who always washes your face, avoid all sorts of food that can increase acne production, and cleans up your makeup regularly especially before going to bed, this probably baffles you. Why do you have acnes on your face?
The explanation may possibly be the way you sleep. It is very likely that you sleep with pillows every night. When you switch to the sideway position during your sleep, your face will be attached to the pillow. Pillowcases are not something that people replace and wash everyday, despite the fact that we use it everyday.
The pillowcase is exposed to all sorts of dirt during the night, including saliva, sweat, and dust. This makes your pillow becomes a good place for bacteria. The dirt and the lack of hygiene make your pillow a dangerous object that can trigger and accelerate the growth of acnes on your face.
2. Prevent Wrinkles
Besides acnes, removing the pillows from your bed can also reduce and prevent the wrinkles on your skin. Do you usually lie face-down into your pillow when you sleep? Because if the answer to the question is yes, then wrinkles will come to you faster. Anything other than lying flat on your back with your face upward like staring into the ceiling with closed eyes will cause various cosmetic problems including wrinkles.
The lines and wrinkles from pillows and sheets that are attached to your face during your night sleep will form wrinkles. When you wake up in the morning, you probably see this wrinkling. While it will disappear as the day goes, it also has similar long-term effects.
Basically, wrinkles are caused by the repetitive movements of the face. People move their faces differently. Our unique habits like a raised eyebrow and a dimpling of one side of the cheek will over time turn into wrinkles in the same area.
It is impossible to completely avoid wrinkles because it means you will have to never speak or show emotion again. However, it’s possible to minimize wrinkles by removing pillows from your bed and sleeping on your back every night. It will alleviate the pressure on your face and your face will not be moved to adjust to the pillowcase so wrinkles will be minimized.
3. Avoid Morning Puffiness
Do you usually wake up looking puffy? This is probably caused by your sleeping habit and bad sleeping positions. When you sleep lying down or with your face pressed to the pillow on your side, you will experience several sleep-related skin problems including puffiness.
This is because when you lie down pressed on the pillow, the fluid in your body will pool in a certain area of your face. This makes you wake up looking like you have some toothache besides the indents in your face from your pillow creases.
4. Prevents Back Pain
Back pain is mostly caused by bad postures, either during the day when you do your activities or during the night when you sleep. A bad mattress and the wrong pillow may be contributing factors to the pain.
Many people use pillows that fail to support the natural curve of the spine. Overstuffed or multiple pillows that are used during the sleep may cause back pain because it puts the body in an unnatural sleeping position. Besides, the pillows that are filled with regular feather, foam, or fiber may break down over time in random areas. The support provided by the pillows then become even worse.
While replacing your pillows regularly can be a solution for this, it’s even better to opt out of using pillows to sleep at all. This is because your pillow will no longer mess with your natural neck and spine alignment.
Your spine will be able to fully rest in a position that supports the natural curve of the body. As you make sleeping without a pillow a habit, you will notice that your back pain reduced over time.
5. Prevents Neck Pain
The purpose of a pillow should actually be keeping your neck in parallel alignment to your mattress, instead of making it bent up or down. However, most of the pillows that people use fail to provide this support and make their sleeping postures worse instead.
Feather pillows as one of the most affordable pillows are the worst when it comes to neck support. It doesn’t provide any stability because the feathers keep moving during your sleep. The buckwheat pillows and pillows with mixed fillers are also bad for your neck.
Not using any pillows to sleep will give you surprising benefits as it makes your head rest on your natural position. It also prevents nerve damage and strained muscle so you will experience less pain as a result of your sleeping position. In addition, using pillows that are too soft may disrupt the blood flow in the neck area.
6. Promotes Better Sleep
One of the most important benefits of sleeping without a pillow is the ability to promote a more quality sleep. Not using any head and neck support during your sleep will stimulate your body to find the best natural position to rest. When you sleep using some pillows that cannot provide adequate support for your head, neck, and spine, your body will need to compensate by engaging the back or neck muscles.
This coping mechanism causes your more strain to your muscle. Sleeping shouldn’t be a time when your muscle strains. Sleeping is supposed to be the time when your body is relaxing and resting to recover from the everyday stress. When your body doesn’t get the rest it needs and instead needs to work overtime, the strain will manifest as pain.
When your body has to handle this excessive strain for a long period of time, your back and neck discomfort may turn into a chronic pain. The chronic back pain won’t go away easily without a professional help and a change of sleeping habits. During the night, you will experience the symptoms of chronic back pain such as frequent waking up, restless sleep, constant changes of position, and even sharp pain in the middle of the sleep.
On the other hand, when you ditch pillows from your sleep, your body won’t need to take the excessive strain and stress so you can have a better quality sleep.
7. Prevents Headache
If you often wake up with the feeling of lightheadedness or even a bad headache and it’s not because of the foods you take before bed or any other causes you can think of, your pillow may be the culprit. You should try to sleep at least one night without a pillow and see if you wake up feeling better the next morning.
Because sleeping with soft pillows can reduce the blood flow to your head, your head won’t get as much oxygen as it needs. Besides, not enough support for your head also greatly reduces the airflow from your nose to your lung and from your lung to your head. The disruption of oxygen distribution to your head may probably be the reason you get morning headaches.
8. Preserves Youth
The most important role of sleep is to give our body a chance to rest from fatigue and to recover and grow. The quality of our sleep will also influence our body immune system and the effectiveness of our hormonal functions. A deep, sound sleep without disturbance and restlessness will stimulate the good hormones including anti-aging hormones during the sleep. Since not using any pillows will lead to a higher quality sleep, you will get the benefits of the hormones too.
Along with repairing and renewing of cells, the anti-aging hormone will also aid in the fight against free radicals and other factors that contribute to aging. In addition, it’s also good to avoid wrinkles on your face. As a result, you will look youthful for a longer time.
9. Improves Energy
Sleeping without a pillow will also improve your energy levels because of several things. First, you will get rid of the back and neck pain that you may experience when you use the wrong pillows. Not having to wake up multiple times throughout the night will certainly give your body the rest it needs to refill its energy. Since you have a higher quality of sleep, you will also have an improved energy level.
Besides, a good sleep will also lead to a decrease in cortisol or stress hormones. Keeping your cortisol hormones at a low level will help you maintain your energy. When you wake up in the morning, you will feel fresh and ready to start your activities.
10. Align Bone Structure
It is also believed that sleeping without pillow may help normalize and align bone structure. Your daily activities could make you remain in bad posture all the time, such as when you sit in your office all day or drive your car for hours in tense positions.
Sleeping should be the time when you put your bone structure back to its natural alignment. Not using any pillows and bolsters during your sleep will improve your posture, align your bone structure, and minimize problems related to bad structure.
11. Reduces Stress
When you sleep in the wrong positions because of the pillows and you constantly have to wake up throughout the night, it ‘s not a surprise that your stress level peaks. A stressful sleep won’t do you any good, both physically and mentally. Stress may lead to a number of physical and mental illnesses. Because of this, you should sleep without any pillows to decrease your stress level.
Besides, when you no longer experience sleep disturbances, your quality sleep will help your body level down the stress hormones. As a result, you will be overall less stressed out.
12. Alleviates Depression and Anxiety
How do you feel in the morning after a night of restless sleep? You will probably feel very down or very irritable. A lack of good sleep, especially as a result of uncomfortable sleeping positions due to bad pillows, will mess with your mood. When you wake up, you will feel annoyed and cranky. Then, throughout the day, little things may bring your mood down. If you are prone to depression, this can even go beyond bad mood and instead triggers your depression.
When you don’t have enough sleep, you will also have difficulties in concentrating, memorizing and performing other cognitive tasks. This will make you anxious as you have to perform your best at work or school. You will also be easily shocked or surprised which translates to more anxiety.
13. Keeps Your Body Fit
Besides helping your body avoid many illnesses and stay healthy, sleeping without a pillow will also keep your body fit because it helps you maintain body weight. Researchers have demonstrated that a better sleep activates better fat burning which will help people to stay in shape. A better sleep quality also prevents people from feeling extreme hunger in the morning so it helps with your diet program.
14. Prevent Baby’s Flat Head Syndrome
Soft pillows have to worry may influence the shape of baby’s head negatively. Because the baby’s heads are still soft during the first months after birth, the pillows may cause baby’s head to change shape. In some cases, the baby’s head will become flattered on one side. This is what is known as flat head syndrome. Not putting pillows under the baby’s head may prevent the condition.
15. Prevent Baby’s Breath Shortage
During their sleep, objects like bolsters and pillows that are put in the cribs may make babies feel uncomfortable. As the baby moves their head left and right to find the most comfortable sleeping position, the pillow may close the airway. This is bad because a baby may probably be not strong enough to move their necks to get better air access.
For this reason, a newborn not older than 1-year-old should not be given a pillow when they sleep. The breath shortage may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome which is a terrifying and serious problem.